Pros Superb luxury 4x4 with some of the best on road handling in this sector. Terrific engine, performance and specification. Ultra reliable. Latest models redefine 4x4s for a new generation.
Cons Not that great off road capabilities. Older models have limited storage space and poor energy consumption.
The BMW X5 is a mid-size luxury crossover SUV sold by BMW since 1999. It features all wheel drive and straight-6 and V8 engines and up 3.0 L diesel engines. BMW scored a hit with the X5 when they took over British firm Rover and were able to combine their luxury sport performance excellence with Rovers know how in off road 4x4 markets. In contrast to the Range Rover models, the X5 was made as a luxury sport tourer with 4x4 off-road capabilities. In fact, It was the first SUV-type vehicle to offer a genuinely powerful sport car drive. BMW coined the phrase Sports Activity Vehicle to emphasise its difference to other 4x4s on the market and the X5 has sold sufficiently well to justify the approach. In 2003, both Top Gear and WHICH? magazine published surveys showing X5 customers were more likely to recommend their car to a friend than any other model on the market.
Winner of the Top Gear Best 4X4 of the year in 2005, the BMW X5 has proved a huge global hit since it was launched with more than 580,000 sold. In the UK its sales reached record levels each year. In 2001, the cars first full year, BMW UK sold 5,650. In 2005 a record 10,808 X5s reached customers in the UK. The year-on-year record sales since its launch in the UK are evidence of its appeal to customers.
The BMW X5 defined a new segment of the car market when launched and each successive model has developed the credibility of the X5 brand. Seven years after its 1999 Frankfurt Motor Show debut BMW has launched a new BMW X5. The BMW X5 3.0sd is the worlds first SAV to be offered with Head-up Display and an active suspension system - BMWs Adaptive Drive package. It is the first SAV that can be specified with Active Steering for increased maneuverability and the first to be shod with Run-flat tyres for added safety. It is also the first BMW to offer a third row of seats for added practicality. As well as all of that drivers receive more power, lower emissions, better fuel consumption, all-new six-speed automatic gearbox. The M Sport specification is also available across the range incorporating the worlds most powerful production six-cylinder diesel engine. Six-cylinder diesel power plant twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre diesel engine, in fact. The 2007 BMW X5 3.0sd provides the driver with 286hp and a flat torque curve with a peak of 580Nm from a low 1,750rpm to ensure rapid performance. The X5 3.0sd is capable of accelerating from zero to 62mph in 7.0 seconds before going on to a top speed of 146mph.
2007 BMW X5 3.0sd SE, BMW X5 3.0sd M Sport
The drivetrain in the BMW X5 3.0sd is unique in its market as it utilises two differently sized turbochargers operating in sequential stages depending on driver inputs. The key to the engines smooth power delivery is, despite the mechanics of two turbochargers providing variable power, that they deliver consistent 2.85bar pressure to the intercooler at all times. One smaller turbocharger provides near instantaneous power at low engine speeds while a larger turbocharger provides mid to top end. The boost of both turbochargers is regulated by an ECU and three control valves. The arrangement ensures optimum performance delivery from just above idle speed through to the red line zone and ensures impressive performance figures and an absence of turbo lag.
Power in the X5 3.0sd is transmitted to the road via a standard six-speed automatic gearbox and BMWs renowned xDrive four-wheel-drive system. Complementing xDrive technology is the use of Dynamic Stability Control + including Dynamic Traction Control. DSC+ is the most advanced stability control system currently available on a production car and comes with four additional features above and beyond the original DSC system. DSC+ adds Hill-start assistant, Brake pre-tensioning, Brake fade compensation and Brake drying. Dynamic Traction Control, when engaged, allows for a degree of wheel slip to permit forward motion on slippery surfaces such as ice and snow. It also allows the keener driver to revel in the handling characteristics of the X5 without the DSC+ interrupting the flow unless the situation becomes critical.
Diesel power accounts for more than 90 per cent of X5 sales in the UK and the new X5 3.0sd is being introduced to satisfy the wishes of some existing X5 owners who asked for an even greater level of performance. To cope with this the X5 3.0sd features updated brakes compared to a standard 3.0d and comes fitted with thicker and larger diameter disc brakes for greater retardation. For a subtle and discreet visual differentiation between the two diesel X5 models the 3.0sd also has a chrome kidney grille with titanium vertical slats.
The announcement of the X5 3.0sd coincides with the news that the M Sport trim level is now available on the rest of the BMW X5 range. Launched initially on the 4.8-litre car only, M Sport allows customers to further personalise their vehicle. Standard M Sport equipment includes
A choice of three units was offered, a 2,993cc six-cylinder diesel, a 2,996cc six-cylinder or a 4,799cc V8 engine.
The BMW X5 3.0d uses an engine with high-precision piezo crystal injection technology for improved economy and emission figures compared to earlier models. While the new X5 was more economical it still comes with increased power. An advanced engine powers the BMW X5 3.0d from zero to 62mph in 8.3 seconds before going on to a top speed of 134 mph.
Based on the worlds lightest production
six-cylinder petrol engine, the BMW X5 3.0si comes equipped with BMWs patented
Double VANOS and VALVETRONIC variable valve technologies for high performance,
yet economical, motoring.
Representing the flagship of the range, the BMW X5 4.8i with its 355hp engine was faster from 0 to 62mph and a higher top speed than the supercharged Range Rover Sport or a Mercedes Benz ML500 Sport of the time. The 4,799cc V8 powers the car to 62mph in just 6.5 seconds before going on to a top speed of 150mph
2004s high performance X5 4.8is offered a range of product enhancements across the X5 model line up. These additions supplemented the new styling, engines, gearboxes and xDrive, BMWs new four-wheel drive system, that were introduced in December 2003.
The X5 4.8is was launched to add spark to BMWs successful entry into the SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle) market. Following on from record UK sales of over 8,500 units in 2003, with its combination of V8 performance, practicality and road holding, the X5 4.8is aimed at improving customer satisfaction further.
High performance with the new X5 4.8 is powered by a 4.8-litre V8 engine developing 360 bhp at 6,200 rpm and 500 Nm of torque at 3,600 rpm. This engine is derived from the superb engine already fitted in the BMW X5 4.4i, BMW 545i SE, BMW 645Ci and BMW 745i models. Mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox as standard, this model powers from 0 to 62 mph in 6.1 secs and with a max speed of 153 mph. Fuel consumption is only 20.9mpg on the combined cycle, however.