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View Full Version : Thinking about X5 - opinions?


suzer
04-05-2003, 02:13 PM
Husband has a 2001 330i (black on black) Beautiful car. Loves to drive it. Really likes to wash and polish it. Never lets me near it. I'm the utility half of the family - drive a 95 Toyota 4Runner. I haul groceries, dogs, furniture. I can, very amazingly (for a girl) drive a 5-speed (have since 1988).

I want a new SUV. Or excuse me, here it is a SAV, right? I am considering the Acura MDX, the X5 and sorta the Lexus 330. Actually, I wanted a 300, but they are being replaced, and I'm not sold on the 330's styling.

I'm particularly looking for driving enjoyment, safety and reliablity. Electronic cargo latches and heated steering wheels don't wow me - being able to not worry about the vehicle, in any weather, and being proud of what I'm driving are way more important. I don't just want another 4Runner - I'm looking to upgrade.

Any thoughts?

bren
04-05-2003, 03:05 PM
Isn't this an oxymoron? :p

I want a new SUV.

I'm particularly looking for driving enjoyment....


There are rumors of an AWD version of the new 5 series wagon due out in a year or two. If you are not in a hurry, you might want to wait and check that out.

suzer
04-05-2003, 03:23 PM
Originally posted by bren
[B]Isn't this an oxymoron? :p




OK, I should have said "as much driving enjoyment as there can be when you don't get to be the one driving the 330i."

Nick325xiT 5spd
04-05-2003, 03:28 PM
I'm with bren. AWD 5'er Touring is what you want. It will probably be safer than all of the above as well. (The only thing that might be safer is the X5.)

JPinTO
04-05-2003, 03:39 PM
Originally posted by suzer
OK, I should have said "as much driving enjoyment as there can be when you don't get to be the one driving the 330i."

Can't comment on the X5 3.0, but I have driven the X5 4.4--- and now wish I never have.

Well--- easy enough--- go drive one.

But, be prepared for the price tag before you go drive it... because IMO it deliver 95+% of the driving enjoyment of a E46's.

It put a smile on my face. Driving my wife's ML320 causes X5 envy everytime. The ML320 will be replaced by an X5 at some point. I'm waiting for Valvetronic V8 or Diesel V8.

JPinTO
04-05-2003, 03:40 PM
Originally posted by bren
Isn't this an oxymoron? :p


With the X5, surprisingly it is not!

LarryN
04-05-2003, 03:59 PM
Well, since you are at a BMW site, you'll get BMW slanted opinions. :thumbup: I've driven the Lexus, the MDX, and the X5 (in both the 3.0 and 4.4 models). Personally, I like the BMW the best. It has the best road feel without being punishing, and if I were to get one, I'd opt for the 5speed manual tranny. I do not believe it's an option on either of the other two.

Jon Shafer, one of the Admins at this site, all around good guy, and Sales Mgr at Cutter Motors posted this (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=24548) thread earlier this week, and got me thinking about our current utility/kids/weekend vehicle.

Last year my wife and I were shopping for an SUV to replace our Grand Cherokee, and since it's my wife's primary car, she opted for a 3rd row (leaving us with choices like Mountaineer, MDX and Discovery). We opted for the Rover. However, if we were to purchase today, I'd bet we'd wind up with an identically equipped car as the one Jon posted in the link above.

Good luck in your choice. All 3 of your finalists are great choices, but wouldn't 2 bimmers look cool in the garage side-by-side? :dunno: :thumbup:

SARAFIL
04-05-2003, 04:15 PM
Originally posted by suzer
Husband has a 2001 330i (black on black) Beautiful car. Loves to drive it. Really likes to wash and polish it. Never lets me near it. I'm the utility half of the family - drive a 95 Toyota 4Runner. I haul groceries, dogs, furniture. I can, very amazingly (for a girl) drive a 5-speed (have since 1988).

I want a new SUV. Or excuse me, here it is a SAV, right? I am considering the Acura MDX, the X5 and sorta the Lexus 330. Actually, I wanted a 300, but they are being replaced, and I'm not sold on the 330's styling.

I'm particularly looking for driving enjoyment, safety and reliablity. Electronic cargo latches and heated steering wheels don't wow me - being able to not worry about the vehicle, in any weather, and being proud of what I'm driving are way more important. I don't just want another 4Runner - I'm looking to upgrade.

Any thoughts?

