2009 BMW X5
2009 BMW X5
2009 BMW X5
BMW X5, 2007–2013. Click image to enlarge

Review by Justin Pritchard

Vehicle Type: Crossover SUV

History/Description: The last-generation, American-built BMW X5 is officially out of production and the new-for-2014 model is landing on dealer lots – meaning the so-called E70 model, which hit the road initially in 2007, has transitioned fully into used-ute territory.

Competing with similar high-class, high-dollar machinery from Land Rover, Mercedes, Audi and Lexus, the X5 packed a world-class list of available feature content – including luxury SUV must-haves like premium audio, Bluetooth, navigation, power everything, a panoramic sunroof, wood trim, push-button start, xenon lights and more.

Full multimedia connectivity, the famous iDrive command console and even a heads-up display were also available or standard, depending on the model selected. Other nice touches included self-sealing doors, a power tailgate, and an M-Sport package which dialed handling agility up for owners not planning on extensive off-road use.

Look for the X5 with two or three rows of seating to accommodate up to seven occupants, and a wide range of engine options to suit a variety of needs. The brand’s xDrive AWD system was standard – though no low-range transfer case was available.

Engines / Trim: At launch, this generation X5 packed a 3.0L straight six or a 4.8L V8. Look for xDrive all-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic on all early models. Later models offered new powertrain hardware – namely in the form of a 3.0L straight-six turbocharged engine, a 4.4L turbocharged V8, and a new eight-speed automatic, all applied with the goal of delivering more power and lower fuel consumption.

A diesel-powered X5 xDrive35d model became available, too – boasting improved mileage and massive torque. Available horsepower on standard X5 models with the turbo V8 peaked at 400.

What Owners Like: Styling, exclusivity, all-season driving confidence and a sense of space and flexibility are all highly rated with this generation of X5. Handling and performance are also praised. Seat comfort and a solid feel round out the package, and many owners note pleasing performance from the xenon lighting system. A scan of notes from previous test-drives revealed that your writer was impressed with X5’s locked-on and stable handling feel in slippery conditions, the seamless traction-enhancing action of the xDrive system, and an upscale cabin that wasn’t overdone or excessively flashy and high-tech in appearance. I, and many owners, also observed very decent real-world fuel consumption figures.

What Owners Dislike: Common complaints centre on the lack of a spare tire, limited rear-seat legroom, poor quality from the standard audio system and the learning curve to the iDrive system. Some owners complain of a tall step-in height and awkward thickness to the X5’s floor, too. Rear-seat legroom is tight for full-sized adults, too.

BMW X5 Owner Reviews (trader.ca)

2009 BMW X52009 BMW X52009 BMW X5
BMW X5, 2007–2013. Click image to enlarge

Common Issues: Let’s start by clarifying that a large number of X5 owners have had positive ownership experiences and fully enjoyed all benefits of travelling by posh-ute. That said, a number of X5 owners have reported frustration, numerous issues, and even wound up leaving the brand because of their experience.

Let’s make sure you don’t become one of them.

Here’s a discussion, one of many online, in which X5 owners chat about their experiences.

First step? A BMW technician or service advisor should confirm that all software updates relating to the iDrive system and transmission have been applied to the model in question, and that no recall work is outstanding. Through the years, BMW released improved software that dealt with issues relating to the X5’s electronics. Since a computer controls virtually everything in this generation X5, shoppers are advised to check all on-board electronics extensively – testing all systems for proper operation.

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