By on July 16, 2007

front1.jpgThe vast majority of today’s SUVs and CUVs share the same modus operandi. They’re good for a bus, bad for a car. They’re thirsty, overpriced, overweight and over here. Most now come complete with a market-mandatory third row that’s as about useful as a werewolf at Trader Vic’s. So when I read BMW’s characteristically modest tagline for their new X5 SUV CUV SAV on their official website– “Room for everything except improvement”– I considered myself an honorary Missourian. Ultimate driving machine on stilts? Show me.

The X5 is the very model of a major modern BMW that quotes the stance historical. It’s a tremendously busy design, festooned with strange shapes and littered with unexpected creases and lines. Despite die Bangle Boyz’ attempt to transform the Bimmer’s two-box SUV shape into something more exotic, the marginally longer, taller and wider X5 still looks like a two-box SUV tweaked to look like something exotic. The rear remains especially boxy, tilting its posterior upwards in a distinctly French sort of way. In sum, from twenty feet away, the X5 looks handsome enough.

interior1.jpgStepping inside the X5 is like stepping into a VIP suite at the Bellagio. BMW’s draped and slathered the cabin in thoroughly decadent materials. My tester’s buttery dark brown Tobacco leather (the X5 is built in the Carolinas, after all) is the business. The switches, buttons and mellifluous stereo are sybaritic enough to satiate Audi-ophiles. Trillion-direction adjustable seats flatter the high roller's heiny. There’s a backup camera, heads-up display, a nifty electronic gear-shift lever and enough mouse driven gadgets and alphabet soup safety systems to shame an Airbus. Who could ask for anything more?

Of course my tester weighed-in at $70k. So yeah, you’d better feel like freakin’ royalty inside. In the back, serfs up! Or is that Smurfs? BMW recommends restricting the third row to passengers shorter than 5’7”. Lop another couple inches off that estimation (not literally) and it’s so true it hurts. Still. 

fast.jpgThe X5 is a full-figured kinda gal, tipping the scales at 5300lbs. Faced with motivating one so heavy, BMW didn’t dick around. The BMW X5 4.8i packs some serious heat.  Its state-of-the-art V8 engine blasts-out 350hp @ 6300 rpm and 350 ft.-lbs. of torque @3400 rpm. The powerplant’s Valvetronic system works in conjunction with continuously variable valve lift control to eliminate the traditional throttle and help the engine breathe more easily. Double-VANOS then allows it to steplessly…

Snap the X5’s funky shift lever into manumatic, hold the six-speed autobox in first gear and mash the go-pedal. Two things happen. First, your backside notices how comfortable the seat is. Not for sitting. As a backstop. Second, the big bore V8 rips, snorts, and then rip-snorts down the road. At some point, the engine bellows and screams, filling the cabin with aural menace. The X5 4.8i sprints from rest to 60mph in the low six second range.

side.jpgYou know when they say, doh! I could ‘a had a V8? THIS is the V8 they’re talking about. Just like the old M5, BMW’s burbling bastard just begs to be beaten. To keep the universe in order, to fund the oil companies’ stockholders, you must oblige.   

It gets better. On sinewy woodland B-roads, I could easily keep pace with two BMW cabrios, a 650i and 335i. Cough. Yes, my X5 4.8i came equipped with the $3600 Sport Package, blessing it with 19” alloys, Active Roll Stabilization and Electronic Dampening Control. Anyone with an ounce of petrol in their veins will order their X5 this way. The package kept the beast in line as though it was a vehicle half its size, while BMW’s e-nannies let you moon Sir Isaac Newton and flip off gravity. 

loadsofrubber.jpgAgain, I don’t like SUVs. Unless I’m heading off-road or towing something heavy, I’d rather put my bike on a train and collect some carbon credits at the other end. As a jobbing auto journo, I have a hard time recommending any vehicle that gets 15/21 [yeah right] mpg. And now that BMW is rolling out an AWD 5-Series station wagon with the automaker’s magnificent turbo I6, it’s hard to make a case for BMW’s politically incorrect gas-guzzling locomotive-on-stilts.

But not impossible. Its own twisted way, the BMW X5 4.8i makes perfect sense. It’s got all the utility of the station wagon PLUS seating for you, four friends, and two employees from Willy Wonka’s factory. Inside, it’s Kubla Khan’s pleasure dome elevated for extra visibility, and that feeling of superiority no pavement scraper can deliver. The X5’s also got all-wheel drive for the snow. And then, then there’s that monster under the hood.

