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X5 E70 (2007 - 2013)
E70 BMW X5 produced between 2007 and 2013. Discuss the E70 X5 with other BMW owners here.

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  #1  
Old 02-12-2012, 10:10 PM
yogi799 yogi799 is offline
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Mixed feelings after 2012 35d test-drive

Coming off of an E46, I went for the F10 and love it. No complaints.

We also have an '03 MDX in the house which might be getting replaced in the next 3-5 years. The current X5 is awesome outside, not so sure about the interior, at least compared to the F10. But regardless, we love the exterior look and went in for a test drive. We do a lot of towing (18.5' Bayliner) so 35d was my first - and only, I had thought - test-drive choice. Oh boy was I wrong...

My overall test-drive experience of the 2012 X5 35d with 30 miles on the clock can be summed up quickly - very mixed feelings... I had expected to be blown away by the X5 considering my aging '03 MDX - well, to my great disappointment - I really wasn't. Compare that with my jaw way down on a floor after each of my F10 test drives (comparing to E46).

Acceleration - really ****ty off the line. I stopped and nearly floored it multiple times. I was never shoved into my seat - something I can quite easily do with my MDX. I was expecting A LOT from that monstrous 425 low-positioned ft-lbs of torque. The power build up was gradual rather than sudden, to my disappointment - given the impressive numbers. I've driven turbo diesels back in Europe and usually things exploded around 2k RPM (if not sooner). Here, the delivery was sure but gradual, without the rocket I was looking for. Oh, the tranny jerked a few times as well. Never happens in my MDX, F10 or the retired E46.

Power - overall satisfying and by all means adequate. Reaching any speeds was rather easy, just not in the way I would expect. I've once shifted into manual mode, kept it about 45MPH in 5th (or so, can't remember) so that RPM would stay around 2k. Floored it and.... no explosion... Is that normal? I get that from my 535i with much less torque (I know it's lighter but there's much less torque as well). I am sure towing a boat would be a pleasure, though - would it also in the 35i??

Sound - I'm too used to quite gas engines, I guess.... Can't complain but I would have expected the cabin to be more insulated from that crappy sound. Maybe the 2014 model will add that extra sound-barrier to keep that ****ty diesel noise in check (it should at such a high cost! $67k bare-bones 35d in Canada, pre-tax)

Steering - waaay too hard. The steering wheel is fat and turns real hard. Way, way harder than my MDX. Even harder than my old E46's (which was also not too light, given BMW designs back then). Even the rep said the steering is indeed hard, to my comment - "I could see many customers not liking that". Not sure how ANYONE, including hardest enthusiasts would accept it. I hated it.

Ride quality on highway - awesome at high speed highway driving, as one would expect. Very car-like at 90MPH which my MDX could never do.

Ride quality in the city - TANK-like. That pig indeed feels heavy. Perhaps due to that hardest steering. Way too bumpy on uneven roads. I suppose here is where that expensive Adaptive Drive should come in. I did not like the stiffness at all. Overall, that X5 felt real heavy in terms of hard steering and gradual power delivery with no kick. Those two things would have probably made my test-drive in 35i more positive, or would they? I love the 3.0 turbo engine in my F10. If the same engine is present in 35i with the 8-speed, I would expect a fine performance despite greater weight (the 300HP in my F10 seems almost too much for the city, hence heavier body should make things just perfect, shouldn't it?).

Nav screen - too small! I've gotten used to the larger one in F10, perhaps. I presume they'll enlarge it for 2014.

Overall, I was not blown away by any standards. What I've experienced was nowhere near worth $70k (whereas, for comparison, the F10 was worth every penny). I will definitely need to compare that to the 35i (50i is out of my range). I would expect the interior to get much nicer for 2014 as well, as it currently does not match the stunning exterior IMO (in all fairness, the design is quite old by now, so the critique might be too harsh). This test drive made me look for other rides, however... WTH? And I was mostly comparing it to my '03 MDX...