Wait until the updated 2004 model comes out with the Valvetronic 4.4L.... :str8pimpi It'll put your husband's 330 to shame. If that's a bit too much money, the "base" model promises to be quite a performer as well for a much more attractive price. It's unbelievable than an SAV can handle as well as a car. In the several times I have driven the current version of the 4.4, I am surprised that I have not gotten arrested. It has gobs of power and you'd be hard pressed to realize how big of a vehicle you're in when you are driving it. It is rare to find an SUV that feels as smooth and stable at 100mph on the road as a car.

Of course, this board has an anti-SUV bias, so they are obviously going to recommend a wagon, even though you have clearly said you wanted an SUV. I will warn you, however; The X5 does not have anywhere near the cargo capacity as your 4Runner. Don't say we didn't warn you.

Drive an X5 and then drive an RX/MDX. If the test drive doesn't immediately win you over, than this probably isn't the car for you.

JPinTO
04-05-2003, 04:16 PM
Originally posted by rumatt
Sorry we're not answering you're original questions.. but I'd vote for a wagon also. More fun to drive, and possibly just as much room inside. I've heard the X5 doesn't offer all that much cargo space.

The X5 offers more storage space than a E46er wagon.

As much as the guys on this board find wagons "cool"... you'll find that alot women categorize them as "geezermobiles".

If I take my wife's response on a E46/E39 wagon vs X5... there is absolutely no doubt. The X5 causes a serious drool factor with her.... and she doesn't care much about vehicles.

PropellerHead
04-05-2003, 04:19 PM
We have the 3.0 and drove the MDX when we were shopping around. I think it will easily meet the needs you have and it's a lot of fun, too. Check that Shafer thread. A standard tranny X5's resale would S_U_C_K, but if you keep it as long as you've kept the Toyota, you dont need to be worried ab resale.

I'd hop on that Shafer deal if I were in the market.:thumbup:

SARAFIL
04-05-2003, 04:20 PM
Originally posted by JPinTO
The X5 offers more storage space than a E46er wagon.

As much as the guys on this board find wagons "cool"... you'll find that alot women categorize them as "geezermobiles".

If I take my wife's response on a E46/E39 wagon... there is absolutely no doubt. The X5 causes serious drool factor.... and she doesn't care much about vehicles.

True...

I tease my mom all the time that my father and I are conspiring to replace her BMW with a wagon, and she finds it repulsive. She isn't a big fan of SUVs either, but she wouldn't be caught dead in a wagon. My dad then told her he would buy a 5er wagon, and she told him that if he did, she wouldn't let him park it in the garage, nor would she ever drive in it. :rofl:

You've got to face it, no matter how much most of you hate SUVs, they are what people want. If someone chooses to spend his money on an X5 over a 525iAT, let them. Some people hate wagons and find them just as repulsive as you find SUVs.

JPinTO
04-05-2003, 04:30 PM
Originally posted by SARAFIL
You've got to face it, no matter how much most of you hate SUVs, they are what people want. If someone chooses to spend his money on an X5 over a 525iAT, let them. Some people hate wagons and find them just as repulsive as you find SUVs.

They are not what PEOPLE want... they are what the LADIES who live with us want.

I personally never thought a whole lot about the X5 in the past---
Feminine looks (except in black with 19"+ wheels) and an odd butt.

Big deal... or so I thought.

Then I had opportunity to take an X5 4.4 for a weekend. It out accelerated my tweaked 323i 5-spd, was shockingly sticky in the corners (and I mean it can hang with my suspension tweaked E46 nicely) and gave an all round smile on my face. Granted, alot of that is directly related to the highly entertaining V8 and the massive 19" meats on the corners.

That and the smile that I got from my wife that was bigger than the one she gave when I brought home a 1996 911 C4S. She was sold on the X5 and I was sold.

Few vehicles are around that both my wife and I agree on. The X5 is one of them.... actually, it's the only one we can agree on.

Ah screw the Valvetronic V8... I'm placing an order Monday! :D


- JP

JPinTO
04-05-2003, 04:32 PM
Originally posted by PropellerHead
A standard tranny X5's resale would S_U_C_K, but if you keep it as long as you've kept the Toyota, you dont need to be worried ab resale.


Yes, resale would SUCK on a manual X5. Get a manual, WHITE X5 and it's yours for life! :D

Nick325xiT 5spd
04-05-2003, 04:39 PM
Originally posted by JPinTO
Yes, resale would SUCK on a manual X5. Get a manual, WHITE X5 and it's yours for life! :D

I bet Jon would sell that one at cost. :p

SARAFIL
04-05-2003, 04:42 PM
Originally posted by Nick325xiT 5spd
I bet Jon would sell that one at cost. :p

Even if he sold it below cost, the future owner would still be stuck with horrible depreciation. The market for an SUV with a manual tranny is nonexistent these days.

