• Feb 6, 2010
2011 BMW X5 - Click above for high-res image gallery

The original BMW X5 marked Bimmer's first entry into the then-burgeoning SUV segment, and it remains a strong seller for the company, trailing only the 3 and 5 Series. The time has now rolled around for the X5's mid-cycle refresh, which brings two new gas engines and some mild visual updates. The lower front fascia has been reshaped with the larger outboard air intakes inspired by the X5 M. Similarly, the rear bumper is re-sculpted and both ends get more of their bodywork painted the car's main color instead of black.

The more important changes are underhood, however, where both gasoline engines have been replaced. The base engine for the xDrive35i is now the same single turbo, 300-horsepower N55 3.0-liter inline-six finding its way into most other 2011 BMWs. Similarly, the xDrive50i gets the sweet 400-horse twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 found in the X6, 7 and 5 Series Gran Turismo. Both gas engines are paired with the new eight-speed automatic also making its way to other BMW models. The gas versions also adopt brake energy regeneration to reduce parasitic losses.

The diesel-powered xDrive35d, which only debuted just a year ago but is already accounting for about one-third of X5 sales, carries over its powertrain unchanged for 2011.

Official EPA numbers for the gas X5s won't be available until closer to their on-sale date, which follows shortly after the X5 makes its public debut at the New York Auto Show in April.

[Source: BMW]
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The New BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicle®

2011 X5 models deliver more substance and presence than ever before.

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – February 6, 2010 6:00pm Eastern Time... This spring, BMW will write the latest chapter in the story of the world's first Sports Activity Vehicle®, the BMW X5. Originally launched for the 2000 model year in late 1999, the BMW X5 permanently changed the automotive landscape. It proved that the driving dynamics, responsiveness, and linear control signature to every BMW could be compatible with utility, versatility, and other-roads capability. For 2011, the BMW X5 models are enhanced with new powertrains and updated design. The new BMW X5 will make its North American debut at the New York International Auto Show in April, and will go on sale at authorized BMW Centers shortly thereafter.

Innovative new design elements and powertrains are the result of over 4,000 new parts created by BMW designers and engineers for the 2011 BMW X5. Two of the X5's powertrains will be all-new for 2011, creating the new X5 xDrive50i and X5 xDrive35i, in addition to the familiar BMW Advanced Diesel X5 xDrive35d. All models receive a design update that enhances the brilliant focus and aesthetic appearance of the X5 brand.

Fresh Design. Well-Balanced Proportions.
The body design of the 2011 BMW X5 is characterized by well-balanced proportions that accentuate the vehicle's powerful presence and agility. A long wheelbase, short front and rear body overhangs, and large light-alloy wheels provide a visual balance between the front and rear of the vehicle. Square-shaped, carefully flared wheel arches hint at the X5's all-wheel drive traction and other-roads capability. The body lines sweep upwards from the front and rear wheels, communicating BMW's near-perfect 50-50 front-rear weight distribution which is so essential to the X5's legendary driving dynamic.

The sides of the X5 are elegantly stretched though the strong horizontal lines of each side. The surface of the hood flows seamlessly into the waiseline, while the prominent, gently inclined contour line at the door handle level extends from the front wheel arches to the rear of the vehicle. These character lines symbolize power, stability, and presence.

With its distinctively contoured hood, large BMW kidney grille and dual round headlights, the new BMW X5 boasts an expressive front end that symbolizes power and presence. The newest interpretation of the X5's look is led by the redesign of the front fascia and position of the standard foglamps. Due to an increase in the number of elements painted body color, the front end gives the impression of being lower. At the same time, the increased size of both the central and outer air intakes hint at the boosted engine output. The black trim at the bottom edge of the body is now considerably narrower. A matte-finished silver protection plate extends across the entire width of the central air intake, emphasizing the muscular features of the SAV, and accentuates the new X5's character.

The dual round Xenon Adaptive headlights and foglamps are now situated higher and closer to the kidney grille. The X5's new headlight fixtures emphasize high quality and sporting intentions. BMW's signature corona rings serve as position lights and daytime driving lights.

