The BMW X5 handles like the company’s famed sports sedans, which is the top reason to consider this crossover. With an optional third row, its flexibility and also styling make it one of our favorites. A 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six is standard; a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 and a turbo-diesel 3.0-liter inline-six are optional. As with all BMWs, be careful with options, or the price can escalate quickly.
AT A GLANCE
Smooth, quiet, flexibility of eight-speed transmission, simplified iDrive, split tailgate, diesel fuel economy.
Down on power, stiff ride quality, low second-row seat cushion, some turbo lag.
front-engine, 4-wheel-drive, 7-passenger, 5-door wagon
PRICE AS TESTED:
$69,875 (base price: $57,525)
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve diesel inline-6, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
183 cu in, 2993 cc
Power: 255 hp @ 4000 rpm
Torque: 413 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm
8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
Wheelbase: 115.5 in
Length: 193.2 in
Width: 76.3 in Height: 69.4 in
Curb weight: 5173 lb
Cruising for Picnics
As in previous versions, this X5 has a comfortable and also spacious second-row seat, however, the seat cushion is a little lower than we’d prefer. There is also an optional third-row seat that is definitely for kids, since there is not much legroom and crawling back there requires a few contortions. Cargo space is very generous with the third row folded and not bad even with those seats up. And as before, the X5 still has the 2-pieces tailgate that provides a nice shelf for seating or impromptu picnics.