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2002 BMW X5
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Sport Utility
5 Seats
15-17 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
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2002 BMW X5 Review

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
BMW joined the luxury SUV ranks in the 2000 model year with the X5, a car-based sport utility vehicle created to challenge the Infiniti QX4, Lexus RX 300 and Mercedes-Benz M-Class. Equipped with permanently engaged four-wheel drive, the X5 is suitable for “any road, any time, any reason,” says BMW, but it isn’t really intended for use as a true offroad vehicle. Instead, BMW calls the X5 a “sports activity vehicle.” The stylish and sporty SUV is produced at BMW’s plant in Spartanburg, S.C., alongside the Z3 sports car.

Initially, the X5 came only with a 4.4-liter V-8 engine. A lower-priced six-cylinder model, dubbed X5 3.0i, came later, which carried a 225-hp 3.0-liter engine. Although the unibody X5 is built on a passenger-car platform, BMW says the chassis is unique to this vehicle. The automaker promises the driving dynamics of a car with the X5, coupled with four-wheel-drive security.

In December 2001, BMW added a high-performance X5 4.6is version with a 347-horsepower engine — said to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in less than 6.5 seconds. BMW’s Aero Package, a sport interior and 20-inch wheels are included. For 2002, the regular 4.4-liter V-8 gets a boost to 290 hp.

Exterior
More than most SUVs, the X5 exhibits an eye-catching shape. Just a glance at the X5’s front end reveals that it’s a BMW, with classic styling highlighted by the familiar twin kidney-shape grilles. At 184 inches long overall, the X5 is a few inches longer than the Lexus RX 300 or Merce...

Vehicle Overview
BMW joined the luxury SUV ranks in the 2000 model year with the X5, a car-based sport utility vehicle created to challenge the Infiniti QX4, Lexus RX 300 and Mercedes-Benz M-Class. Equipped with permanently engaged four-wheel drive, the X5 is suitable for “any road, any time, any reason,” says BMW, but it isn’t really intended for use as a true offroad vehicle. Instead, BMW calls the X5 a “sports activity vehicle.” The stylish and sporty SUV is produced at BMW’s plant in Spartanburg, S.C., alongside the Z3 sports car.

Initially, the X5 came only with a 4.4-liter V-8 engine. A lower-priced six-cylinder model, dubbed X5 3.0i, came later, which carried a 225-hp 3.0-liter engine. Although the unibody X5 is built on a passenger-car platform, BMW says the chassis is unique to this vehicle. The automaker promises the driving dynamics of a car with the X5, coupled with four-wheel-drive security.

In December 2001, BMW added a high-performance X5 4.6is version with a 347-horsepower engine — said to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in less than 6.5 seconds. BMW’s Aero Package, a sport interior and 20-inch wheels are included. For 2002, the regular 4.4-liter V-8 gets a boost to 290 hp.

Exterior
More than most SUVs, the X5 exhibits an eye-catching shape. Just a glance at the X5’s front end reveals that it’s a BMW, with classic styling highlighted by the familiar twin kidney-shape grilles. At 184 inches long overall, the X5 is a few inches longer than the Lexus RX 300 or Mercedes-Benz M-Class. The four-door SUV has a two-way tailgate with a top portion that swings up and a lower section that swings down.

An optional load-floor extension slides out on tracks that are built into the cargo floor. The six-cylinder version comes with 17-inch tires, while the V-8 model sports 18-inchers. A Sport Package in the V-8 features 19-inch high-performance tires and a firmer suspension.

Interior
Seating is available for five occupants, with a high position for the driver and a 60/40-split, folding seat in the rear. Standard X5 amenities include a leather-trimmed interior, heated front seats and familiar red instrument-panel lighting in a carlike dashboard. Options include an in-dash CD player, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, a moonroof and BMW’s navigation system.

Under the Hood
The new X5 4.6is packs a 347-hp, 4.6-liter V-8 engine, while the X5 4.4i carries a 4.4-liter V-8 that now develops 290 hp — an increase of 8 hp. The X5 3.0i uses a 225-hp, 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder engine. Six-cylinder vehicles may have either a five-speed-manual or five-speed-automatic transmission, while the V-8 teams only with the automatic gearbox. Permanently engaged four-wheel drive automatically apportions power among the four wheels, and Hill Descent Control maintains a constant speed and grip while going down steep grades. Antilock brakes, side-impact airbags and curtain-type airbags are standard.

Driving Impressions
Like BMW’s coupes, sedans and wagons, the X5 excels in handling skills. Steering is tight and precise and produces an appetizing level of control and confidence. As for performance — particularly with the V-8 engine — the X5 can accelerate almost like a muscle car rather than an SUV.

Shoppers who are seeking a comfortable ride may want to think twice about the Sport Package, which should be tried on a variety of road surfaces. Although the Sport X5’s ride is tolerable on smooth pavement, just a few imperfections yield a jarring experience.

The X5 4.6is model may be a tad too powerful, but many performance-minded owners may consider such a statement to be a virtual sacrilege. Acceleration ranks close to startling. Push hard on the gas pedal either at a standstill or while cruising, and this SUV literally leaps ahead. Automatic-transmission shifts are noticeable, crisp and quick. Some engine roar is evident when starting off, but it is satisfying.

Despite extremely low-profile Michelin tires, the X5 4.6is rides nicely on smooth roads. The seats are very supportive and appealing for a long journey.

 

Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com;
From the cars.com 2002 Buying Guide;
Posted on 4/10/02

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.3
36 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.7)
Performance
(4.5)
Interior Design
(4.7)
Comfort
(4.7)
Reliability
(3.9)
Value For The Money
(4.0)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

Great SUV

by Ok from Malibu, CA on January 1, 2019

The X5 is such a really great car or SUV. It is roomy. It drives well. It is a very large and comfortable SUV. D Read full review

(4.0)

I love this car

by twig from Minnesota on July 3, 2018

Havent had it for long but another dream car its big and fun and comfortable has a sun roof and handles the road im going to miss it Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2002 BMW X5 currently has 3 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2002 BMW X5 has not been tested.

Latest 2002 X5 Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The X5 received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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