Yeah, that’s it: the engine. The V8’s the thing wherein BMW will capture the heart of a king. I guess they showed me.

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44 Comments on “X5 4.8i Review...”


  • avatar
    mastermik

    sweet review… shame they still dont let you use their press cars.

  • avatar
    JJ

    Whoa…

    I kind of remember a review of the 3.0 version on TTAC that makes this one suitable for “counterpoint” status.

    Still, I agree with this one a lot more. The 4.8 is nice but in Europe, the 3.0 twinturbo diesel is probably the better choice.

  • avatar
    210delray

    You got it with the emphasis on “twisted,” Its own twisted way, the BMW X5 4.8i makes perfect sense.

    All I can say is how long will this nonsense go on, as I fondly remember the days of “honest” SUVs? (You know, the ones you’d really take offroad back into the boonies without worrying about dents and scratches.) Luckily, the Wrangler still lives…

  • avatar
    NickR

    Beautiful interior, scintillating performance, and an exterior that is certainly no worse than it’s competitors. In a simpler time, when no one knew realized we were wrecking the planet, it would be a great vehicle even at $70k. But in today’s world, seeing these lumbering from Toronto’s posh ‘hoods to the posh shopping districts, all I can think is ‘what a goddam waste’. Sorry to strike a sour note on an excellent review.

  • avatar
    umterp85

    Hope the X5 Re-do brings better quality.

    My 2002 suffered from cracked interior wood, two seat heaters that failed, door locks that consistently froze during the winter, front axles that needed replacement, constant rattles from the rear liftgate, radio that needed replacement…just to name a few.

    On days it was not in the “BMW Center” (its a damn dealership for god sake)it looked good, steered and braked well. At least it didn’t strand me on the Pennsylvania Turnpike like my 2000 325 did. Net, I had a drink of the BMW kool-aid…it did not taste very good.

  • avatar
    jurisb

    bmw always associates with freak fashion. with french aesthetics of materials , and german sense of artisticness. what`s that? well, that`s son, what they call the round speakers everywhere around without a single line coinciding to any panels. that`s what they call the piece -of -art – kettle- lid on the steering wheel on x3. that`s what they call flat line jigsawed sawwood board panels with 3 grey blisters on 7 series. that`s what they call, son ,duck -tail misaligned trunk lid on 7 series.that`s what they call misaligned door handles inside on x3 or grab- wiener- handles in the same car.that`s son an art. an art of knocking american anthem by knee knuckles right on the glove -box in 3 series, by hitting star speckled banner right with your head in back seat roof arques like some giant in an arabesque covered mosque.the beauty of jigsawed flatfenders. and the swan song of the sweet diesel. the tractoresque saga of ancient instincts. yes, a track carving machine. sure, a range rover killer( the one that on discovery channel tests lifted up its black `paws` from asphalt in any substantial corner, yet not depriving brittons from idea, that it is a marvel-machine), sure fit and finisher- ( because anyway i couldn`t find 2 panels inside that could fit together, so no gap problems at all). is it a beauty? well, i won`t drink that much to call it a beauty. A progress? definitely.

  • avatar
    drifter

    The reviewer forgot mention the X5 is still slower than a Subaru Foreseter XT (sans flying vagina front-ent) which costs about 1/3.

  • avatar

    drifter:

    And he forgot to mention that it gets roughly the same mpg as the really rather slow Subaru Tribeca.

  • avatar
    phil

    i had a 2004 4.4 that i loved, for all the reasons so nicely penned here. other than a few electronic gremlins it was trouble free for 70+k miles.

    this review comes at a perfect time for me as i’m looking for a “utility” vehicle that is fun to drive. i looked hard at the 535 wagon but the oil temperature problem with the twin turbo has quelled that enthusiasm, and i need the vehicle to help transport my mom (83) and disabled brother (250 pounds) so entry/exit is a major concern. the wagon is awesome but it is down low and getting the brother up and out pretty much eliminates anything but an SUV (or whatever).

    i test drove the MDX yesterday, nice but steering is remote, the cabin has a tight feeling related to the “wrap around” dash styling, and frankly it just doesn’t have the beans to get the juices flowing.

    so the 4.8 looks like the vehicle for me but PLEASE comment on the ride quality. the press’ assessment has been all over the map, and the X5 3.0 review mentioned above was highly critical of the ride quality. Did you experiment with the ride mode settings (comfort/sport) and what was your assessment? PLEASE comment :o)

  • avatar
    umterp85

    RF: And he forgot to mention that it gets roughly the same mpg as the really rather slow Subaru Tribeca.

