BMW - X5 (2008)By admin • Oct 26th, 2008 • Category: Car Reviews
Now in its second generation, the BMW X5 mixes chunky SUV looks with sharp on road handling. It’s pricey when compared to rivals, but its mix of desirability, build quality and driving dynamics still make it a showroom favourite.
BMW claims that the X5 is a Sports Activity – rather than Utility – Vehicle. This highlights the fact that the German company is targeting the lifestyle market, rather than buyers of hardcore off-roaders. However, the car gets trademark SUV design cues, giving it an imposing road presence. An optional M Sport kit is available and adds bigger wheels, a bodykit and stiffened sports suspension.
Not only is the X5 BMW’s first seven-seater, but also boasts the firm’s largest luggage capacity – 1,750 litres with the rear bench folded flat. While it’s roomier than the old car, it’s still no match for rivals such as the Land Rover Discovery. Furthermore, the optional third row of seats is expensive and offers cramped accommodation. Thankfully, the rest of the cabin is spacious and solidly screwed together.
Just three engines are available – two petrol and one diesel. The 3.0-litre oil-burner is available with either 232bhp or 282bhp, with the latter able to sprint from zero to 60mph in just 7 seconds. Petrol fans can choose the 3.0-litre straight six or thirsty 4.8-litre V8 motors.
The powerful and heavyweight BMW is surprisingly agile in the bends. Permanent four-wheel drive gives excellent traction, while strong brakes provide powerful and fade-free stopping. Keen drivers can specify the even stiffer M Sport suspension, although ride comfort suffers. Wide, low profile tyres and road biased chassis set-up means the X5 has limited off-road ability
The X5 is expensive to buy and run. However, strong residuals take the sting out of the high purchase price. You can expect the 3.0-litre diesel to retain around 55 per cent of its value after three years. The oil burner is also the least thirsty, returning 28.9mpg in our hands. Servicing costs are expensive on all models. Even with BMW’s Service Inclusive scheme you can expect to pay around 10 times more for regular maintenance than the owner of a 1-Series.
You’ll find all the safety kit you’d expect from a premium off-roader is fitted to the X5. Airbags front and side for the driver and passenger, ABS brakes, Dynamic Stability Control, Hill Descent Control, Dynamic Brake Control and Cornering Brake Control all feature. Its hi-tech electronics even automatically stabilise trailers if they begin to sway! The heads up display is useful but pricey, but the adaptive headlights are well worth the extra outlay.
Our Choice: X5 3.0sd SE