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Last edited by yogi799; 02-12-2012 at 10:30 PM.
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  #2  
Old 02-12-2012, 10:15 PM
tonka858 tonka858 is offline
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Sound - I'm too used to quite gas engines, I guess.... Can't complain but I would have expected the cabin to be more insulated from that crappy sound. Maybe the 2014 model will add that extra sound-barrier to keep that ****ty diesel noise in check

agree, I have posted many times my 2006 Diesel Mercedes cargo van sprinter is much quieter.
getting tempted to put the bmw on leaseswap and dump it.take a beating and move on.
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  #3  
Old 02-13-2012, 12:10 AM
ard ard is offline
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"Crappy sound"? It's diesel, that's the sound they make. Some more, some less- but it is a function of the mechanics of the motor. To decide it is 'wrong' or 'crappy' seems moronic. (Just the type of customer who would value that system that makes fake motor sounds and plays it into the cabin.)

Yogi- don't buy a diesel.

Tonka- sell/swap yours.

There ya go, both of your problems solved.
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  #4  
Old 02-13-2012, 12:43 AM
yogi799 yogi799 is offline
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ard, as I've said, I've driven diesels before and actually did not mind their sound at all. The problem is, those cars were typically a fraction of X5's cost. At $70k, I would rather prefer the sound to be diminished just like the gasoline engines (by adding extra sound insulation). I really don't believe it's that hard or impossible. And those are luxury vehicles, aren't they? My 5 cents.
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  #5  
Old 02-13-2012, 03:13 AM
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ductman ductman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yogi799 View Post
ard, as I've said, I've driven diesels before and actually did not mind their sound at all. The problem is, those cars were typically a fraction of X5's cost. At $70k, I would rather prefer the sound to be diminished just like the gasoline engines (by adding extra sound insulation). I really don't believe it's that hard or impossible. And those are luxury vehicles, aren't they? My 5 cents.
I came out of a 2010 MDX which is far superior to the 2003, the MDX does not compare at all in any regards whether it is the interior, handling, etc, My 2011 X5D has plenty of low end power, the acceleration is deceptive, I believe 6.9-7.2 verse 8.0 on the MDX, it is a diesel, it will no way be as quiet as the gasoline engine, I believe you went in with unrealistic expectations or you read too many reviews and were " brainwashed " especially by the steering " issue " .
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  #6  
Old 02-13-2012, 06:56 AM
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Jim E. Jim E. is offline
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Originally Posted by ductman View Post
I came out of a 2010 MDX which is far superior to the 2003, the MDX does not compare at all in any regards whether it is the interior, handling, etc, My 2011 X5D has plenty of low end power, the acceleration is deceptive, I believe 6.9-7.2 verse 8.0 on the MDX, it is a diesel, it will no way be as quiet as the gasoline engine, I believe you went in with unrealistic expectations or you read too many reviews and were " brainwashed " especially by the steering " issue " .
+1!

Yogi, the X5 is not for you. You should seriously consider the F10 or perhaps an Audi or some other "cushier" vehicle.

The X5 is build exactly the way BMW intended. BMW builds vehicles they way they want to with very little compromise and not to meet particular needs of a large cross-section of particular demographics.

Based on your comments, i could never see you being satisfied in an X5 and only bashing an otherwise stellar vehicle for BMW's targeted driver.

Good luck.
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  #7  
Old 02-13-2012, 07:17 AM
Docross42 Docross42 is offline
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Well said JimE.

If someone likes the "hollow tin riding on a set of marshmallows feel (insert Japanese luxury moniker of your choice here)," this vehicle isn't for you. That's what test drives are for, and why there are several manufacturers out there. I hope BMW IS HAPPY TO PROVIDE VEHICLES FOR THOSE OF US WHO PLACE A PREMIUM ON BEING INVOLVED WITH THE EXPERIENCE OF DRIVING-a machine with fantastic feedback and intuitive ergonomics (sorry for the shift lock, but I'm too lazy to go back and rewrite). I hope they stop trying to reach across to capture buyers not interested in road feel and handling...

Sounds like the OP might like the new MB M Blutec? It's quieter, softer, and a lower price point. Give that one a try. Thanks for the post.
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  #8  
Old 02-13-2012, 08:38 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Agree the X5d is not going to be a satisfactory addition to your stable. Since you tow a fairly heavy boat you might be happier with a domestic, perhaps a Jeep GC, or GM trio. It it were a bigger boat I would suggest a Yahoe or Yukon. Anyway, the other european diesel imports are going to be about the same price or more than the X5. Keep looking.
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  #9  
Old 02-13-2012, 08:42 AM
yogi799 yogi799 is offline
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Thanks for the input guys. The heavy steering was indeed quite bothersome - again, even the SA admitted that, and no I would not enjoy it. (BTW I have not ready ANY reviews so I have not been brainwashed by anything/anyone). I've read several members here complaining about he same thing, though, so it's not just me I presume. Also, I've read the 35i has a lighter steering, that's not available on the "d" or was I seeing things...?

