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 version, which carries on as a 2012 model, and a high-performance X5 M. 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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A new M Performance Package brings more horsepower and torque to the X5. The xDrive35i gets a boost of 15 horsepower and 30 pounds-feet of torque while the xDrive50i gets an increase of 40 hp and 30 pounds-feet of torque. The package also includes black-chrome exhaust tips and stainless-steel pedals.
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 iDrive system, whose knob controller 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
The xDrive35i uses a turbocharged six-cylinder that makes 300 hp and 300 pounds-feet of torque (315 hp and 330 pounds-feet with the M Performance Package). The xDrive50i has a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 that makes 400 hp and 450 pounds-feet of torque (440 hp and 480 pounds-feet optionally). Both engines team with an eight-speed automatic transmission, and the xDrive50i can hit 60 mph in 5.3 seconds, according to BMW.
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 fuel economy 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
The high-performance X5 M is powered by a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 engine 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 system gains BMW’s Dynamic Performance Control, which apportions extra power to the outside rear wheel during corners. The X6 is the only other BMW to include this system. Changes for 2013 include the addition of blue-painted M brake calipers, M multifunction seats and optional full-LED headlights. Back to top