BMW's all-wheel-drive X5 crossover uses the turbocharged six-cylinder and V-8 engines also seen in models like the 5 Series and X6. Also offered are a diesel xDrive35d model and a high-performance X5 M version. Depending on the model, the X5 can seat five people in two rows or seven in three. Competitors include the Audi Q7, Mercedes-Benz M- and GL-Class, and Acura MDX.
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New for 2012
Additional standard features for 2012 include the BMW Assist emergency communication system, an iPod/USB adapter, LED headlight rings, a cargo cover and roof rails. In addition, auto-dimming mirrors, parking sensors, a power liftgate, ambient lighting and heated front seats are also standard.
The diesel model gains standard leather upholstery and a power steering column, while the V-8-powered xDrive50i adds a universal garage door opener and a navigation system. BMW Apps, an application that allows a variety of iPhone applications to run through the iDrive system, is a $250 option.
Eighteen-inch alloy wheels are standard on the base xDrive35i, with 19-inchers optional. An M Sport Package adds more aggressive bodywork and 20-inch wheels. Exterior features include:
- Automatic headlights
- Available panoramic moonroof
- Heated side mirrors
- Power liftgate
The X5's dashboard places a wide screen atop the central air vents, with navigation and other interfaces within. It's controlled by BMW's latest-generation iDrive system, whose knob controller now has various shortcut keys surrounding it for easier use. The automatic transmission continues to employ a console-mounted electronic shifter.
Seating for five is standard; an optional third-row seat raises capacity to seven. Other options include a power-adjustable steering column and ventilated seats. Interior features include:
- Standard automatic climate control
- Standard tilt/telescoping steering column; power adjustments optional
- iPod/USB adapter
- Available premium stereo
- Available wood trim
Under the Hood
The xDrive35i uses a turbocharged six-cylinder that makes 300 horsepower and 300 pounds-feet of torque. The xDrive50i has a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 that makes 400 hp and 450 pounds-feet of torque. Fitted with the eight-speed automatic transmission, the xDrive50i can hit 60 mph in just 5.3 seconds, BMW estimates.
The X5 xDrive35d uses a twin-turbo diesel six-cylinder with 265 hp and 425 pounds-feet of torque. Sixty mph comes in 6.9 seconds, BMW says; thanks to the higher efficiency of diesel fuel, EPA-estimated gas mileage tops the X5 range at 19/26 mpg city/highway. The xDrive35d uses a six-speed automatic. Mechanical features include:
- Standard all-wheel drive
- Brake Energy Regeneration system on gas models captures energy when braking or coasting
- Optional adaptive suspension
Standard safety features include:
- Side-impact airbags for the front seats
- Side curtain airbags
- Electronic stability system
- Four-wheel-disc antilock brakes
- Traction control
BMW's M performance division souped-up the X5 for 2010, and its drivetrain consists of a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 that makes 555 hp and 500 pounds-feet of torque and uses a six-speed automatic transmission. Zero to 60 mph comes in 4.5 seconds — quicker than many sports cars. As to be expected of a performance offshoot, the X5 M carries unique bumpers, aggressive side sills and highly bolstered sport seats.
For sharper handling, the X5 M's all-wheel drive gains BMW's Dynamic Performance Control system, which apportions extra power to the outside rear wheel during corners. The X6 is the only other BMW to include this system. Changes for 2012 include the addition of an automatic liftgate and an iPod/USB connector as standard equipment. Back to top
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