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2012 BMW X5

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2012 BMW X5 Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.7

At the time of its introduction in late 1999, the BMW X5 SUV was either a revelation (for those new to the BMW brand) or an aberration (for those true to the BMW brand). Never before had BMW – or anyone else – combined an accomplished on-road dynamic with such a high degree of utility. Both substance and presence were upgraded in 2011, as the X5 received both new sheet metal and drivetrains. And those drivetrains run the gamut, from an in-line 6-cylinder delivering 300 horsepower to a twin-turbocharged V8 offering 400 horsepower, and the X5 M with 555 horsepower from the same 4.4-liter V8 displacement. At the opposite end of the consumption spectrum is the X5 xDrive35d. The turbocharged diesel provides 265 horsepower and an EPA rating of 26 mpg highway.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're enamored of the BMW marque or mystique, but require more utility than BMW sedans or wagons provide, the X5 should be right up your alley. The platform remains dynamic, while the people/cargo equation is much more versatile.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Despite its more sporting capability when compared to the SUV entries of other carmakers, you won't be taking an X5 – any X5 – to an autocross or track day. To that end, you might not wish to accept the trade-off for the X5's more aggressive performance (i.e. a more aggressive ride). If you prefer the art of shopping to the art of driving you'll find better options within BMW's competitive set.

What's New for 2012

Given the number of substantive changes (some 4,000 new parts) in 2011, the 2012 BMW X5 is largely a carryover model year for the SUV, with only minor modifications.

Driving the X5
Driving Impressions

With a sophisticated suspension, excellent braking, communicative steering and at least 300 horsepower, the 2012 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 x35i 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.

xDrive35d Diesel
Offering 265 horsepower and a stump-pulling 425 lb-ft of torque, BMW's Advanced Diesel is the perfect powerplant for the times. If going from stoplight to stoplight the diesel delivers a 0-60 time of under seven seconds. And if you're going from coast to coast expect to eke out 26 mpg. The above, in combination with a genuinely fun demeanor, makes the xDrive35d SUV the gem in this particular lineup.

xDrive Full-Time All-Wheel Drive (AWD)
With limited ground clearance and all-season tires, the 2012 X5 has few off-road aspirations, but it does have one of the best all-weather all-wheel-drive (AWD) systems available, which electronically varies front-to-rear torque and traction control to optimize grip.

2012 BMW X5 Details
Interior

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 X5 is young families. The cockpit is oriented to the driver, while a generous greenhouse provides excellent views out for both driver and passengers. Regrettably (given its starting price), leatherette is the standard seating material for both xDrive35i and xDrive35d. And a 2-piece tailgate provides access to the rear compartment.

Exterior

With its exterior updates, last year's X5 enjoyed the more organic feel of BMW's sedan lineup. That, in combination with a longish wheelbase and short overhangs, imbues the new X5 with a visual athleticism not evident on the previous generation. Eighteen-inch wheels (standard) supply the X5 SUV with a planted stance, while both 19-inch and 20-inch are available to those wanting an even more aggressive look – and more aggressive on-road capability.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

All X5 models enjoy a generous level of standard equipment. The base X5, with an MSRP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price) of roughly $48,500, 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 seat, 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 X5 xDrive50i and X5 M bring performance to blow your mind – along with everyone else's.

Optional Equipment

The base X5 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 spec'd separately. Opt for the X5 xDrive35i Premium, with a base of over $56,000, and your variables expand exponentially. An Active ventilated seat package, Cold Weather Package, Premium Sound Package and Convenience Package are just a few of the options you can include on your new X5.

Under the Hood

You pay your money, and you take your choice. And as with most purchases, the decision is arrived at by balancing your needs and your wants. The great thing about BMW's engine mix is that not one of them sacrifices performance; even the slowest off the line, BMW's 3.0-liter turbodiesel, delivers 60 mph from a stop in under seven seconds. If you should want to stretch the envelope to its Chuck Yeager max, opt for the X5 M. This variant (of the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8) punches a full 555 horsepower to the pavement.

3.0-liter in-line 6 Turbocharged
300 horsepower @ 5,800-6,250 rpm
300 lb-ft of torque @ 1,300-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23

3.0-liter in-line 6 Turbodiesel
265 horsepower @ 4,200 rpm
425 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-2,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/26

4.4-liter V8 Twin-Turbocharged
400 horsepower @ 5,500-6,400 rpm
450 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20

4.4-liter V8 Twin-Turbocharged (X5 M)
555 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
500 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-5,650 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/17

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2012 BMW X5 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.9
Out of 10

Based on 196 Ratings for the 2007 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.9/10
    Quality
    8.3/10
  • Reliability
    8.1/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

Nice Vehicle But Maintenance Costs Huge Drawback

By on Friday, April 8, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Do not purchase consider leasing."