    Truly amazing considering the Subie is an SUV and the X5 is a SAV. What the hell is an SAV anyway? Guess we all need to go to our local “BMW Center” and ask.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    What’s with the mpg on the subies anyway? I always blamed it on the AWD system, but the Bimmer has AWD?

    I think under the latest category plan anything that is unibody is now a CUV, correct?

    The X5 left my radar when they made it bigger. I know that I am in the minority, but I liked that it was short. How much better could the handling have been without the extra weight they added to enlarge it for the third row seat. That’s what made the X5 special in my opinion, now its just the bimmer version of a CUV.

  • avatar
    jomatt

    Do you think we will see the new twin turbo from the 335 in a X5 anytime soon?

  • avatar
    Brock_Landers

    Strange that BMW does offer only 3.0d single turbo 235hp diesel in the new X5. Guess the twinturbo 286hp diesel would make the 4.8i option less attractive for high-end X5 buyers. What comes to 3.0TT petrol engine I think that in a large heavy SUV a large modern V8 petrol engine is more at home.

  • avatar
    jomatt

    I heard that the twin turbo mill might make its way into the x3 first

  • avatar
    ejacobs

    5300 LBS?! Sweet jesus, what a sow! HAHAHAHA!

  • avatar
    Justin Berkowitz

    ejacobs:
    5300 LBS?! Sweet jesus, what a sow! HAHAHAHA!
    Damn straight. It’s like the F-117 stealth plane; aerodynamically, there is no reason that thing should be flight worthy. But the constantly adapting and micro-correcting computer systems keep it in the air. Similarly…

  • avatar
    Bob Peters

    Nice review Justin.

    The specs on this don’t impress me enough to want to drop $70k on it…even if I had $70k. Predicted reliability doesn’t help it much either.

    Honestly though, if I wanted a sports car with a backpack I’d drop the third row and get an FX45. To my eyes, the FX design isn’t as gimmicky, and it’ll keep up with this while costing a Honda Civic Si less.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Well, this one ought to drop an iceberg or two.

    The best… for the best (screw the rest).

    Another non-sequitur: John Travolta is pretty impressed with the handling of his Boeing 707 too, which is why he has one in his driveway.

    Nice review, anyway — the TTAC crew makes reading (even about vehicles whose philosophy escapes me) FUN-damental.

  • avatar
    Seth

    Vehicle of choice for small cap CEOs or their wives…

  • avatar
    26theone

    Dont be so quick to write off the usefulness of a third row. Small kids cant sit in the front so a standard suv only has 3 seats in the back. Many people have 3 kids plus kids friends to tote around. The wagon doesnt have the third row.

    That said, I shopped the X5 but found the Volvo XC90 a better value. And I am a current e46 BMW owner. While the Volvo doesnt have the driving dynamics of the BMW the wife doesnt care and it costs 20K less than the BMW.

  • avatar
    Justin Berkowitz

    26theone:
    There’s no doubt that this BMW is obscenely expensive. A fully loaded XC90 sport with all options will still clock in at $15,000 less than the X5 I tested. The Volvo’s V8 is buttery smooth and responsive. But if you have sporting intentions (and many of our friends and loved ones DO NOT), the BMW’s V8 is not to be missed. It’s everything that’s good about cars.

  • avatar
    gakoenig

    What the hell is an SAV anyway?

    There is some merit behind the ‘Sport Activity Vehicle’ moniker; back when BMW introduced the X5, the core image presented by almost every other SUV maker was the rugged, outdoors, offroad look aped from Jeep. As everyone knows, only something like 1% of SUV drivers ever take their vehicles off of pavement. BMW made a very conscious decision to build the X5 as a vehicle with all of the utility of an SUV, but engineered to trade (unused) off-road ability with far superior on-road manners. To try and make this distinction clear, they called the X5 an “SAV” vice SUV because that is what halfway decent marketing people get paid to do- differentiate the product from everything else.

    I always find it ironic when reviews (like Top Gear) pan the X5 for not performing well offroad. BMW has always said the X5 was never designed to go on trails; rain? dirt roads? crappy roads? snow? Absolutely. Rock crawling? The Rubicon? Hell no!