Jim E., I already have an F10. We are simply considering MDX's replacement.

ductman, my MDX did 7.5s easily when new. I can still get 8s after 120k miles. I don't have ANY low end torque though for towing which makes me insanely mad (and my gas consumption is through the roof!). Hence my first shot at a diesel motor. I wonder what'd be the best alternative considering diesels are quite rare (isn't BMW the only one?). The 3.0 twinpower turbo engine might do the job though... It does extremely well on the lighter F10 (the power is simply too abundant for 5-series weight). I should do very well with the extra weight and a boat on a hitch (boat and trailer is 2500lbs). Am I mistaken?
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  #10  
Old 02-13-2012, 08:56 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Yog, there are currently 4 diesel SUV's available to us. The VW T-egg, Audi Q7, MB BluTech and of course the BMW. Coming next MY year will be the Jeep GC with a Turbo V6 diesel made by VM Motori. This is interesting because VM Motori is owned jointly by GM and Fiat so that kind of begs the question will we be seeing any diesel GM SUV/SAV's with that engine in the near future as well. The engine can be set up for use in transverse as well as fore and aft configuations so a front wheel drive based Acadia or Enclave would be a no brainer.

Last edited by UncleJ; 02-13-2012 at 08:57 AM.
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  #11  
Old 02-13-2012, 09:04 AM
rodnjen rodnjen is offline
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All the reasons you stated for not liking the X5d are all the same reasons we do like it. Although the noice thing I just don't get. If you are at the ATM and the SAV is running, then yes it sounds like a "chugger". When driving we hardly notice the sound.

We are coming from a 2008 Acadia, and a 2005 ML350 before that. The X5d is simply a different vehicle. We are already seeing substantial fuel economy over the other two along with power and stability. We are not "off-the-line" drivers, so I can't really address that with you, but when passing, it is ALL there.
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  #12  
Old 02-13-2012, 09:19 AM
m3the01 m3the01 is offline
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I appreciate your comments and opinion as everyone has one.

I do not agree, maybe because i come from a performance car background. I luv the ride of the x5, i was blown away on the test drive. The handling is amazing for an vehicle of this weight. Please consider the skid pad results for the x5, the vehicle is grippy.

I test drove many vehicles before deciding on an x5. The cayenne was my only other consideration as the audi, acura were way to soft for me.

Now these are my opinions,

Almost forgot, luv the sound of the diesel....
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  #13  
Old 02-13-2012, 09:26 AM
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chiefneil chiefneil is offline
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I'm confused at your comments since I also have an E46 - a 2002 330i. We bought 2012 X5 35i over the summer to replace our 2002 X5 3.0i.

The steering in the X5 is comparable to the E46 in terms of weight. Maybe you had a pre-2002 E46 that had significantly lighter steering, which was changed to a heavier feel after many, many people and auto mags complained about it being too light? The E53 (prior gen) X5 had even heavier steering, but the 2012 really feels about the same as my E46, and I sometimes drive both on a daily basis. In terms of steering feedback and feel (as opposed to just weight), the E46 is far, far superior, however.

For ride quality, the X5 definitely offers a smoother ride and more compliance than my E46 sport. My X5 does not have the sport pack or sport suspension though. I have the 18" rims that come with the premium trim. Maybe diesel owners can comment if the base suspension differs from the fuel-injected suspension, but I would be surprised if it did. If your test drive was in a model with the 20" rims and sport suspension, then that might explain the harsh ride.

I can't comment on the diesel, but the 35i's acceleration is stellar. Noticeably better than my E46 when rpm's are in the 2 - 4k range. You may find acceleration at highway speeds to be less on the diesel, but I would think that around-town driving with the diesel would be pretty impressive with all that low-end torque.

Overall I have to say that I find your assessment to be very much at odds with my own, which is puzzling as we both have E46's.
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  #14  
Old 02-13-2012, 11:00 AM
Felliren Felliren is offline
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I suggest a test drive of the VW Touareg TDI if you wish to stay in the European family. Here are some key points on it:

1. The 3.0L TDI is very similar to BMW's diesel (230 hp, 400 lb/ft)
2. It has a tow rating of 7,700 pounds.
3. Unlike the BMW, it has the same 8-speed auto as the 3.5i.
4. The steering is significantly lighter than the X5. VW has done a nice job with their variable speed steering.
5. Pricing is very reasonable compared to the BMW. You can get a full-specced out TDI for $50k negotiated in the USA.