The newly conceived rear apron matches the graphic structure of the front end, while the intricately designed surrounds of the dual exhaust pipes are painted in body color to underline the X5's premium character. In the center, a matte-finished silver protection element emphasizes strength and durability suitable for other-roads use.
Above the rear bumper, the rear of the new X5 is divided by parallel horizontal lines. The result is an accentuation of the width, highlighting the vehicle's athletic capabilities. The L-shaped taillight fixtures, each with two LED light banks, create the BMW-signature nighttime appearance of the rear end.

A choice of new body colors provides further visual enhancements. The metallic colors Deep Sea Blue, Platinum Grey, and Sparkling Bronze are now available for the BMW X5. Inside, the available Nevada Leather can be chosen in stunning new Oyster or Cinnamon Brown colors in addition to the familiar Sand Beige, and Black, and matte Satin Silver interior trim strips are added if the owner does not select from the available Brushed Aluminum, Dark Bamboo, Light Poplar, or Burl Walnut wood trims.

X5 xDrive50i: BMW's Twin-Turbocharged V-8.
The new BMW X5 xDrive50i takes its place as the flagship of the X5 family, yielding 400 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 450 lb-ft of torque at 1,750 – 4,500 rpm from its twin-turbocharged 4.4 liter V-8 engine. Introduced in the BMW X6 in Spring of 2008, this all-aluminum V-8 features High Precision direct fuel injection, "reverse-flow" architecture for revolutionary responsiveness and packaging, and BMW' s VANOS variable valve timing technology. Together, these features create what may be the perfect balance between high fuel efficiency, low emissions, and the dominant, dynamic performance expected of a BMW V-8. The 0-60 mph sprint is accomplished in 5.3 seconds (preliminary). EPA fuel efficiency figures for the X5 xDrive50i will be available closer to the on sale date. The X5 xDrive50i starts at $59,275 including Destination & Handling.

As part of the V-8 engine's reverse-flow architecture, the twin turbochargers are situated in the valley of the engine's "V" and exhale separately into two catalytic converters which are located on top of the engine and exit aftward into the large stainless-steel exhaust system via downpipes on either side of the new 8-speed automatic transmission. The exhaust streams remain separated until they meet in the large muffler at the rear of the vehicle and exit through two large, trapezoidal exhaust tips.

X5 xDrive35i: BMW's Turbocharged Inline-6 with Valvetronic.
BMW's new X5 xDrive 35i receives a brand new inline-6 gasoline engine, internally dubbed "N55." The new engine features the same 3.0-liter displacement and 300 horsepower output of its predecessor (the "N54"), but features a single twin-scroll turbocharger in place of the previous twin, low-mass turbocharger units. Furthermore, the new inline-6 of the X5 xDrive35i is the first BMW inline-6 to combine BMW's revolutionary Valvetronic throttle-less intake technology, High Precision direct fuel injection, and turbocharging. The result of combining this new inline-6 with the new 8-speed automatic is an X5 with incredibly spontaneous responsiveness, exceptional power, and remarkable efficiency. The new X5 xDrive35i will perform the 0-60mph sprint in 6.4 seconds, coincidentally on the same pace as the outgoing V-8 powered X5 xDrive48i. EPA figures will be available closer to the on sale date.

For the 2011 model year, BMW has made the X5 xDrive35i available in two additional trim levels: "Premium" and "Sports Activity."

The essential X5 xDrive35i has an MSRP of $46,675 including Destination & Handling, and includes a popular profile of standard equipment often specified by X5 customers, including BMW's Xenon Adaptive headlights, Rain Sensor with automatic headlight control, HD Radio, automatic climate control, foglights, 18" light alloy wheels, cruise control, and anti-theft alarm system. A Convenience Package is optional and adds the large panoramic moonroof, auto-dimming mirrors, Dark Burl Walnut, Bamboo, or Light Poplar wood interior trim, BMW Ambiance Lighting, and BMW Assist with Bluetooth. Stand alone options include rear side window shades, Navigation system with Real Time Traffic Information and Voice Command, satellite radio with 1-year subscription, and an iPod / USB adapter interface.