  • avatar
    phil

    gakoenig’s point about the X5’s (and plenty of other so called soft roaders) not being intended for serious off road activity is right on, and Top Gear clearly had it in for the bimmer. However, the X drive system is very impressive in snow. i was scheduled to leave a hunting lodge in oregon and a major snow storm hit the night before. other guests at the lodge had arrived in a 1- forester 2- outback wagon, and 3- highlander (4wd) all rented from the portland airport. i had driven my then new 2004 4.4 X5 to the lodge. the road out was up a moderate slope about 15 feet from the level of the lodge itself. the lodge owners had 3/4 ton ford 4×4 trucks and they were able to make it up to the road in an effort to create somewhat of a path for the guests. the X5 climbed the slope without so much as a slip whereas the others barely made it 1/2 way up and ended up being towed by the ford truck up to the road. so for what it’s worth the X drive system proved itself that day.

  • avatar
    phil

    ejacobs:
    5300 LBS?! Sweet jesus, what a sow! HAHAHAHA!

    i would never dispute the importance of weight when it comes to vehicle performance, but it’s not the only factor. the maybach S62 weighs in at over 6300 pounds and few would liken it to a sow. superb engineering and a favorable power/weight ratio can make a vehicle very impressive in its performance. if you have the good fortune to get behind a fantastic V8, like the 4.8 or the AMG 6.3(2), and lay the pedal down i’ll bet the image of a sow does not come to mind; mad maxx maybe, but not a sow!

  • avatar
    Gottleib

    This BMW X5 appears to be a more refined vehicle than the Porsche Cayenne, at least it will appeal to a more sophisticated person of wealth when the weather is a bit rough to take the Bentley out.

  • avatar
    hal

    You can always spot the alpha Mom at gymboree – she’s the one with the X5.
    Loved the review

  • avatar
    Jim H

    Sweet car…glad I can’t afford it. :)

    P.S. My Legacy GT spec-B got 30mpg this last tank, 28.8 since my last oil change (3200 miles ago)…I’m still VERY impressed with the gas mileage in such a quick little car.

  • avatar
    Ryan

    After seeing something like this, I’m left with a feeling of despair, that BMW won’t try and build its own version of the R-class, or even toss a third row into the 5-series wagon (which, would probably be about as useful as the one in the X5). I don’t doubt it’s a capable vehicle, but it strikes me that there are just a few too many compromises dictated by the SAV designation.

  • avatar
    pb35

    I bought a Volvo XC90 Sport 2 weeks ago. Now after reading your review I am having buyers remorse.

    Oh wait, there’s no way I would/could pay 70k for a car. Maybe I would if I was loaded, like Elvis or something. Yeah, I would buy one and give it away, that’s it. The only way I would pay 70k for a BMW is if it was built in Munich, not SC. I’ve worked in that plant, it’s a far cry from the Fatherland.

  • avatar
    gakoenig

    I’m left with a feeling of despair, that BMW won’t try and build its own version of the R-class

    Why would BMW build a competitor to the R-class?

    They apparently cooked up some development mules to hedge their bets should the R-class have been a smashing success, only the R-class is sort of a laughing stock within the Mercedes lineup. I don’t know what sales figures (or expectations) for a the Benz mini-van are, but I’ve hardly seen one on the road here in Portland.

    The simple fact is that not many families with $45k to blow on a big car to haul the brood around in want to drive something with the stigma of an MPV. Never mind the fact that at 4850lbs for the base model, the R-class doesn’t exactly provide the fuel efficiency gains versus an SUV (the base X5 is 4950 for comparison- only 100 more pounds and an immeasurably higher amount of cool).

    One of the few times I have seen an R-class on the road, I was with a lawyer friend (female). When she saw it, her comment was simple- “Is that an f-ing minivan with a Mercedes badge?”

  • avatar
    Andy D

    Ive yet to see an X5 on Duxbury Beach. SAV= poser. My Grand Wagoneer is a sleek 4500lbs and when it breaks, I can fix it in my driveway.

  • avatar
    wsn

    # Robert Farago:
    July 16th, 2007 at 9:59 am
    And he forgot to mention that it gets roughly the same mpg as the really rather slow Subaru Tribeca.

    And you forgot to mention that the price difference can buy you more than 10,000 gallons of gasoline. Can supply you forever, if the money is invested well.