LarryN
04-05-2003, 04:43 PM
Originally posted by Nick325xiT 5spd
I bet Jon would sell that one at cost. :p

If that were the case (and you are probably pretty close to being spot-on), and it were last year this time or next year this time, I'd be on it in a second. Just showed my wife those pics, and she said the same thing. Getting it to the correct (oops, I mean right) coast would be another issue though.

Nick325xiT 5spd
04-05-2003, 04:44 PM
Hopefully the X5 3.6i will be available with three pedals, six speeds, and a 3.73.

rost12
04-05-2003, 04:46 PM
Originally posted by JPinTO
Ah screw the Valvetronic V8... I'm placing an order Monday! :D


Really? :confused:

Valvetronic is not that ground breaking. On an SAV your milage won't change a bit, I reckon.

C'mon, 4.6is, Silver on Imola Red...Cartoonish wheels and all :thumbup:

JPinTO
04-05-2003, 04:47 PM
Originally posted by Nick325xiT 5spd
Hopefully the X5 3.6i will be available with three pedals, six speeds, and a 3.73.

6-speed will definitely be out--- in steptronic! :p

Probably the best all round compromise is an SMG tranny.

LarryN
04-05-2003, 04:49 PM
Originally posted by rost12
C'mon, 4.6is, Silver on Imola Red...Cartoonish wheels and
all :thumbup:

Totally agree! That's a dream SUV though, not a family hauler. Just like an M5 is not a family hauler. :D

JPinTO
04-05-2003, 04:49 PM
Originally posted by rost12
Really? :confused:

Valvetronic is not that ground breaking. On an SAV your milage won't change a bit, I reckon.

C'mon, 4.6is, Silver on Imola Red...Cartoonish wheels and all :thumbup:

No, not really! Thinking about it gets the blood boiling! :)

I don't care about the milage (although a reputed 10% increase is fine by me).... I want the 333hp!

The X5 was impressive with 288hp... another 50 will give it that extra clout. The 4.4 Valvetronic will make the 4.6is extinct. I saw an Imola Red X5 last week and my eyes almost bugged out... very nice machine! :thumbup:

You are right about the wheels--- they ARE cartoonish. :thumbdwn: Too much--- the 19"s are nice.

JPinTO
04-05-2003, 04:49 PM
Originally posted by LarryN
Totally agree! That's a dream SUV though, not a family hauler. Just like an M5 is not a family hauler. :D

Sure, it's a family hauler. I'd haul my family in it! :D

Nick325xiT 5spd
04-05-2003, 04:52 PM
Originally posted by JPinTO
6-speed will definitely be out--- in steptronic! :p

Probably the best all round compromise is an SMG tranny.

SMG doesn't seem to make much sense in a girl car. Maybe when BMW comes out with an Audi style SMG, it will... I'm still not convinced that SMG is better than a torque converter on the street.

JPinTO
04-05-2003, 04:55 PM
Originally posted by Nick325xiT 5spd
SMG doesn't seem to make much sense in a girl car. Maybe when BMW comes out with an Audi style SMG, it will... I'm still not convinced that SMG is better than a torque converter on the street.

It makes sense because 1) the girls will leave it in auto mode and 2) when the guys have to drive the girl's car (which happens surprisingly frequently)... they can have a nice toy to play with.


What's the deal with the audi SMG? Dual clutch? BMW seems to be adopting it in the future--- is it superior?

rost12
04-05-2003, 05:32 PM
Originally posted by JPinTO

I don't care about the milage (although a reputed 10% increase is fine by me).... I want the 333hp!

The X5 was impressive with 288hp... another 50 will give it that extra clout. The 4.4 Valvetronic will make the 4.6is extinct. I saw an Imola Red X5 last week and my eyes almost bugged out... very nice machine! :thumbup:
.

Think about it. X5 4.5 will be just another run of the mill big engined X5. X5 4.6is, on the other hand, is an M of Xs. It gets M colours, M cluster and aggressive bodykit. And it has 340hp to boot.

I'd get 4.6 over 4.5 just for the exclusivity, since you are not loosing anything tangible but gaining something intangible.

I'm not sure about the pricing, though. I guess 4.5 will be cheaper.

Emission
04-05-2003, 05:48 PM
I bought my wife an X5 two months ago. She is also the "utility" vehicle in the relationship. She absolutely loves it. We looked at the Acura MDX, Volvo XC90, Mercedes ML320... and the X5 was just the best driving SAV out there. There was no comparison.