The X5 xDrive35i Premium has an MSRP of $52,475 including Destination & Handling and includes a boosted profile of standard equipment, such as 19" light alloy wheels, roof rails and panoramic moonroof, power adjustable steering column, iPod / USB adapter interface, and privacy glass. Best of all, it includes standard Nevada Leather. In addition, buyers of the Premium model may choose up to four packages, including the Active Ventilated Seat Package, Convenience Package, Cold Weather Package, and Technology Package. Each package includes a raft of focused features that enhance comfort and convenience, allowing buyers to better customize the X5 to personal taste. Third Row seating, which enables the X5 to accommodate up to 7 passengers, also becomes available on this model.

The X5 xDrive35i Sport Activity has an MSRP of $54,975 including Destination & Handling and includes even more standard equipment than the Premium model, such as 20" light alloy wheels, sport seats, Shadowline exterior trim, and Anthracite headliner. In addition to the packages available on the Premium model, customers may add the popular M Sport Package to the X5 xDrive35i Sport Activity model. The M Sport Package includes 20" wheels with performance tires, the Adaptive Drive system, aluminum roof rails, M door sill plates, M driver footrest, M steering wheel, M aerodynamic enhancements, and increased top speed limiter (150 mph).

New 8-speed Automatic Transmission with Steptronic.
On both new gasoline models of the X5, sending the newfound power to the standard xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive system is BMW's new 8-speed automatic transmission with Steptronic control. The new 8-speed transmission is standard in the X5 xDrive50i and X5 xDrive35i, and raises the industry standard for compactness, efficiency, and gear selection. The new transmission weighs no more than its 6-speed predecessor, yet offers closer ratios in the lower gears for improved acceleration and two additional "tall" gears for relaxed, efficient cruising. BMW's 8-speed automatic was introduced on the 5 Series Gran Turismo and 760Li Sedan in the fall of 2009.

Using the console-mounted e-shifter, the X5 driver chooses from three shifting programs: Drive, Drive Sport, and Manual. In Manual mode, the driver selects from the eight forward gear ratios via the + / - action of the shifter (push forward to downshift; pull back to upshift). At any speed, Neutral is easily selected via a forward push of the selector from Drive and, when at a standstill, Park is selected by depressing the "P" button atop the shifter, or by pushing the Engine Start-Stop button (doing so will also stop the engine).

BMW's Brake Energy Regeneration system is also fitted to the gasoline X5 models. It incorporates a special deep-cycle Glass Mat battery with programmed alternator disengagement so that, most of the time, the vehicle's battery is only charged while the vehicle is coasting or braking. Over time, the Brake Energy Regeneration system can save 1-2% on fuel consumption. Brake Energy Regeneration is another feature in BMW's EfficientDynamics portfolio of small features and adjustments which have a cumulative effect on the efficiency-performance balance of each BMW vehicle.

X5 xDrive35d: Maintaining the Benchmark with BMW Advanced Diesel Technology.
The BMW Advanced Diesel X5 xDrive35d was introduced to the United States as a 2009 model, and despite increased competition remains the fastest, most fuel efficient diesel-powered vehicle in its class. The huge torque output of 425 lb-ft. at 1750-2250 rpm speaks for itself; X5 xDrive35d drivers will marvel at this engine's robust response at low to medium speeds. The peak power output of 265 hp also makes an impact, as does the resulting 0-60-mph time of 6.9 seconds. It returns EPA mileage estimates of 19 mpg city and 26 highway.

For the 2011 model, BMW has made no changes to the award-winning BMW Advanced Diesel powertrain, but rather has focused efforts to ensure the X5 xDrive35d benefits from the latest design updates to the X5 family. Despite the enhancements for the new model year, MSRP for this model remains $52,175 including Destination & Handling.