    BTW, I like its hood treatment. The dividing line is below the twin-flying-vagina, making them part of the hood, instead of crossing them (as with 3 series).

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    50 years from now, this car will be in an antique auto show, and people will stand and shake their heads and smile, much as I do when i see a loaded 50’s Packard. Kinda magnificant and cartooney at the same time.

    Nice to have something for the ladies at the club to bother their husbands about, in between tennis lessons and interviewing a new au pair.

  • avatar
    mastermik

    if autoblog et al. are to be believed, BMW is still developing said competitor to the R-class. It is to be called the V series if i’m not mistaken. Also, there’s rumors of an X6 in development, but I dont know exactly what that is going to be (form factor wise).

  • avatar
    ktm

    FX45. Same performance, better looks, much cheaper.

  • avatar
    213Cobra

    Phil says: …the maybach S62 weighs in at over 6300 pounds and few would liken it to a sow. superb engineering and a favorable power/weight ratio can make a vehicle very impressive in its performance. if you have the good fortune to get behind a fantastic V8, like the 4.8 or the AMG 6.3(2), and lay the pedal down i’ll bet the image of a sow does not come to mind; mad maxx maybe, but not a sow!

    Well, I’ll liken both to a sow. A pig is a pig is a pig, even if you scald it with a V8, 10 or 12. Getting these beasts moving requires mammoth power output that merely matches performance by “lesser” lighter vehicles. Power is easy, right? Power is within our grasp. But all the computational power necessary to disguise the bloated mass when changing direction does surprisingly well keeping the tires interfaced to the road, but the measured handling performance is marred by the sensory evidence of the struggle to manage the excess lard in motion. 5300 lbs. for a relatively cramped, tall station wagon hoisted up for ground clearance it will nearly never need is an absurd weight to end up with. No amount of leather, wood, speakers and doodads renders this silliness a luxury experience, unless of course that’s your idea of one.

    I’d be a lot more impressed by engineering innovation that yields a lighter, stronger, vehicle to start with, which requires a lighter lump in the engine bay, lighter mechanicals, and lighter brakes to deliver the same performance with considerably more correlation between measurement and dynamic feel. This current trend is a failure of imagination and creativity. The Germans have claimed the crown of excess bloat and ill-considered complication for the 21st Century.

    Phil

  • avatar
    LamborghiniZ

    GREAT review! Your subtle humor lends much to this review, and really puts into perspective the decrepit state of auto journalism (at least the printed sort, aka Car and Driver). Also I fully agree with your review, having luckily come in some contact with a 2007 BMW X5 4.8 as well.

    I truly did appreciate more than anything else in this review your RIDICULOUS alliteration. “BMW’s burbling bastard just begs to be beaten” In that excerpt from a sentence in the review, 6 OUT OF 8 words begin with the consonant “B” . Solid work dog.

  • avatar
    tsofting

    wsn:
    Good to hear I am not the only one preoccupied with cut lines. I dread the day I have to trade in my E39 (with the flying v.. part of the hood) with an E60, which has a nasty cut above the f.v. Same with the Volvo V70. Every time I see one of those, I am drawn to the cut above the grille, and I think oouch, they should have made the grille part of the hood!

  • avatar
    Larry P2

    I finally figured it out. This page is inhabited by a bunch of thwarted interior decoraters, obsessed with getting revenge.

  • avatar
    stuki

    Sorry to be late to the party.
    When evaluating a vehicle of some supposed cargo hauling utility, I think you should mention the ratio of interior volume to the volume of the smallest box the vehicle could fit inside. For ‘utility vehicles’, this is pretty much THE determinant of good engineering.
    And for vehicles with pretensions of sportiness, include a high speed, very steeply off camber turn with a big, ideally also off camber, bump right at the apex. That’s the kind of turn that, if encountered unexpectedly, tend to cause trouble when driving in a sporty manner. Bumpy 45 degree downhill braking zones can also be interesting…
    Keeping up with whatever on smooth, flat, road or track only takes sticky tires, horsepower and ever cheaper microchips.

  • avatar
    phil

    i leased a 4.8 loaded with options (72K msrp). i drove it less than 100 miles during which it developed no less than 6 problems. mostly electronic but the ventilation fans made such a racket that i wanted to turn them off, but couldn’t figure out how! I made the dealership take it back and unwind the lease (small miracle). I now have a new M45 in the garage.

