By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating:
Although no longer the only sport-oriented SUV on the market, the 2013 BMW X5 remains true to its original formula. Where others have grown larger, the X5 retains its modest size and seating arrangement. And, while many SUVs have moved to deliver a softer ride with compromised handling, the BMW X5 for 2013 retains, for better or worse, the same firm steering, aggressive handling and notoriously stiff ride. The X5's various trims cover a wide range, from the entry-level 6-cylinder X5 xDrive35i to the performance oriented xDrive50i with the M Performance Package to the tire-smoking X5 M. Due to a late introduction last year, the diesel-powered xDrive35d will continue as a 2012 until late in the 2013 model year.
If you crave the kind of handling BMW sedans and wagons offer in spades, but you need it in a larger, more accommodating package that can also tackle winter's worst, the 2013 BMW X5 has you covered.
The BMW X5's aggressive ride and handling come with a price, namely the forfeiture of a smooth ride. You can find the same electrifying performance specs from the newly-released Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 and a more luxurious ride from Audi's Q7.
Changes to the 2013 BMW X5 consist mainly of a reshuffled optional-equipment list. The M Performance Package is now available on the xDrive35i Sport Activity and xDrive50i with M Sport Package. The Premium Sound Package is reduced to $950, while the Active Ventilated Seat Package is renamed the Luxury Seating Package.
Driving Impressions With a sophisticated suspension, excellent braking, communicative steering and at least 300 horsepower, the 2013 BMW X5 – in any of its iterations – provides a compelling testament to BMW's...engineering prowess. No amount of engineering, however, can completely disguise the X5's mass, some 5,000 pounds in basic xDrive35i form. This remains a Sport Activity Vehicle and not, notably, a sport sedan; care should be given to operate an SUV in a more conservative manner than a sport sedan or Sports/GT. If you demand a combination of "sport" and "utility," few will deliver that combo more credibly than BMW's X5.
Offering 265 horsepower and a stump-pulling 425 lb-ft of torque, BMW's Advanced Diesel is the perfect engine for the times. It delivers acceleration from zero to 60 mph in under seven seconds and has an EPA highway fuel-economy number of 26 mpg.
xDrive FULL-TIME ALL-WHEEL DRIVE
With limited ground clearance and all-season tires, the 2013 X5 has few off-road aspirations, but it does have one of the best all-weather, all-wheel-drive systems available, which electronically varies front-to-rear torque and traction control to optimize grip.
In "growing" the brand, BMW expanded X5 cargo capacity via a longer and higher body in combination with a lower cargo floor. Rear seats fold flat, and an optional third row is available. That third row is best reserved for children; BMW's target demographic for the 2013 X5 SUV is young families. The cockpit is oriented to the driver, while a generous greenhouse provides excellent outward visibility. Regrettably (given its starting price), leatherette is the standard seating material for both the xDrive35i and xDrive35d. The handy 2-piece tailgate provides easy access to the rear compartment.
The 2013 BMW X5 somehow manages to hide its bulk with a series of clever angles and rounded edges. These cues, in combination with a longish wheelbase and short overhangs, give the new X5 a visual athleticism not evident on the previous generation. Eighteen-inch wheels (standard) contribute to a planted stance, while both 19-inch and 20-inch wheels are available for those wanting an even more aggressive look – and more aggressive on-road capability.
All X5 models enjoy a generous level of standard equipment. The 2013 X5 xDrive35i includes xDrive all-wheel drive (no 2WD variants offered), Hill Descent Control, 18-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires, 3-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel, 10-way power-adjustable driver's and passenger's seats, iDrive system with on-board computer and controller and AM/FM stereo with 205 watts transmitted through 10 speakers. This, of course, is above and beyond the dynamic capabilities standard on every BMW. The X5 xDrive35d brings to the table 4-cylinder efficiency, prodigious torque and a third-row seat. Finally, both the X5 xDrive50i and X5 M have stupendous performance.
The base X5 xDrive35i is notable for the number of options not available. A Convenience Package includes the panoramic moonroof, while navigation, heated front seats, a third-row seat and satellite radio can be ordered separately. Choose the X5 xDrive35i Premium model and your variables expand exponentially. A Luxury Seating Package, Cold Weather Package, Premium Sound Package and Convenience Package are just a few of the options you can include on your new X5. The M Performance Package adds 15 horsepower to the 6-cylinder trim and 40 horsepower to the V8 model.
As with most purchases, the decision is finalized by balancing your needs, your wants and your budget. The great thing about BMW's engine mix is that not one of them sacrifices performance; even the slowest, BMW's 3.0-liter turbodiesel, accelerates from a stop to 60 mph in under seven seconds. If you should want to stretch the envelope to its max, opt for the X5 M. This variant (of the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8) offers no less than 555 horsepower.