It is MUCH larger in the back seat than any wagon, and you do compromise for that with a shallow trunk. It does have plenty of room - even for a shallow trunk. Today, we brought a HUGE dog house home in it (yes, the tailgate window was open - but the tailgate door was great as it kept the load inside).

The X5 is the safest (crash tested) vehicle on the planet.

Patrick330i
04-06-2003, 12:17 PM
I freakin' hate SUVs, but after the family's latest foray on the road(trip), I am thinking about biting the bullet and letting my wife have one as her main ride. Then I won't have to use it except on the roadtrip. I guess the alternative would be to rent the beast when making a family roady. :dunno:

TD
04-06-2003, 01:22 PM
Originally posted by JPinTO
They are not what PEOPLE want... they are what the LADIES who live with us want.

- JP

Thank god the "lady who lives with me" (who happens to also be my wife and the mother of my child) refuses to drive one and generally dislikes them as much as I do.

BTW, even this month's Roundel slammed the X5 for it's overall lack of utility. No cargo space and a puny back seat.

Why bother? Oh yeah, to look "cool". :rolleyes:

Emission
04-06-2003, 03:04 PM
Originally posted by TD
"...overall lack of utility. No cargo space and a puny back seat."

Compared inch for inch with a 525iT or 540iT, the X5 has a much larger rear seat, and much more useable rear cargo area. The X5 may not be deep (it is identical in depth to my Passat trunk actually), but it is tall.

Five years ago, I hated black leather. All people who had black leather were idiots. It was hot, dark, and showed every little bit of dust. I liked tan or gray leather that was it... until I tried black leather.

Now, two of my cars have black leather, the other black cloth.

Live with an X5 for two months. You will realize how nice it really is.

Nick325xiT 5spd
04-06-2003, 03:16 PM
Originally posted by Emission
Live with an X5 for two months. You will realize how nice it really is.

With a 5 spd and a 4.10 rear end, I have to agree with Sarafil... I'd hate it. And automatics drive me nuts in traffic.

Have they done anything about the wind noise? The 4.4i I drove in '01 was really loud on the highway.

JPinTO
04-06-2003, 03:54 PM
Originally posted by Emission
The X5 may not be deep (it is identical in depth to my Passat trunk actually), but it is tall.


And WIDE! There is a huge amount of shoulder room in it.

JPinTO
04-06-2003, 03:58 PM
Originally posted by Emission
All people who had black leather were idiots.

What took you so long--- I've had black leather since my first car 20 years ago.

There is only 1 thing superior to black leather... black leatherette! One thing that bothers me about the X5 4.4's is that leatherette isn't available. You have to take leather, which sucks. Black Ette RULEZ! :D

rost12
04-06-2003, 04:06 PM
Originally posted by JPinTO

There is only 1 thing superior to black leather... black leatherette! One thing that bothers me about the X5 4.4's is that leatherette isn't available. You have to take leather, which sucks. Black Ette RULEZ! :D

What sucks even more about X5's leather is that it's Montana leather, AFAIK. Yuk. I'll take leatherette over Montana anyday.

Nappa, on the other hand...:thumbup:

JPinTO
04-07-2003, 09:40 AM
Originally posted by rost12
Think about it. X5 4.5 will be just another run of the mill big engined X5. X5 4.6is, on the other hand, is an M of Xs. It gets M colours, M cluster and aggressive bodykit. And it has 340hp to boot.

I'd get 4.6 over 4.5 just for the exclusivity, since you are not loosing anything tangible but gaining something intangible.

I'm not sure about the pricing, though. I guess 4.5 will be cheaper.

OK... I've thought about it.

I don't care about M Colours, M-Cluster or aggressive bodykit.

I want silver or black, not estoril or imola. The M-Cluster is easily replaceable and the body kit isn't that big of a deal.

I only care about the motor. The X5 4.5 will have 333hp... virtually identical to a 4.6. I also care about the wheels... and I don't really want 20s. A lot of bling going on there. Also, I'm too cheap to pay for replacement rubber.

I don't care about exclusivity enough to pay $20k more for it. The 4.5 should come in base @ $70k CDN, similar to the 4.4i. Throw in a couple grand of options and it's a lot cheaper than the $96k they want for a 4.6is.

Masskrug
04-16-2003, 10:33 AM
Originally posted by rost12
What sucks even more about X5's leather is that it's Montana leather, AFAIK. Yuk. I'll take leatherette over Montana anyday.

Nappa, on the other hand...:thumbup:

No, it doesn't. It has Dakota leather. Whatever that is.

bten
04-20-2003, 02:01 PM
No, it doesn't. It has Dakota leather. Whatever that is.

