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Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
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Key Specs

of the 2006 BMW X5. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Crash-test ratings
  • Handling
  • Performance
  • Braking
  • Above-average towing capacity
  • Unobtrusive stability system
  • Space efficiency

The Bad

  • Fuel economy and emissions
  • Backward sequential shifting
  • CD changer in cargo area
  • Difficult navigation system
  • Only summer tires on 4.8is
  • Rocker panel can soil pant leg

Notable Features of the 2006 BMW X5

  • Standard AWD
  • Standard stability system
  • Manual transmission (3.0i)
  • Three engine choices
  • Variable ride height available

2006 BMW X5 Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview
BMW joined the luxury sport utility vehicle ranks in the 2000 model year with its car-based X5, challenging midsize SUVs from Infiniti, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz. Even though it had permanently engaged all-wheel drive, the SUV wasn't really intended for off-roading. BMW calls the X5 a sports activity vehicle.

The American-built X5 initially came with only a 4.4-liter V-8, but a lower-priced six-cylinder model — dubbed X5 3.0i — arrived later. The company also added a high-performance 4.6is, which was upgraded to a 4.8is starting with the 2004 model year.

The 4.8is has a 355-horsepower, 4.8-liter V-8. Some previously optional items became standard in 2005. Automatic climate control became standard in the 3.0i, and the 4.4i added front and rear obstacle detection. Xenon headlights, which are standard with V-8 power, are linked to the steering mechanism.

An onboard computer — formerly part of the Premium Package — is standard in 2006 models. Instrument dials feature chrome rings in the Sport Package.


Exterior
The X5 exhibits a more distinctive, eye-catching shape than most SUVs, but the front end is strictly BMW with its twin kidney-shaped grille. At nearly 184 inches long overall, the X5 is 5 inches shorter than the 2006 Mercedes-Benz M-Class. The two-way tailgate has a top portion that swings up and a swing-down lower section.

An optional load-floor extension slides out on tracks. The six-cylinder 3.0i model comes with 17-inch tires, the 4...
Vehicle Overview
BMW joined the luxury sport utility vehicle ranks in the 2000 model year with its car-based X5, challenging midsize SUVs from Infiniti, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz. Even though it had permanently engaged all-wheel drive, the SUV wasn't really intended for off-roading. BMW calls the X5 a sports activity vehicle.

The American-built X5 initially came with only a 4.4-liter V-8, but a lower-priced six-cylinder model — dubbed X5 3.0i — arrived later. The company also added a high-performance 4.6is, which was upgraded to a 4.8is starting with the 2004 model year.

The 4.8is has a 355-horsepower, 4.8-liter V-8. Some previously optional items became standard in 2005. Automatic climate control became standard in the 3.0i, and the 4.4i added front and rear obstacle detection. Xenon headlights, which are standard with V-8 power, are linked to the steering mechanism.

An onboard computer — formerly part of the Premium Package — is standard in 2006 models. Instrument dials feature chrome rings in the Sport Package.


Exterior
The X5 exhibits a more distinctive, eye-catching shape than most SUVs, but the front end is strictly BMW with its twin kidney-shaped grille. At nearly 184 inches long overall, the X5 is 5 inches shorter than the 2006 Mercedes-Benz M-Class. The two-way tailgate has a top portion that swings up and a swing-down lower section.

An optional load-floor extension slides out on tracks. The six-cylinder 3.0i model comes with 17-inch tires, the 4.4i gets 18-inch tires, and the 4.8is rolls on 20-inch rubber. A Sport Package is available for the 3.0i and 4.4i and features high-performance tires and a firmer suspension. Automatic rear leveling is standard on V-8 models. An adjustable ride-height suspension is available.


Interior
Seating for five people features a high position for the driver and a 60/40-split, folding rear seat. The driver faces a familiar red-lit BMW dashboard. Leather upholstery is standard in the 4.4i and 4.8is. Options include heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, a moonroof and a DVD-based navigation system.

Under the Hood
The X5 3.0i uses a 225-hp, 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder, while the higher trim levels use V-8s: a 315-hp 4.4-liter version in the 4.4i and a 355-hp 4.8-liter in the 4.8is. Either a six-speed-manual or a five-speed-automatic transmission can be installed in the 3.0i, but the 4.4i and 4.8is come only with a six-speed automatic. Permanently engaged all-wheel drive automatically apportions power among the four wheels. Hill Descent Control maintains constant speed and grip on steep downgrades.

Safety
Antilock brakes, stability control, side curtain-type airbags and side-impact airbags for the front seats are standard. Side-impact airbags for the rear seats are optional.

Driving Impressions
Like BMW's coupes, sedans and wagons, the X5 excels in handling skills. Its steering is tight and precise, producing an appetizing level of control and confidence. Performance is impressive, especially with the V-8, which delivers acceleration almost like a muscle car. The six-cylinder engine is energetic enough to satisfy most drivers. Automatic-transmission shifts are positive but curt.

Shoppers who are seeking a comfortable ride may want to think twice about the Sport Package, which should be tested on a variety of road surfaces.



Latest 2006 X5 Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.7)
Performance
(4.8)
Interior Design
(4.7)
Comfort
(4.6)
Reliability
(4.5)
Value For The Money
(4.6)

What Drivers Are Saying

(4.0)

2006 BMW X5 3.0I

by FirstBeamer from Surprise, AZ on August 12, 2018

This car gives me the room I need to haul my growing family, decent gas mileage for an SUV while also being fun to drive. The 3 liter Inline 6 cylinder won't break any land speed records but it's got ... Read full review

(5.0)

Great SUV

by mohamedfoxi from Newark, NJ on July 29, 2018

BMW is a great brand in general, but I love the X5 specifically. Comfortable, safe, and luxurious. Great for long road trips and even just around town. Dependable! Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2006 BMW X5 currently has 2 recalls

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2006 BMW X5 3.0i

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Head Restraints and Seats

Overall Rear
poor
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
marginal

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
good
Structure/safety cage
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

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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