3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 (xDrive35i)
300 horsepower @ 5,800-6,250 rpm
300 lb-ft of torque @ 1,300-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23 mpg
3.0-liter turbodiesel inline-6 (xDrive35d)
265 horsepower @ 4,200 rpm
425 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-2,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/26 mpg
4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (xDrive50i)
400 horsepower @ 5,500-6,400 rpm
450 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 mpg
4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (X5 M)
555 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
500 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-5,650 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/17 mpg
The 2013 BMW X5 xDrive35i has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just over $48,000. The X5 Premium begins at roughly $56,000, while the X5 Sport Activity is over $58,500. Adding V8 power elevates the window sticker some $7,000 (to over $65,000), and the X5 M is above $89,000 and easily surpasses six figures with all options. A random showroom sampling revealed an xDrive35i Premium with $4,200 of optional equipment; with destination, the MSRP was around $60,000. The competitors include entries ranging from Acura's MDX to Audi's Q7. At the performance end, the Infiniti FX and Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 also give the BMW X5 a run for its money. In most instances, the X5 SUV reflects both good value and excellent resale. Be sure to check Kelley Blue Book's Fair Purchase Price to see what consumers are actually paying in your market area.
By BostonBWMOwner (MA) on Tuesday, January 29, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Appealing aesthetics justify the premium price"
Cons: "Nothing as such"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I simply admire the superior engineering of the BWM SAV which leaves its japanese competitors far behind.Even its German & US competitors find it hard to hold candle to it when its comes to confidence oozing drivability,unsurpassed quality,pure luxury,and sporty performance of it.Don't look anywhere else if you want a perfect all weather & all terrain SUV (BMW=SAV). Unrivalled overall performance and will stay miles ahead to its league!That's why Its truely called "ULTIMATE DRIVING MACHINE"."
11 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By FrankNJ1 (NJ) on Wednesday, January 23, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive, value, features."
Cons: "Never enough time to drive it."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Hand down this is the best SUV you can get in this class. It handles like you are driving a car. The amount of interior space is excellent. We didn't opt for the 3rd row as we diden't need it and by seeing it I feel it is a waste. We went with the Premium edition and loaded it up with a nice amoutn of options. Must have options are the Multi-Contour seats and the Premium Sound."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By LoveBMWs (IL) on Sunday, January 20, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,500overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "nice lines and very responsive about 15 mph"
Cons: "This is not BMW quality."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"This is my third BMW in a row I have owned. The 2013 X5 Premium is the worst vehicle I have ever owned. It is physically exhausting to drive because the steering is so tight on the vehicle. If your normal driving route includes stop and go's, you will find the transmission frustrating because it hesitates off the line, the road noice is louder than my toyota pickup truck, not to mention the ride is stiffer than my pu truck. Don't make the same mistake I did by taking it for a test drive around the block. Do yourself a big favor and get the dealer to loan you the vehicle for a weekend and drive it in your normal environment. I own 4 vehicles and this is the last one out of the garage!"
4 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By BMW Leaser (AL) on Tuesday, December 11, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,200overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Masculine, Great Performance, fun to drive"
Cons: "Can be a little loud during exceleration"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I have leased BMWs and other luxury vehicles for that past 15 years and am very pleased with the X5 diesel. It has the performance characteristics for the 335 with a lot of extra space. If you enjoy the driving experience of a BMW you will love this vehicle. If you are more of a soft ride Cadillac person, this vehicle will not meet your needs."
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Bmw previous owner (AZ) on Sunday, September 23, 2012
I owned and sold this car
Reason: Worst car I have ever owned, expensive out of warranty repairs, extremely unreliable. - My approximate mileage is 82,000
Pros: "Loved the look, drove well"
Cons: "Worst vehicle I have owned, poor reliability,"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"This was my first BMW, expected more from this auto manufacturer since BWM is a luxury vehicle. I was in the shop for many repairs during the warranty period. My major issues started after warranty expired. I needed to replace the radiator, followed by water pump, thermostat, fuel gauge, brakes were fixed many times and had 3 sets or run flat tires by 60 thousand miles. No one ever tells you that these tires need to be replaced every 20 thousand miles. The car was a beauty but it will be the last BMW I will every buy. The rear camera was the worst I have ever seen it had poor resolution and stayed on while I drove forward. The voice connectivity was poor, I could never use it."
46 people out of 54 found this review helpful
By RJG (IL) on Wednesday, August 08, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "performance, handling, fuel economy."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I went from an Infiniti to the X-5. Night and dy difference. The X-5 handles like a real sports car. Steering, acceleration is unbelievable. German technology way different than the Japanese. Both have their pros and cons! I real enjoy driving the BMW. The 3.5 has unbelievable performance and super unbelievable gas mileage, 23.8 on the highway."
10 people out of 13 found this review helpful