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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.
For 2011 the X5's gasoline engines have been updated and are now paired with an all-new eight-speed automatic transmission. Along with subtly tweaked styling, the 2011 model includes new options like active cruise control and a lane departure warning system.
The big news for 2009 is the introduction of a diesel model, the X5 xDrive 35d, to the lineup. Other changes include the addition of heated rear seats to the Cold Weather package and an automatic tailgate to the Premium Package. The self-leveling rear suspension is removed from the 48i's standard equipment list and is now only available with the optional third-row seat.
Since the X5's introduction the SUV/CUV market has become much more competitive, and BMW's own smaller X3 snuck up behind it with similar character and more cargo room for a lot less money. This second-generation X5 is larger, roomier and more powerful and offers optional third-row seating for the first time.
BMW doesn't call the X5 a sport utility vehicle (SUV), but rather a "sports activity vehicle" (SAV), a moniker the German luxury brand has been using since the vehicle's introduction in 1999. The idea is to distinguish the vehicle as sportier than a traditional, rugged SUV. Marketing semantics or not, one drive in the X5 will make you a believer. The 2014 BMW X5 marks its third generation with a new design and more creature comforts, all while building on its reputation of combining BMW's famed driving dynamics in a roomy package. The X5 won't hop boulders like a Range Rover Sport, but it is far fonder of carving corners than an Audi Q7 or Mercedes-Benz M-Class.