Junkyard Find: 2002 BMW X5 4.4i

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 2002 bmw x5 4 4i
Now that I’ve been doing these Junkyard Finds for 13 years and having just written my annual 10 Best Junkyard Cars post, I’m taking a look back to see what historically significant vehicles I’ve neglected as I pursue weird examples of badge engineering and trivia– question AWD versions. I’ve been working on filling in the blanks with junked BMW 3 and 5 Series cars lately, along with 21st– century econoboxes, and now I will be trying to shoot more German luxury SUVs.We’ll start off with this clean-looking ’02 X5, which I found in a yard just south of Denver.
After the runaway success of the Ford Explorer, followed during the 1990s by ever-larger trucks and truck-influenced vehicles to be used as suburban commute appliances, the facts became clear to the European car manufacturers: build SUVs or watch your sales in North America go to hell. So, the E39 5 Series got a thousand-pound hat and a bunch of Land Rover hardware, and the first X5s showed up in showrooms for the 2000 model year.
It was tall, it was comfortable, it was American-built, it drove more like a car than a truck, and the interior boasted plenty of soft bovine flesh. X5 sales went well.
This one is the 4.4i version, with 282-horsepower M62 V8 engine. With a curb weight of 4,960 pounds, every one of those horses helped.
Unlike its 5 Series sibling/cousin, the V8 X5 had no manual-transmission option in 2002. Instead, you got a six-speed automatic.
The base price of this high-tech machine came to $59,695, or about $86,600 in 2020 dollars. You’d think that such a high-zoot vehicle would get white-glove care and last for decades, but many third-through-ninth owners of costly European cars don’t keep up with maintenance, and the junkyard gets a phone call when a $1,200 repair becomes necessary. That’s why I see so many not-so-old A8s and 7-Series and S-Classes and Jaguars in the graveyard.
I’m going to guess that the towing package was an uncommon option on the first-gen X5.
Dedicated storage for audio CDs seems so old-fashioned now.
Just the thing to drive to the ski resort.
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2 of 27 comments
  • Cprescott Cprescott on Jan 21, 2020

    The only time I wonder about what people drive are those tailgating fools in Honduhs and Toyoduhs (most consistent idiots who tailgate in the SLOW lane). I have wondered are you an idiot for buying a Duh sister car or does owning one make you into an idiot? Regardless, I set the cruise control in the slow lane and let the idiots stew in their own stupidity/

  • Fleuger99 Fleuger99 on Jan 29, 2020

    I ordered a 2002 X5 but the 3.0 litre six cylinder model and I ordered it with a 5 speed manual. It drove like a sports car, I could throw it into corners downshifting and then pushing it out getting on the gas. I owned it for 6 years before selling it but loved that vehicle. I remember in 2002 when I got it, it cost me less than $20 to fill it up, the good old days :)

  • MRF 95 T-Bird I bet it has some electrical gremlins as well. Nonetheless it might make an interesting El Camino pickup truck conversation with one of those kits.
  • GrumpyOldMan "A manual transmission is offered, as is a single-clutch auto. "What is a single clutch auto?
  • ToolGuy It is raining super-hard outside right now.
  • Analoggrotto It's getting awful hard to tell these Mercedes apart from one another.
  • Analoggrotto Ah the Fisher Price car for the uncoolest of uncool dad-bods.