Cons: "expensive maintenance, rough ride but handles well"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"New the vehicle is great especially under warranty. However, once mileage is over 50,000 costs begin to mount. Every other month it's something: oil pan leak, coils, gaskets, run flat tires (very expensive), AC recharge, etc... In retrospect I wish I had never bought the car when my lease was up. I would have been better off re-leasing if I still wanted to drive a BMW. Buyer beware...not a good investment."

17 people out of 18 found this review helpful

TOO MANY REPAIR ISSUES

By on Thursday, March 10, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Nice to drive"

Cons: "Too many repair issues!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I own a 2011 BMW X5 50i. This vehicle looks great aesthetically, and is a dream to drive. However, the amount of repairs, and the cost to repair the vehicle since recently coming off of warranty are through the roof! The repairs have been many, but the worst has been 4 separate oil leaks within the last year. I will not be purchasing another BMW."

13 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Gorgeous Vehicle Fun to drive but 0 Reliability

By on Friday, September 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Fun to Drive"

Cons: "Not reliable"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I purchased this care 8 months ago with 50,000 miles. I wasn't informed at the time of purchase about the oilpan leaking. I had to replace the front brakes for $700, tires for $1,300, turbo coolant lines $2,600, water pump $700, expanded coolant tank $350, and I still have to do the oil pan for another $3,000. It just seems to have problem after problem, not to mention the recalls. I would never recommend this car."

38 people out of 57 found this review helpful

Great deal, super comfort and performance beyond

By on Friday, September 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Comfort, PERFORMANCE and Looks."

Cons: "3 words milage milage milage."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I don't remember how many SUVs I have had, but its been a lot from the Toyota Land Cruiser(I got nauseous paying $38K) to this Bimmer which is just beyond belief. Its my family car, and the most comfortable seats I have ever had, including the seats in my 911 which are Porsches Top of the line seats. Easy to drive and laid back comfort yet when its time to go push the M button on the Steering world and HANG ON!! Snap of the head performance, I don't know any other SUV and SOME Sport Cars that are this fast! Yet when its time to drive in the snow it gets us to our destination relaxed and ready to go. I noticed the 2016 is VERY much alike so if you want the most powerful SUV on the planet you might want to try the 2011. If you can get one for 35K I would jump all over it since the 2016, is $116,000. What do you do? They can be expensive to fix so get the longest warranty you can and BMW has some good ones. And be prepared not to get the best milage in the world. But get this, my neighbor has a Toyota Highlander across the street and their milage is only 2 miles better than us and they have 250 HP I think vs. 555 for mine. GREAT CAR!!!"

12 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Best vehicle until about 60000 miles

By on Saturday, August 8, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"problems are mounting. every vew months some goes wrong. gasket leaks $1400.00, water pump $700.00 +, suspension $1400. new battery 5 months ago but now high battery drain light just came on. oil leaks are back just after the oil was changed. but that could be the mechanics fault. it seems to go on an on. shopping for a more reliable car. :( used to love my BMW's. Mechanic says cars are being made with more and more complex circuitry. repairs are expensive as parts are made cheaper but labor is more. i used to recommend this car. no longer a fan. sorry BMW. you loose."

52 people out of 61 found this review helpful

Great to drive but has occasional hiccups.

By on Tuesday, August 4, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Fun European style handling"

Cons: "Some interior design and computer issues"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"2008 X5 3.0si with 90,000 miles (144000 km). Overall almost as good as my '83 Grand Prix, just way more noise, lot more gas, and not nearly as comfortable (but that '83 was a one off vehicle, never found another one like it). However this X5 has been a lot of fun to drive and is dependable 99% of the time. It does suffer from occasional mental difficulties and aberrant behavior. I think I can only attribute this to bad computer coding. Things will function or not function on a somewhat random basis. Usually will just need to reboot and all will work fine again. (was this programmed by Microsoft?) Also, this vehicle is definitely a SUV, not to be confused with a truck like a Jimmy SLT. Same size, just not as practical or useful in many ways. And lots of fancy buttons and gadgets on the X5 to play with and decipher, but I am not sure what the engineers were thinking when they designed them. Maybe everybody else likes it that way. I dont. Anyway, looks good, drives great, mechanically good, practicality so-so, gadgets ....meh. Overall I'd give this a good solid 7.5 in my books."

9 people out of 29 found this review helpful

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