BMW Advanced Diesel with BluePerformance optimizes emission management by incorporating an oxidation catalyst placed close to the engine, a diesel particulate filter housed in the same unit, and an SCR catalyst with urea injection. Apart from filtering out even the smallest particles from the flow of exhaust gases, this combination ensures effective reduction of nitric oxides (NOX) by way of a chemical reaction within the exhaust system initiated by the injection of a small dose of urea referred to as Diesel Exhaust Fluid. Into the exhaust stream. The ammonia (NH3) generated in this process within the SCR catalyst subsequently converts the nitric oxides (NO and, respectively, NO2) in the exhaust gas into environmentally compatible nitrogen (N2) and water vapor (H2O).

BMW has developed a two-tank system for DEF ensuring convenient use of this new technology with all the benefits and ease required by the customer: The amount of DEF required in each case is drawn from the active tank comprising approximately 1.6 gallons by means of a dosage pump. And since the urea solution would freeze at a temperature of 12.2o F (−11oC), this active tank, as well as the dosage pipes are heated.

Driver Assistance Features, Options, and Accessories.
BMW has made the X5 Sports Activity Vehicle a hallmark for drivers who wish to personalize their ride. Therefore, an excellent selection of optional features has been available since the original X5 was launched in the 2000 model year. Active Cruise Control with Stop and Go becomes available for the first time on the X5 in the 2011 model year, as does Lane Departure Warning. Active Steering, running boards, Head-Up Display, 4-zone automatic climate control, rear seat entertainment system, side-view cameras, top-view camera, Nappa Leather seats, Nappa Leather-covered dashboard and center console, Comfort Access with keyless entry, and smartphone integration are just a few of the available options.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have a six-speed auto transmission now. For the life of me I cannot figure out what an 8-speed is for.

      I can be accelerating up an onramp at 45mph in sixth and press the pedal a bit more and the revs jump from 1500 to 2500. The kicker? The transmission doesn't even shift, it just unlocks the torque converter (I know because it was in sport mode which showed the gear on the instrument cluster).

      If the transmission can unlock the TC in any gear, what do I need all those other gears for?

      Follow up question:
      In sport mode, I see my car is in 4th at 30 and if I let up the gas, 5th at 25. That doesn't exactly seem sport-oriented to me. What does sport mode do, just sharpen the shifts?
        • 4 Years Ago
        I thought your Audi A6 was the older generation how is it it has a 6 speed auto?
        Isn't your a 2001?
        • 4 Years Ago
        I got rid of my 2000 A6 2.7T (with 5 speed auto) and now have a 2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon (with 6 speed auto).
        • 4 Years Ago
        Do you have the 3.0 or 3.6?
        you 'need' to unlock the torque converter to get the revs up to make any kind of power with the 3.0 & 3.6. The 3.0 makes roughly 100hp at 2500rpm, and 55hp at 1500. The 3.6 makes 125hp@2500, and 65hp@1500.
        I can appreciate a well tuned manumatic interface, full throttle-no unlock, full throttle and 'kick down' detent, then unlock.

        more ratio spread 7:1 vs. 6:1
        smoother gear changes, quicker gear changes.

        Who says BMW has to use it as an 8 speed auto? they can make 1st gear the 'low range' gear. Start in 2nd gear most of the time, that is what the 760 [V12] does.
      • 4 Years Ago

      "American cars suck, except for Ford". Wow, what about all those focus recalls back when the Focus was launched in the states? Hard to fathom how they can screw up with the car made in Europe for 1yr+ before that.

      And BMWs are reliable? Please, your one account of a 2000 3 is but an anecdotal evidence. Just one example, the HPFP. If you call a part that fails on 30-40%(and that's an underestimate) of all 3.0 TT engines reliable, yet knowing they still choose to shove the engine in the 335is and make all the kids wet their pants, you're a real fanboy.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Much better styling than the previous generation.