I speak from experience, as I just picked up a 2012 Touareg, albeit with the 3.6l TSI gas enginer, for my wife Saturday.

Prior to the X5, I had a Gen 1 Touareg. The new T-reg is like night and day compared to the Gen-1. The 600ish pounds they removed from the chassis makes a world of difference. It handles very car-like, almost on par with my X5, except with lighter steering and a bit less road feel.

Finally, the T-reg's sound, nav, and infotainment system is profoundly better than the X5's. The only area where the X5 has a leg up is BMW Apps.

Let me know if you have any additional questions on the T-reg that I can answer.
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  #15  
Old 02-13-2012, 11:23 AM
yogi799 yogi799 is offline
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Thanks guys, excellent feedback that I appreciate. Thanks for listing the potential competitors as well - very useful. I will definitely try the 35i as well but it's good to keep all options on the table. There were no other options for the F10, however
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  #16  
Old 02-13-2012, 11:26 AM
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1HOT BMR 1HOT BMR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yogi799 View Post
Thanks for the input guys. The heavy steering was indeed quite bothersome - again, even the SA admitted that, and no I would not enjoy it. (BTW I have not ready ANY reviews so I have not been brainwashed by anything/anyone). I've read several members here complaining about he same thing, though, so it's not just me I presume. Also, I've read the 35i has a lighter steering, that's not available on the "d" or was I seeing things...?

Jim E., I already have an F10. We are simply considering MDX's replacement.

ductman, my MDX did 7.5s easily when new. I can still get 8s after 120k miles. I don't have ANY low end torque though for towing which makes me insanely mad (and my gas consumption is through the roof!). Hence my first shot at a diesel motor. I wonder what'd be the best alternative considering diesels are quite rare (isn't BMW the only one?). The 3.0 twinpower turbo engine might do the job though... It does extremely well on the lighter F10 (the power is simply too abundant for 5-series weight). I should do very well with the extra weight and a boat on a hitch (boat and trailer is 2500lbs). Am I mistaken?
Obiously, this diesel is not for you. I'm an Acura fan so I also gave the 2012 MDX a thorough test drive. IMO that car was so far below the X5 in performance that it took me aback since I was expecting so much more. The X5d steering is very heavy at low speeds but the MDX was too light and vague, the MDX gas engine is quiet but it made a horrible thrashing sound at full throttle and it felt gutless to me. I also own an F10 and yes, the interior is much richer looking and it's quieter and more powerful but it's a different kind of power delivery. If you want the car for sprinting then buy yourself a X5 50i or a Cayenne S. The only thing I wish I could have ordered is the Active Steering which is not available on the 35d - that would have made the car perfect for me.
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Old 02-13-2012, 01:15 PM
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serge1 serge1 is offline
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The only area where the X5 has a leg up is BMW Apps.
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  #18  
Old 02-13-2012, 01:28 PM
yogi799 yogi799 is offline
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Originally Posted by 1HOT BMR View Post
The only thing I wish I could have ordered is the Active Steering which is not available on the 35d - that would have made the car perfect for me.
... and that affected a bulk of my opinion, I believe (where it really matters). Not only was it hard to turn at low speed, the car felt a lot heavier because of that. Any reason why 35i would and 35d would not be available with that option??
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Old 02-13-2012, 02:59 PM
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1HOT BMR 1HOT BMR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yogi799 View Post
Not only was it hard to turn at low speed, the car felt a lot heavier because of that. Any reason why 35i would and 35d would not be available with that option??
Very true, that fact alone makes it feel much heavier at low speeds. I tried to get the Active Steering on a special order basis but I was told no, not possible, period . . I asked why but I did not get an answer only . . . it is just not possible to have an X5d with AS at this time. Let's hope this become an option in the next generation because it sure needs it.
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Old 02-13-2012, 03:03 PM
docpowell docpowell is offline
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Why do you keep going back to the gas car compared to the diesel SAV? Apples and Oranges. Don't do it. My bicycle doesn't do the same things as my motorcycle, we get it.
The diesel engine has extra equipment to include heavier engine, tranny and other required components, so adding active sterring, one, would add a significant weight, and two, would not fit with the diesel components.
If you are looking for punch off the line, you have a couple of low cost options; switch to manual steptronic shifting, (free.) or DS mode, (also free.) Add a sprint booster ($299), it decreases the electronic signal lag from the throttle to the computer to the engine, thus increasing your throttle response and giving you an increased punch off the line. And then you can add an ecu remap or other bypass. A popular and affordable one is the Burger motorsports Juice box ($289 or so), adds 60 hp and 150ft lbs of torque. And that will blow any other vehicle off the road.
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Old 02-13-2012, 03:06 PM
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OP, if you really didn't like the diesel in the X5 and want a more comfortable car, the new ML and Touareg will do exactly what you want. In fact, the new Touareg is better than the E70 in a number of ways, such as comfort, interior quality, and the diesel engine is quiet. None of the noise of the BMW motor. It is probably cheaper too.

