2001 X5 New Car Test Drive
Originally called a 'sports activity vehicle,' the BMW X5 delivers superb handling and performance. It may be the best-handling SUV on the road. It almost feels like an oversized rally car. Muddy trails are easily negotiable, though this isn't what we'd call a highly capable off-road vehicle. And cargo capacity isn't a strong point.
Two models are available: 3.0i ($38,900) and 4.4i ($49,400).
BMW launched the X5 for 2000 as one upscale model powered by a 4.4-liter V8 engine mated to a 5-speed automatic Steptronic transmission.
For 2001, the 3.0i was added with a 2.8-liter six-cylinder engine. A 5-speed manual gearbox (ZF Type C) comes standard; BMW's 5-speed Steptronic is optional.