BMW's X5 sport utility vehicle has three rows of seats available with room for seven occupants. All X5 models come with all-wheel drive (called xDrive), and the X5 is available in six-cylinder, eight-cylinder and diesel six-cylinder models, the latter added for 2009. BMW also will offer a new X5 M performance model with a new 555-hp V-8 this year. BMW's best-selling SUV, the X5 sits above the BMW X3 and X6 SUVs as far as size and carrying capability. The X5's primary competitors include the Acura MDX and Mercedes-Benz M-Class.
New for 2010
BMW tweaks the iDrive controller again in an effort to make it more user-friendly. HD radio is now standard, the available backup camera gains a top view feature and automatic high-beam headlights are a new option.
The X5's headlights and air dam have a lot of 3 Series styling cues; the hood lines recall the 5 Series.
- Adaptive xenon headlamps rotate several degrees during turns
- 18-inch wheels
- Available 19- and 20-inch rims
- Optional automatic high beams
- Roof rails for accepting racks
The cabin features a prominent dashboard deck that abruptly descends toward wood trim. A large information screen sits front and center; it's operated with BMW's iDrive system.
- Programmable buttons on the center control panel allow the driver to bypass iDrive for various functions
- Audio system with CD player and 12 speakers
- Auxiliary MP3 jack
- Available upgraded stereo
- Available heated seats for front and second row
- Available third-row seat expands seating capacity to seven; BMW says third-row accommodations are for those 5 feet 6 inches or shorter
- Folding second and third rows
Under the Hood
The automaker's 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine works in the X5 xDrive30i. In the X5 xDrive48i, a 4.8-liter V-8 makes 350 horsepower. The diesel engine in the xDrive35d makes 265 hp and a whopping 425 pounds-feet of torque. All engines work through a six-speed automatic transmission.
- 3.0-liter six-cylinder makes 260 hp and 225 pounds-feet of torque
- 4.8-liter V-8 makes 350 hp and 350 pounds-feet of torque
- 3.0-liter diesel six-cylinder makes 265 hp and 425 pounds-feet of torque
- xDrive all-wheel drive uses an electronic center coupling to shift torque between the front and rear wheels; under normal circumstances, 60 percent of power is sent rearward
- Available variable-ratio active steering system
- Available electronically controlled suspension, AdaptiveDrive coordinates electronic suspension damping and roll resistance for better cornering
- All-disc antilock brakes
- Electronic stability system with brake drying and brake-fade compensation
- Side curtain airbags for the first and second rows
- Front side-impact airbags
- Adaptive brake lights that illuminate across a wider area under heavy braking
- Standard run-flat tires