If you were towing, I would suggest the new ML or Treg actually because BMW doesn't offer a factory tow package. Something, Audi, VW, and MB do offer. And a loaded Touareg does come in at a lower price point than the BMW. I almost bought a Touareg myself, but liked the sportier dynamics of the of the X5 and loved the power of the M57

In fact, the Touaregs engine isn't as powerful as the BMWs, but it is so much more quieter and smoother. You can't tell it is a diesel from the outside. With the BMW, it's quite obvious
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  #22  
Old 02-13-2012, 04:20 PM
yogi799 yogi799 is offline
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I see, thanks once again for all the great pointers. So I take it we should cut the design of 35d some slack given its age (2007?) and older design parameters - although they are putting the new 8 speed in 35i so go figure... perhaps they've put the diesel model a bit on a back-burner until the new model comes out. It'd be awesome to see what the future holds (2014). I bet they will address bulk of my initial concerns. I'll mention once more - I never felt the diesel was weak - it broke each speed limit with ease and cruised down the freeway like crazy (my MDX really stops accelerating at 80MPH!...) Good thing I have a few more years to decide, but I'm now slighly tempted to give the 35i a shot and take one for a spin.
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  #23  
Old 02-13-2012, 07:16 PM
97mdrei 97mdrei is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yogi799 View Post
I see, thanks once again for all the great pointers. So I take it we should cut the design of 35d some slack given its age (2007?) and older design parameters - although they are putting the new 8 speed in 35i so go figure... perhaps they've put the diesel model a bit on a back-burner until the new model comes out. It'd be awesome to see what the future holds (2014). I bet they will address bulk of my initial concerns. I'll mention once more - I never felt the diesel was weak - it broke each speed limit with ease and cruised down the freeway like crazy (my MDX really stops accelerating at 80MPH!...) Good thing I have a few more years to decide, but I'm now slighly tempted to give the 35i a shot and take one for a spin.
This may not work if you need a NEW vehicle or must have 23-26mpg but how about a lightly used '11 or '12 X5 50i? Could be a bridge to the next-gen X5s that may resolve many of the issues that you have with the current X5d.

Last edited by 97mdrei; 02-13-2012 at 07:20 PM.
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  #24  
Old 02-13-2012, 07:25 PM
bubear99 bubear99 is offline
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Yogi,

After reading your first post, I had to wonder if you tested some kind of Chinese X5 clone. I've had my 2011 X5d since last August and couldn't be happier. Is it perfect? No way. Is it as close as you'll get at the price? Probably. The steering IS heavy (my wife hates it, but she's more a Lexus/MB type), but I've gotten used to it. As for the noise, WTF? I've also driven Euro diesels and don't find it any different. However, I had a 2005 Dodge 2500 diesel, and my X5 is church quiet in comparison. The acceleration is very good. If you want to experience the torque, put your left foot on the brake, floor it with your other, and then let go. It always gives me flashbacks to the fighters taking off in the Battlestar Galactica. My kids love it. Maybe you drove a bad one. Try a drive in another X5d and see if it's any different. Good luck in your search.
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  #25  
Old 02-13-2012, 07:35 PM
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serge1 serge1 is offline
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Yogi,
If you want to experience the torque, put your left foot on the brake, floor it with your other, and then let go. It always gives me flashbacks to the fighters taking off in the Battlestar Galactica. My kids love it. Maybe you drove a bad one. Try a drive in another X5d and see if it's any different. Good luck in your search.
+100
My kids love it as well, even the wife!
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