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Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
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Reviews
Safety & Recalls
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Key Specs

of the 2011 BMW X5. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Performance potential
  • Fuel efficiency of xDrive35d
  • Upscale cabin materials
  • Much improved iDrive system

The Bad

  • Reliability
  • Small cargo area
  • Gets pricey with options

Notable Features of the 2011 BMW X5

  • New turbocharged six-cylinder or twin-turbo V-8
  • Turbodiesel six-cylinder (xDrive35d)
  • New eight-speed automatic (xDrive35i, xDrive50i)
  • Mild styling updates
  • Standard AWD
  • Available 555-hp X5 M

2011 BMW X5 Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview
For 2011, BMW's all-wheel-drive X5 crossover sports revised styling and more streamlined trim levels. It also adopts the turbocharged six-cylinder and V-8 engines seen in models from the 3 Series to the X6. Both pack more power than last year's normally aspirated engines. X5 competitors include the Audi Q7, Mercedes-Benz M- and GL-Class and Acura MDX.

The X5 comes in xDrive35i and xDrive50i trims, both with new engines. The diesel-powered xDrive35d and high-performance X5 M, meanwhile, carry the same drivetrains as last year.

(Skip to details on the: X5 M)


Exterior
BMW says the 2011 X5 has more than 4,000 new parts versus the 2010 model; comparatively few of them, however, adorn the exterior. Styling changes are fairly light: The standard fog lights have been moved inboard, and the grille and tail carry more body-colored elements. Like before, the headlights include BMW's illuminated rings for daytime running lamps.

Changes to the rear include a reshaped lower bumper and revised tailpipes. Eighteen-inch alloy wheels are standard, with 19-inchers optional. An M Sport Package adds more aggressive bodywork and 20-inch wheels.


Interior
The X5's interior continues mostly unchanged. The dash 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 usage. The automatic tran...
Vehicle Overview
For 2011, BMW's all-wheel-drive X5 crossover sports revised styling and more streamlined trim levels. It also adopts the turbocharged six-cylinder and V-8 engines seen in models from the 3 Series to the X6. Both pack more power than last year's normally aspirated engines. X5 competitors include the Audi Q7, Mercedes-Benz M- and GL-Class and Acura MDX.

The X5 comes in xDrive35i and xDrive50i trims, both with new engines. The diesel-powered xDrive35d and high-performance X5 M, meanwhile, carry the same drivetrains as last year.

(Skip to details on the: X5 M)


Exterior
BMW says the 2011 X5 has more than 4,000 new parts versus the 2010 model; comparatively few of them, however, adorn the exterior. Styling changes are fairly light: The standard fog lights have been moved inboard, and the grille and tail carry more body-colored elements. Like before, the headlights include BMW's illuminated rings for daytime running lamps.

Changes to the rear include a reshaped lower bumper and revised tailpipes. Eighteen-inch alloy wheels are standard, with 19-inchers optional. An M Sport Package adds more aggressive bodywork and 20-inch wheels.


Interior
The X5's interior continues mostly unchanged. The dash 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 usage. 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 panoramic moonroof, power-adjustable steering column, USB/iPod connectivity, and heated and ventilated seats.


Under the Hood
The xDrive35i uses a new turbocharged six-cylinder that makes 300 hp and 300 pounds-feet of torque — up 40 hp and 75 pounds-feet of torque over last year's normally aspirated X5 xDrive30i. With a new eight-speed automatic transmission, BMW says 60 mph for the xDrive35i comes in 6.4 seconds.

That's how long it took last year's 350-hp, V-8 xDrive48i to reach the mark. Its replacement, the xDrive50i, has a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 that makes 400 hp and 450 pounds-feet of torque. Fitted with an eight-speed automatic, the xDrive50i can hit 60 mph in just 5.3 seconds, BMW estimates.

Both models employ a new Brake Energy Regeneration system, so under most conditions, the X5's battery recharges only during braking or coasting. Overall, the system can save 1 percent to 2 percent on fuel consumption, the automaker says.

The X5 xDrive35d carries over with the same drivetrain: 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 gas mileage tops the X5 range at 19/26 mpg city/highway. The xDrive35d uses a six-speed automatic.

All-wheel drive is standard on all models.


Safety
Safety features include dual front-impact, seat-mounted side-impact and two-row side curtain airbags. Three-row curtain airbags come on models with the optional third-row seat. Antilock brakes, traction control and an electronic stability system are also standard.

X5 M
BMW's M performance division souped-up the X5 for 2010, and its drivetrain carries over for 2011 unchanged. It's powered by 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. Back to top



Latest 2011 X5 Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.7)
Performance
(4.4)
Interior Design
(4.4)
Comfort
(4.4)
Reliability
(3.8)
Value For The Money
(3.9)

What Drivers Are Saying

(2.0)

Diesel Emission Controls make the car worthless

by Lemon Owner from Wilmington, Delaware on October 17, 2018

Avoid the diesel version of the X5. Germans have not figured out emissions controls to meet US specs. Car has had 5 major overhauls of the emissions control system, plus one recall. Each time spending ... Read full review

(4.0)

My dream car

by Carbas from CA on October 12, 2018

This is one of the best car I ever own, its completely satisfied my expectation with amazing performance, design, driving pleasure. It has a lot of necessary options which makes your experience and ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2011 BMW X5 currently has 11 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2011 BMW X5 has not been tested.

Manufacturer Warranties

Backed by BMW
New Car Program Benefits
  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    48 months / unlimited distance

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits
  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    Certified Pre-Owned Elite with less than 15,000 miles; Certified Pre-Owned with less than 60,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    1 year/unlimited miles from expiration of 4-year/50,000-mile new car warranty

  • Powertrain warranty

    N/A

  • Dealer Certification Required

    196-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All Program Details

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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