Here is a small write-up for people undecided about some of the options. This is not intended to be a full, extensive, technical write-up, just some first impressions after transitioning from a ’05 X5 4.4 w/60k miles. The main push in both cases was the Sec 179 deduction.
2012 X5 x35i Sport Activity $60740 (CCA check just arrived so take off 1K) w/Convenience, Cold Weather, Premium Sound, Active Steering, Multi-con seats, Space-saver spare, Dark Bamboo, BMW Apps.
Space gray/Oyster: Had Titanium before and see it around all the time, we thought this would be a nice change without getting too dark. I don’t know what it is but the leather feels thin, I would have upgraded to Nappa but we wanted the black lower portion on doors and floor.
Sport Activity: The price bump for this does appear high compared to what you get. We were after anthracite headliner and sport wheel.
Multi-contour seats: This was not available with what we ordered on our last go-around, but now it was, the additional adjustments are great and ergo friendly.
I guess people did not like the old sliding load floor, no idea when it was discontinued; we liked it and wish it was still available, very convenient. Also miss the remote switches to control rear seat backs; they were limited in range of motion, I can understand why they were eliminated.
Space-saver tire: You eventually need to use it once or twice, gotta have it. I added the gas strut support h/w. ($70 in parts: 51479149120, 51479138212, 07129903027) My first thought was there might be unforeseen clearance issues with the tire but everything operated perfect. If you have the trunk net installed, the two rear net mounting hooks tend to interfere with the trunk cover closing, it needs some kind of short extension. If the mounting points were on the trunk cover (like it was for the sliding load floor) this would not be an issue.
Convenience pkg: Why would you not want this? Integrated nav, you really can’t fake it with TomTom or a Smartphone. Universal garage door opener, the location of control buttons is not ideal. The last place I want to grab multiple times on a daily basis is the rear view mirror! Relocate back to the headliner or near iDrive. Keyless access is great; wish the keyfob was not so chunky, if you’re a 2-3 bimmer family that can get bulky in your pocket. Wish you could close the rear hatch from inside; sounds like this might be a coding issue.
Soft close doors: We looked at this; however you have to re-learn your normal door closing routine. We all tend to just “close the door” in one motion and that’s it. With soft-close, you must “position” the door to within 1-2” of closing, then it will automatically pull to close. If you just close as normal, soft close does nothing extra for you. In other words, you are the one doing the soft close, the mechanism does the rest.
Running boards: Not into them or special rims.
Y Spoke: We just got basic 19x9 all-season tires
Cold Weather: Seats heat up nice and fast. Sure it’s seasonal, but great when needed.
Premium Sound: I’m sure you can do better after market, but that’s just too much work. It might be handy if volume control could be added to the iDrive, maybe an adjusting ring below the main dial. I used the equalizer/audio settings Gregory34 posted.
Tech pkg: I did not see any advantage for side view cameras from the front sides; rear sides though would be helpful. There is a blind spot near right rear fender, you really cant just backup without checking your side mirrors, I caught myself twice. Auto high beams, we did not get a clear explanation or demo on this function.
Active Steering/servotronic: We had this last time and got used to the feel, looks like its more sensitive now compared to ’05. Test drove X5 without feature and steering was noticeably stiffer as others have reported.
Adaptive drive: This is another item we were not able to test, however we did have air suspension in our prior X5 that was beginning to be a bit troublesome. All the air bags/struts were replaced, sensors started to act up, never again.
BMW Apps: I think this is a work in progress. From what I understand you can’t add it after the fact, so we got it. Got the iPod adapter cable as well.
On our ’05 X5 4.4 we had that transmission ‘slam’ in low gear from a stop, even after repeated dealer inquires, throughout ownership. We have not experienced this now, I’m not sure if the slight lag from a stop is the BMW fix for this or just “turbo lag”.