I have Dakota leather. Best described as single color Montana. :eeps:

Capitalist
04-22-2003, 07:56 PM
Originally posted by Nick325xiT 5spd
Hopefully the X5 3.6i will be available with three pedals, six speeds, and a 3.73.

3.6i? :confused: Has that been confirmed by any reliable source?

Capitalist
04-22-2003, 08:04 PM
Originally posted by TD
BTW, even this month's Roundel slammed the X5 for it's overall lack of utility. No cargo space and a puny back seat.

Puny back seat? That article must have been written by someone as knowledgeable as you are. If you can't fit comfortably in the back of an X5 you must be so grotesquely obese that you shouldn’t be in a car anyways because of all the extra stress you’d be putting on the drivetrain…

JPinTO
04-23-2003, 05:45 AM
Originally posted by Capitalist
Puny back seat? That article must have been written by someone as knowledgeable as you are. If you can't fit comfortably in the back of an X5 you must be so grotesquely obese that you shouldn’t be in a car anyways because of all the extra stress you’d be putting on the drivetrain…

That's for sure! The X5's passenger space is cavernous.... particularly in width. Everyone knows that storage is lacking, but passenger space certainly isn't (for any reasonably sized human + 200lbs)

suzer
04-23-2003, 09:31 AM
You know, now that I have one and have been using it for two weeks, I have to say that cargo space isn't really that limited. I've been doing all the stuff I normally did in my 4Runner, and I haven't hit a space limit yet. In all the years I drove my bigger truck, I only brought home sheets of plywood twice, and an armoire once. Mostly I'm bringing home just enough stuff to be too large and unwieldy for a trunk in an average-size car, but still small enough to be handled by one person.

I drove the work-crew to lunch last week, and we easily put three good-size guys in the back, and everyone had leg and shoulder room to spare.

Emission
04-23-2003, 09:50 AM
It looks shallower than it really is (weird).

My Passat has a huge trunk, yet the X5 is deeper and wider with the seats up. Tonight, I will take a pic of both trunks with the same cargo in them for comparison.

Masskrug
04-23-2003, 11:12 AM
Originally posted by bten
I have Dakota leather. Best described as single color Montana. :eeps:

:dunno: ??

bten
04-24-2003, 05:44 PM
Dakota leather on the 2000-2002 was two tone. The 2003 is single color

SARAFIL
04-24-2003, 05:48 PM
Originally posted by bten
Dokata leather on the 2000-2002 was two tone. The 2003 is single color

2000-2002 had Montana leather, and it happend to be two-toned. The E46 and E39 used regular Montana Leather.

bten
04-24-2003, 05:51 PM
Sorry,

I got that backwards!:eeps:

labatt
04-25-2003, 11:11 AM
To me there are really 3 categories of sporty utes... In order:

1) X5 4.6 and Porsche Cayenne Turbo
2) X5 4.4, Porsche Cayenne S and Infiniti FX45
3) X4 3.0, Volvo XC90 and Infiniti FX35

This would be my shopping list in order of preference...

By the way, I ended up with an X5 4.4. As a business owner, the Section 179 tax savings have made the thing almost free.

Phil F
04-25-2003, 06:51 PM
We purchased an X5 3.0 as the main family hauler last year. The competition was Acura MDX (just didn't feel right), 2002 Rangerover (drove like a truck and was too expensive), 525iT (see comments below), 325xiT (slick, but much too small). The Volvo XC90 was not yet out.

It was really my wife's choice here. And she opted for the X5 because it (a) is by all counts, the safest passenger vehicle on the road (we've got two young daughters); (b) has a huge back seat; (c) has handling that leaves other SUVs in the dust.

Her second choice was the 525 wagon. However, my wife says that it has much less rear seat leg room-- and it is rear wheel drive. (We've got a very steep driveway.)

An all-wheel drive 525 or 540 wagon would be very tempting. But my wife says that--in this phase of our family's life--the extra interior space of the X5--i.e, a much larger back seat--would still make it her first choice. (If the car were for me I wouldn't hesitate to take the 5 series wagon over the X5.)

Also, we both prefered the feel of the 3.0 over the 4.4. Be sure to drive them both if your seriously considering an X5. As for the 4.6, if you've got that kind of cash to throw around, take a look at the new BMW-designed Rangerover.

Emission
04-25-2003, 10:25 PM
Phil,

We were also looking very seriously at the 525iT. We ended up with the X5 becaue the rear seat was wider, and deeper (two child seats fit much better). I completely agree with your comments!

- Mike