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View Full Version : Offroad and Snow performance of X5? BMW vs. LR vs. Lexus?


jetstream23
01-04-2008, 11:50 AM
I've been looking at the X5, Land Rover LR3, and Lexus GX470 as candidates for my next SUV. The onroad performance of the X5 can't really be matched in my opinion, especially the 4.8 with Sports Package. But I need to know if the X5 would be okay in moderate offroad situations and in snow. I'm not talking about severe, mountainous conditions or extremely steep gradients but can the X5 be taken through some trails, a foot or so of water and get through some rocky or sandy conditions. Also, how would a Sport Package equipped X5 do in the snow?

I see the LR3 as the best offroad vehicle and it can pretty much go anywhere but 90% of the time my SUV will be on normal roads and highways where the LR3 is average at best. I see the Lexus as a decent combination of these two. I think it is better prepared for offroad conditions than the X5 but its certainly not a Land Rover. The GX470 also rides great on normal roads and is an excellent value. The only things I don't like about it are the side-swinging (rather than lifting) rear door and no included maintenance which I've grown accustomed to with my BMW.

Right now I think I'm leaning towards the Lexus GX470 for a few reasons but if the BMW can do fine on some trails in Sedona, AZ and take the family on a ski trip to Flagstaff with snow on the ground then I might be switching my mind again. Thanks for any help.

http://www.grandprixgroup.com/new/magazine/offroad/143/Test_bmw/1.jpg

http://z.about.com/d/trucks/1/0/e/F/lr3_offroad2.jpg

http://images.4wheeloffroad.com/roadtests/0302_13z+2003_Lexus_GX_470+Front_Passenger_Side.jp g

Big "J"
01-04-2008, 12:57 PM
Hummer would be my choice for off-road experiences should I have the desire. I'm certain any X5 would be just fine climbing over low to moderate terrain but, the only draw back is the low to moderate clearance underneath.

An X5 with good snow tires would get you to a ski lodge in good fashion with a little fun getting there as well.

IMO the look, feel and power of the X5 w/ the 4.8 is unmatched.

jetstream23
02-08-2008, 03:20 PM
Anyone using an X5 with Sports Package in the snow? Is it a disaster or did you change to snow tires for the Winter?

soldmystang
02-08-2008, 03:36 PM
the lastest issue of Motor Trend has an interesting article on the Lexus. my favorite line is toward the end of the article. the reviewer says the truck is no fun to drive.

however he does say the damn thing makes for a fine rock crawler. whoodah thunk.

AzNMpower32
02-08-2008, 04:45 PM
The 19" wheels/tires that come with the normal sport model should be fine. However, the 20" are a no-no for snow because they're summer tires. People on X5world pushed their luck in the snow with the 20" summer tires and the results weren't that great (they got stuck). The X5 should be just fine on moderate off-road trails, and you'll definitely appreciate the superior steering feedback. You have to be really pushing your luck to get stuck.

Now, if it's a steep hill that's all mud, I think tires would be the limiting factor for ANY SUV, not just the X5.

van D
02-08-2008, 07:35 PM
I do not know much about the snow, but can hardly imagine that the X5 would fail your there barring you have the right tires. If you are really going offroad in Sedona into sand, you will not want to have large rims. In sand you might want to drop tyre pressures and low profile tyres won't do well there at all. Also, you should not go alone (one car only) if you are going to be far from help. If you are not going to do anything too ambitious I don't think you need to worry either way... Although as an offroad car I do not know the X5.

The Big Lexus or Land Cruiser in sand is good but heavy - reliable.
Range Rovers Sand Desert performance is simply superb and great fun.
You'll rip the rear bumpers off on both models pretty soon unless you install metal guards.
;)

cross5x
02-08-2008, 07:53 PM
I thought the X5 wasn't an offroad car? The dealer explained to me that it was build for onroad performance as there is where people will drive most of the time. I have my GFs RRS and it drove like a king on my ski trip :drive:

Im definitely NOT going to take my 20"/Sports Package X to my ski trips, can't imagine the hell I will be going through :confused:

UncleJ
02-12-2008, 07:24 PM
Jet at that price point you are forgetting the Porsche Cayenne. The pepper is a highly capable off roader, as is its close cousin the VW Egg. The new V6 cayenne lists at $43K which is well within the range of the three you mentioned. The Jeep GC is also in that ballpark, but there would probably be so many of them in the Valley of the Sun it would be hard to find yours. To go up market into Range Rover and X5 4.8 territory you fall right into the Cayenne "S" range. All very competitive and widely available in your area.
Never however, would I drive a pristine Porsche Cayenne off road, but there are those that do. I would just be happy to know I could if I wanted to.

