BMW’s X5 is a very successful fusion of the breed’s traditional sports and luxury attributes with generous wagon proportions and sufficient off-road proficiency for many recreational pursuits.
And its pre-eminence in its class means it could be just the ticket for those seeking a used luxury SUV.
The 3.0i six-cylinder petrol models joined the earlier released V8 model in March 2001, with the six-cylinder turbo-diesel 3.0d entering the ranks two years on. Both engines could be had with either a five-speed sequential shift auto or five-speed manual box.
Upgrades at the start of 2004 included an improved driveline featuring BMW’s torque-proportioning system x-Drive, a sixth gear ratio in both transmissions and more torque and power from the diesel.
The X5 lives up to luxury vehicle expectations with its lengthy standard equipment and safety features list, which grew even longer during upgrades in 2006. Indulgent options for X5 were plentiful too. X5 scores five stars in ANCAP crash ratings.
The petrol six-cylinder offers spirited performance, though the diesel with its fat torque figures is the deservedly popular pick delivering strong flexible performance and better fuel economy. Ride and handling are impressive on either bitumen or dirt roads. A comfortable, spacious interior makes it family-friendly.
Clearances, road-biased tyres and no low range limit off-road skills, but the X5 proves handy enough. Owner reports suggest X5, especially diesel versions, make decent towing vehicles too.
X5 is well built, but expect repairs when needed and servicing to be relatively expensive. Neglecting servicing is false economy, so look for proper servicing history, preferably performed by a dealer or specialist. Check the engine cooling system for leaks or other problems and the driveshaft CV boots for tears or grease leaks. Flaring or thumping on shifts or slow gear engagement could be harbingers of expensive auto repairs. Look for underbody damage from excursions off-road. An appetite for brake pads and discs is common.
Under the pump
X5 3.0-litre will use between 11.0 and 15.0 litres of premium unleaded or 8.0 and 12.0 litres of diesel every 100km, depending on model and driving conditions.
What will it cost?
For an indication of what you would pay for this vehicle please go to RACQ's online car price guide or contact our Motoring Advice Service on 07 3666 9148 or 1800 623 456 outside the Brisbane area.