2007 BMW X5 Review

2007 BMW X5 - Resets standard.


BMW's X5 has been a favorite of mine for its fabulous driving characteristics, luxurious amenities and surprising off-road capabilities.

While the X5 is undoubtedly one of the more fun-to-drive vehicles in this segment, it's been seven years since BMW first introduced us to it. So, to solidify its stake in this sector of the market, BMW has given their X5 a higher level of refinement, practicality, versatility, and yes, off-road ability.

Improvements to this all-new 2007 BMW X5 begin with a stronger and larger body structure. Still based on the popular and agile BMW 5-series, the second generation X5 is 7.4-inches longer than its predecessor, giving BMW the interior room needed to offer an optional third-row seat. Yet, the all-new, larger X5 still resides in the midsize segment.

Even greater news surrounds the X5's front suspension system. Breaking away from a 45-year-old BMW tradition, the new X5 features a double-wishbone multi-link design - a departure from its traditional dual-pivot strut front suspension.

This translates to improved on-road ride and handling, as well as improved all-road ability. And in keeping with its original mission, the X5's focus still places more emphasis on pavement performance, keeping it well abreast of the competition.

As in the past, the X5 offers a choice of 6-cylinder (X5 3.0si) or V8 (X5 4.8i) performance. The X5 3.0si features a sophisticated 260-horsepower aluminum/magnesium inline-6.

The flagship X5 4.8i boasts a 350-horsepower all-aluminum V8. Standard equipment on both models is a new 6-speed Steptronic automatic transmission. A manual transmission is no longer offered.

The new transmission also features an entirely new electronic shifter and it provides three modes of operation; Drive, Sport and Manual.

Regardless of which X5 you choose, BMW's outstanding xDrive all-wheel drive system is standard. BMW's xDrive not only enhances traction, but the system recognizes and corrects for excessive over- or understeer.

Refinements to xDrive allow it to work in parallel with the standard Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and Chassis Management system to deliver even better handling dynamics.

In addition, the new DSC system includes Dynamic Traction Control, Brake Fade Compensation, Brake Standby, Brake Drying, and Start-off Assistant.

Brake Fade Compensation detects high brake temperatures and automatically increases hydraulic pressure when the brakes are applied.

Brake Standby helps snug the brake pads up against the brake rotors to minimize brake response time when the driver quickly lifts their foot off the accelerator pedal.

Brake Drying acts on input from the rain sensing wipers and periodically brings the brake pads up against the brake rotors to eliminate any water film.

Start-off Assistant keeps the vehicle from rolling backward for approximately 1.5-seconds after the driver releases the brakes when stopped on an uphill incline.

The X5 also becomes the first vehicle in its class to offer Active Steering as an option. With this option, the driver benefits from improved steering feel regardless of speed, and only has to turn the steering wheel twice from lock-to-lock.

The new X5 is a technologically-advanced vehicle that offers fantastic driving characteristics. My V-8-powered X5 4.8i was quick off the line and quite agile while driving along twisty country roads.

The X5's cabin is very luxurious and comfortable. The optional third-row seat doesn't offer enough room for adults but does provide two more seats for your kids friends.

With my X5 4.8i tester, I especially liked the optional Panoramic moonroof, which provides a large dual-pane roof.

The only sour note for me was X5's iDrive system. Although BMW claims to have simplified their iDrive system, it's still a painful way to adjust items like the audio and climate control system. I certainly wouldn't let iDrive keep me from buying the X5, though. It's worth the price of admission.

Pricing for the 2007 BMW X5 starts at $45,900 for the 3.0si. The 4.8i starts at $54,500.

2007 BMW X5 4.8i

4.8-liter (350 hp) V-8
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Drive type: AWD
Fuel economy: 15 city/21 highway
Base price: $54,500
As tested: Not available
Web site: www.bmw.com