XZLR8
02-12-2008, 09:09 PM
Anyone using an X5 with Sports Package in the snow? Is it a disaster or did you change to snow tires for the Winter?
We have a 4.8i with the Sport Package AND the additional upgrade to the 20s. For the winter, I ditched the 20s and got a set of 19s with All Season tires (same setup that's on the normal Sport Package). The X5 has been just fine in the snow with the 19" A/S tires, although I am sure it'd be an absolute tank had we opted for snows, instead.

We've driven LR3s several times and always have been impressed, although the interior seems very "plastic" to me. If interior space is a consideration, the LR3 might be the better choice, as I believe the third row is more functional.

I am not impressed with the Lexus GX in the least. Complete snooze.

NP2004
02-13-2008, 07:09 AM
I completely agree with the above poster my X5 4.8i with the sport package and 19 inch all season tires handled perfect through the recent snow/ice/slush we had in Ohio yesterday in total about 5-6 inches of snow. Most of the areas I traveled on were not salted nor plowed and she went through it like a hot knife through butter. Even at complete stand stills on major inclines on the highway I didn't feel one slip from the tires, there wasn't one single minute I felt unsafe. I was beyond impressed with her capabilities in the snow/ice only down fall is how well she handles in the snow leads me to become overconfident and speed when I am sure I shouldn't.:thumbup:

XZLR8
02-13-2008, 07:35 AM
I completely agree with the above poster my X5 4.8i with the sport package and 19 inch all season tires handled perfect through the recent snow/ice/slush we had in Ohio yesterday in total about 5-6 inches of snow. Most of the areas I traveled on were not salted nor plowed and she went through it like a hot knife through butter. Even at complete stand stills on major inclines on the highway I didn't feel one slip from the tires, there wasn't one single minute I felt unsafe. I was beyond impressed with her capabilities in the snow/ice only down fall is how well she handles in the snow leads me to become overconfident and speed when I am sure I shouldn't.:thumbup:
I noticed you are in Columbus. You buy your BMWs at Kelly, by chance?

NP2004
02-13-2008, 07:44 AM
MAG I got both mine from the same sales adviser since Kelly wouldn't match my price quote.

I am Canadian
02-13-2008, 08:27 AM
When my 2004 X5 isn't in the service bay at the dealer, it really is quite good in the snow. The X-drive kicks in nicely and the vehicle handles well. Right now we have a thick layer of ice underneath the snow and the X5 does well.

However, the tires on the X5 are not snow tires, but it still handles alright. I should add that my daughter's 2004 New Beetle with top of the line snow tires is far more stable on snow and ice. Go figure.

As for off-roading, it's my understanding that the X5 is not specifically designed for "off-roading." If you want to delve into more vehicles designed for this, make sure to look at the VW Toureg - great reviews on off-roading, especially in snow.

Hope this helps.

XZLR8
02-13-2008, 10:36 AM
MAG I got both mine from the same sales adviser since Kelly wouldn't match my price quote.
Ah. I did business with MAG for years, then swore to never return after a bad experience with their Audi division. Luckily, the salesman and Sales Manager at Kelly are great guys who I actually knew back from their days at MAG.

jetstream23
02-13-2008, 10:53 PM
Thanks. Great replies. I love the onroad performance of the 4.8 X5 with Sport Pkg. I just want to make sure I wouldn't be driving the only SUV that would get stuck in an average snow storm up in Flagstaff or at Arizona Snowbowl. Sounds like the combination of all-season tires on the 19" Sport Pkg. wheels and the X-drive (AWD) will be more than adequate in most conditions.

In terms of onroad, normal driving conditions, are there significant differences in peformance, ride quality and road noise between the 19's and 20's?

XZLR8
02-14-2008, 06:30 AM
Thanks. Great replies. I love the onroad performance of the 4.8 X5 with Sport Pkg. I just want to make sure I wouldn't be driving the only SUV that would get stuck in an average snow storm up in Flagstaff or at Arizona Snowbowl. Sounds like the combination of all-season tires on the 19" Sport Pkg. wheels and the X-drive (AWD) will be more than adequate in most conditions.

In terms of onroad, normal driving conditions, are there significant differences in peformance, ride quality and road noise between the 19's and 20's?
The 20" High Performance tires on the X5 do make a bit more noise than the 19" A/S tires that we currently have installed for the winter. Not bad noise -- not even as much noise as the 20" tires that I had on my (former) 750i Sport -- but there is definitely a bit of increased noise. I wouldn't say the performance improvement with the 20s is huge, but there is some. Mostly, the 20s just look so damn cool.