  • avatar
    sadiemax

    I just took delivery of a 4.8i yesterday…every option except active steering and ventilated seats. I test drove the ML550 and the CayenneS, both impressive but a BMW is a BMW and this one rocks. As far as fuel consumption, I drive low miles. Comparing this vehicle to anything but a rangerover sport or cayenneS is apples and oranges.

  • avatar
    gsp

    I took delivery of an X5 3.0si about a month ago. About 1000 miles on it so far. Thoughts are as follows:

    – no problems with mechanicals so far, but have been driving it carefully during break in
    – fit and finish inside are impeccable – this is most of the way to a current gen 7 series
    – get the sport package which gives Adaptive Drive in the US (Canada gets screwed and has to order the $5k Dynamic Drive and is forced to take Active Steering for this option.) this SUV handles very, very well with this system
    – the iDrive drives critics mad – i like the system – the germans should leave the software to somebody else, but once you get used to it, the system works well… i have the USB option and don’t even bother with the ipod as a USB stick is much cheaper and you can buy a new one when the bigger ones come out
    – my blackberry cell phone works very well with the bluetooth system – sound quality is great, people don’t know they are on speakerphone at all – music fades when a call come in – talking with this system is a pleasure
    – the exterior fit and finish have some issues – generally my 323i from 1999 is better built on the outside – on the roof i noticed during my first waxing that there was some dark paint that ran about an inch from the sunroof area – pretty bad that this would be missed by BMW on a 60k car – the fuel filler door is not square, the front quarter panels are plastic, which is OK except they don’t follow either the hood OR the door very well – the aluminum hood is cool, but you must be very careful with it or you will bend it – hoods are made of two pieces, the underside piece is not even with the top one, so it looks OK when closed, but looks like poor manufatruing when looking at the underside
    – unlike other german products (and BMW in particular) the cup holders are great
    – the basic sound system sounds good – i am an audiophile and think that all car systems sound horrible so thus i skipped the audio upgrade – the sound is better than my 323i upgraded system that cost me $1000
    – the run flats haven’t bugged me so far – but i will probably put regular tires on after they are used up – X5 without third row seating gets a compact spare setup (the only model that BMW do this with) – speaking of the third row, at $1800 for the odd time that anybody would (or should) have used it, i will pay them for a taxi
    – the engine is a gem, like all BMW inline sixes – this one has a (another BMW first) part magnesium part aluminum block – it is the lightest inline six engine on the road – an argument can be made that it is a more advanced engine than the TT 3.0, which still has the older inline six block – this light engine (350 lbs!) up front means that this will handle better than the V8 or the diesel that is on the way (the diesel has a steel black as all diesels must – HOWEVER – if you are a speed demon, which i am not – this engine may disappoint

    Generally this is a great car. Some people have had issues with it off the lot, but CR still has it as a recommended car. The dynamics of this car are simply far better than the competition. Adaptive Drive does not have an equal with any other SUV on the road. This is a tank. It is very safe. My insurance premium dropped 10% from my 1999 323i which is only worth US$8k at this point. The agent stated that injury claims are very low with X5’s.

    One last point. Some people hate SUV’s. Generally I was of the same attitude. However, in the BMW and Mercedes lineup, the wagons cost more than the SUV’s and have less options. This was the deciding factor for me as I need the space, and I wanted (horrors!) a big safe car.

    I will update again after more experience with it.

  • avatar
    jstnspin82

    The new X5 is very appealing, has smooth lines, and great performance. The new facelift takes styling cues from the M5 and sort a screams get the hell out of my way. While many do not like the new looks of BMW I think they are modern yet timeless. I like the new looks and you can always rely on the engineering and performance because BMW are the experts. Although the off road capabilities are not up to par with some others I think BMW will master that aspect in time. They have always been at the top for there all wheel drive in sedans and that engineering will flow more into the X5 as time goes by. The X drive handles very well on and off road on rocky terrain and dirt roads. It’s just not a vehicle to climb the rocky mountains or ford huge rivers like a Land Rover but I don’t think is aimed at that segment and if it were, given BMW’s reputation it would be right up there with Land Rover. I am anxious to see where BMW takes there off road engineering with the X5 as well as the X6, especially with a need for alternative fuels and bio diesels which BMW is currently working on and have a Diesel out now for the X5 and 3 series for 2009.

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