xDrive30i 4dr All-wheel Drive Sports Activity Vehicle
2009 BMW X5

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$47,500
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Engine Engine 3.0LI-6
MPG MPG 15 City / 21 Hwy
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2009 X5 Overview

The BMW X5's calling card isn't off-road capability or cargo capacity.It's driving dynamics.This sport-utility isn't quite as refined or holistic as BMW's best sedans, but the comparison is generally on the mark.Think of the X5 as a 5 Series sedan with more headroom and a bit more cargo space.

For 2009, BMW X5 gets some changes in nomenclature that has no bearing on the vehicles themselves.All three X5 models officially add xDrive to the name, reflecting the marketing label for BMW's fulltime all-wheel drive system, which was already standard equipment.For example, the entry model is now called the BMW X5 xDrive30i, while the V8 model is called the xDrive48i.Hey, don't blame us, we are merely the messengers here. More significant is introduction of the X5 xDrive35d, with a slick new diesel engine that's as clean as any of its gasoline counterparts.The diesel improves mileage nearly 25 percent compared to the six-cylinder X5 xDrive30i, yet it accelerates more quickly and tows more.This is the same diesel engine offered in the 2009 BMW 3 Series sport sedan, but we like this engine more in the X5.

The X5 emphasizes the sport half of the sport-utility equation, even with the diesel engine.While it offers more utility than ever, it comes up short in cargo-passenger flexibility compared to many luxury SUVs.As opposed to hauling acres of equipment and gear, the X5 provides the equipment enthusiast drivers expect when they want to enjoy the art of driving as much as they're able.Just plan to travel light.

All three X5 engines deliver plenty of usable torque for good acceleration.The gasoline engines also feature turbine-like smoothness.The 4.8-liter V8 in the xDrive48i is the chest-beater, but the inline six-cylinder in the xDrive30i still delivers the kind of response we expect in a sports sedan, and it shouldn't leave owners pining for the V8.

The X5 is styled in obvious BMW fashion, only taller, with traditional Bimmer cues like the twin-kidney grille and dual-beam headlight clusters.Inside, it offers plenty of room for five, with a nice, rich finish and nearly all the bells and whistles one expects in a high-line luxury sedan.The back seat is more than roomy enough for two adults, three in a pinch, and there's enough cargo space in back for a two-day family outing.The X5 can expand to seven-passenger capacity with an optional third-row seat, but that third seat won't look particularly inviting to anyone asked to ride in it, and it wipes out the cargo space.

The X5 is not a traditional SUV.BMW shuns the SUV tag entirely, describing the X5 with it own copyrighted label: Sport Activity Vehicle, or SAV.With all seats lowered for maximum cargo capacity, it offers less space than do most competitors, from Acura to Volvo.The gas-powered models aren't class leaders in fuel economy.And Sport in the X5 context does not mean off-road capability.The xDrive all-wheel-drive system was developed for slippery roads and sporty driving characteristics rather than sand dunes and rutted hillsides.Indeed, the X5's strength is its ability to get down the road in …
Full Review

2009 X5 Overview

The BMW X5's calling card isn't off-road capability or cargo capacity.It's driving dynamics.This sport-utility isn't quite as refined or holistic as BMW's best sedans, but the comparison is generally on the mark.Think of the X5 as a 5 Series sedan with more headroom and a bit more cargo space.

For 2009, BMW X5 gets some changes in nomenclature that has no bearing on the vehicles themselves.All three X5 models officially add xDrive to the name, reflecting the marketing label for BMW's fulltime all-wheel drive system, which was already standard equipment.For example, the entry model is now called the BMW X5 xDrive30i, while the V8 model is called the xDrive48i.Hey, don't blame us, we are merely the messengers here. More significant is introduction of the X5 xDrive35d, with a slick new diesel engine that's as clean as any of its gasoline counterparts.The diesel improves mileage nearly 25 percent compared to the six-cylinder X5 xDrive30i, yet it accelerates more quickly and tows more.This is the same diesel engine offered in the 2009 BMW 3 Series sport sedan, but we like this engine more in the X5.

The X5 emphasizes the sport half of the sport-utility equation, even with the diesel engine.While it offers more utility than ever, it comes up short in cargo-passenger flexibility compared to many luxury SUVs.As opposed to hauling acres of equipment and gear, the X5 provides the equipment enthusiast drivers expect when they want to enjoy the art of driving as much as they're able.Just plan to travel light.

All three X5 engines deliver plenty of usable torque for good acceleration.The gasoline engines also feature turbine-like smoothness.The 4.8-liter V8 in the xDrive48i is the chest-beater, but the inline six-cylinder in the xDrive30i still delivers the kind of response we expect in a sports sedan, and it shouldn't leave owners pining for the V8.

The X5 is styled in obvious BMW fashion, only taller, with traditional Bimmer cues like the twin-kidney grille and dual-beam headlight clusters.Inside, it offers plenty of room for five, with a nice, rich finish and nearly all the bells and whistles one expects in a high-line luxury sedan.The back seat is more than roomy enough for two adults, three in a pinch, and there's enough cargo space in back for a two-day family outing.The X5 can expand to seven-passenger capacity with an optional third-row seat, but that third seat won't look particularly inviting to anyone asked to ride in it, and it wipes out the cargo space.

The X5 is not a traditional SUV.BMW shuns the SUV tag entirely, describing the X5 with it own copyrighted label: Sport Activity Vehicle, or SAV.With all seats lowered for maximum cargo capacity, it offers less space than do most competitors, from Acura to Volvo.The gas-powered models aren't class leaders in fuel economy.And Sport in the X5 context does not mean off-road capability.The xDrive all-wheel-drive system was developed for slippery roads and sporty driving characteristics rather than sand dunes and rutted hillsides.Indeed, the X5's strength is its ability to get down the road in …Hide Full Review