      Turbos everywhere! How long will it take GM, Ford and Chrysler to catch up? Not sure if you need 400 hp to push this buggy though. ;)
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Andre Neves. one more thing, X5M has 555hp vs CayenneS 550hp??
        • 4 Years Ago
        Since when is the SRT8 the fastest suv in the world?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Only suv I like in brown. Except maybe all the other better spec-ed models in the same class.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Damn, why did i order 2010 version :(
      • 4 Years Ago
      LOL...I can see those tires moving that car in today's snowstorm in DC....ROFLMAO!
        • 4 Years Ago
        R32?? That's narrowed down to two cars:

        Golf R32
        Skyline R32

        If you have the Skyline, and it's a BNR32 GT-R, drive it in snow. Trust me, they work just fine in it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hey man, I'm in the DC area, too.

        My R32 is staying nice 'n warm in its garage, even though it's wearing decent tires.

        Eff this snow stuff. I want summer NOW!!!!!!111one
        • 4 Years Ago
        BoooO! .:R32's LOVE the snow! take 'em out
        • 4 Years Ago
        he has a mkv, and it'll do just as well in the snow :)
        • 4 Years Ago
        Honestly, I would have taken my Mk V out in the snow if I could have left my dang apartment complex parking lot.

        Total mess, it is. The plow trucks built up huge walls of snow and ice in front of all the garages. Plus, there's just no place to put the snow. It just gets shifted from one inconvenient spot to another.

        So, for the moment, I'm gonna leave 'er in the garage. Not worth dealing with the crappy roads in my immediate area.
      • 4 Years Ago

      "American cars suck, except for Ford". Wow, what about all those focus recalls back when the Focus was launched in the states? Hard to fathom how they can screw up with the car made in Europe for 1yr+ before that.

      And BMWs are reliable? Please, your one account of a 2000 3 is but an anecdotal evidence. Just one example, the HPFP. If you call a part that fails on 30-40%(and that's an underestimate) of all 3.0 TT engines reliable, yet knowing they still choose to shove the engine in the 335is and make all the kids wet their pants, you're a real fanboy.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I dun think you ever drive a BMW. You will never have a major problem with BMW if you take a good care of it. Some idiots just don't know how to take care of a BMW would say it unreliable. between, i'm a Toyota/Lexus fan, bot BMW. you pick on the wrong guy.
      • 4 Years Ago

      Better? That is your opinion.
      My fiance leased two BMWs back-to-back. A '06 325i Sedan & a '08 328 Coupe, both with Sport packages.
      They were by-far the worst POS cars she and I have ever experienced(as far as reliability). I would list all the mechanical/electrical problems they had, but I don't have the time & space for it. One of my cars that I own currently and one I've owned in the past are domestic. Some of the most reliable cars i've ever owned despite what has been said about them.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "If you think BMW is unreliable you haven't looked to far into the Cayenne history."
        • 4 Years Ago
        The fastest SUV on the planet is a BMW X5 M or X6 M. If you think BMW is unreliable you haven't looked to far into the Cayenne history.

        • 4 Years Ago
        My other comment got cut off.

        "If you think BMW is unreliable you haven't looked to far into the Cayenne history."

        Here he's using the Cayenne to compare reliability when the above comment said it was domestic's that were reliable and that the Cayenne had more performance.
        • 4 Years Ago
        what does the Cayenne have to do with BMW
        • 4 Years Ago
        ForgedInternals@ I dun think you drive Cherokee. Everyone know American cars suck, excludes Ford. GM might have a big improvement over past years, but still unreliable.
        • 4 Years Ago
        3 BMWs and a Cooper S - only the Cooper was reliable. One BMW was even lemoned. Still after my lease is up on my current car I'll go back to BMW. Nothing else drives like one. Sadly.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Andre Neves@ Oh and last week both my friend's Jeep Cherokee and Impala were broke down, and the Jeep's engine died ( he's a mechanic). My other friend 2000 3 series has never had any major problem. I'm not saying USDM cars is bad, but not better than BMW.
        • 4 Years Ago
        ForgedInternals @

        Andre Neves's quote:
        "Speaking of catching up, Porsche had 450HP twin turbo V8s on their Cayenne when it was launched in 2002. They now have 550HP on "S" models. BMW, where are you?"

        Look above to see the full comment. :D
        • 4 Years Ago
        BTW if your "friend" had a Cherokee die on him he either had a lemon or he's an awful mechanic.
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