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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 06-11-2012, 12:06 PM
jasonttx jasonttx is offline
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Long Time Tahoe and Lexus owner thinking of treadeing the X5 waters, need advice.

Hello all,

The wife and I both need new rides and being the gentlemen I am helping her find the right car for her. I've had a Tahoe for 9 years with 190k miles on it and love it, never any major issues (knock on wood). She has had a 1997 Lexus ES300 for about the same time and roughly same miles. Great car, but now a fairly decent oil leak at 186k miles in. Long story short she would like to purchase a slightly used (looking at 2011) mid size SUV.

We have test drove a Range Rover Sport, ML350, Cayenne, X5, Infiniti JX and 4 runner. I have been researching on edmunds, motor trend, car and driver and kbb for reviews and consumer input. We've eliminated the Rover, Cayenne, ML. While I do have some decent feedback I thought it might be best to ask my question here. We love the look of the X5 exterior wise, it is gorgeous. We love the interior and tech of the JX (but looks like a minivan almost).

My question is, while reading and speaking with people I've got mixed reviews of the reliability of the 2011 x5. It seems as though most are ok up to the warranty break - around 50k miles but then tend to have a host of issues (but small smaple size). Ideally we would like to keep this car for 150k miles or more if possible. Is this car reliable enough for us to make a 45-50k investment and be satisfied with the reliability of it or are we going to be kicking ourselves at 100k miles. We are looking into an extended warranty and are looking for a 1 owner - clean car fax and will have a private inspection done.

If it is worth the investment can anyone share what I should be prepared for as the most costly issues or maintenance with the 2011 x5?

Any help would be appreciated, thank you.

Jason
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  #2  
Old 06-11-2012, 12:19 PM
georgejm georgejm is offline
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That's a tough one, my two cents, to me BMW drivers know there will be times of trouble and times of great joy when there is not, can you live with that? If not have you looked at the Lexus SUV's? Wife has an LS460 and never a problem. There will be many opinions here on your question and the truth will be somewhere in the middle.
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  #3  
Old 06-11-2012, 01:48 PM
docboss docboss is offline
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x5 reliability

Jason, IMHO If you are seeking an SUV with the reliability of a refrigerator, you should pass on all European manufacturers. Japanese manufacturers build SUV's that traditionally beat all others. My x5 is far more entertaining to drive and I love the diesel, but our Lexus vehicles have been "bullet proof". A friend of mine has driven three GX model trucks for over 80,000 each with zero service other than maintenance (but now he drives an x35d). I cannot vouch for Acura. A GM product is probably an exceptable alternative given it will be less expensive when it does break. If your primary concern is durability and cost of ownership of a luxury SUV for 150,000 miles, Toyota may be your best bet.
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Old 06-11-2012, 02:33 PM
Samillercpa Samillercpa is offline
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Hi Jason,

I was in the same boat. I have had Lexus up until now and find them very reliable over the years. I understand that the Acura MDX is also very reliable and almost bought one...they are hard to find used which is another indicator of owner satisfaction. I just personally do not like the looks of the MDX and took that into consideration when it came to the final decision.

I have noted a big dif in the way the BMW dealer treats us as opposed to the Lexus dealer. Lexus service is by far better than BMW from where I sit at both the dealer level and the home office, which appears to be non-existent.

On the other hand, the CPO BMW X5 I have drives more like a sports car than an SUV. Added to this is the added flavor of good looks of the X5. I will probably drive my X5 until the warranty is up and then trade it for what I am used to in the way of a Japanese vehicle mainly for the service and reliability aspect.

Hope that this helps.
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  #5  
Old 06-11-2012, 04:23 PM
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chiefneil chiefneil is offline
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While I love BMW's and haven't driven anything else since the 90's, I'm not so sure that I'd recommend them to a couple that love their Tahoe and ES300. You will find the ride to be significantly more firm, repairs more expensive, and overall reliability may be lower.

That said, my wife kept her 2002 X5 for 10 years and 110k miles. I still have my 2002 330i at 100k miles. No unexpected repairs that I would consider significant, although looking at a 3k a/c repair caused us to trade the X5 in last year for a current 2012 X5.

For a used 2011 X5, I would think that the vast majority of the bugs would be worked out in that model year. I personally would expect it to be pretty reliable up to the 100k mark. From 100k - 150k you get maintenance items like water pumps, radiators, belts, gaskets, bushings, etc that need replacement. Although I would expect that to be true of any car, the repairs will cost more for a BMW than a GM or Toyota.
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:17 PM
BryanCO BryanCO is offline
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All good comments.

Similar situation for us - we bought a 9 month old 35d for my wife. The X5 is replacing a 158k MDX which we bought new in 2001. The MDX has been very reliable. I don't expect the same level of reliability (hopefully will be happily surprised) but am ok with that to get the other positive ownership experiences. We are very happy with our purchase and I'll be watching the reliability info and the cars performance as the car ages throught it's warranty period.
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  #7  
Old 06-12-2012, 08:40 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Have you looked at the new GMC Acadia Denali? Very nice truck, three rows of usable seating and decent gas mileage to boot. Not an X5 of course, but very competent. There are many other good choices out there now. The JX is new, looks good, but is reported to be underpowered and the drivability has been panned by the "experts". There are many choices but only one "ultimate driving machine" -- unfortunately it is not "the ultimate reliabilty machine".
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:26 AM
hotrod2448 hotrod2448 is offline
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Another one to consider would be used a Land Cruiser. It would likely be in the same ball park pricewise as a nice X5 and they are supposed to be one of the most reliable vehicles out there (not just SUVs). I do see a decent amount of older ones still running around.
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  #9  
Old 06-12-2012, 02:30 PM
rattfink1974 rattfink1974 is offline
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Traded my GMC Yukon that I had for 10 years with 150k miles for an X5. I really enjoyed the Yukon, but the driving experience in the X5 wins for me. I have 43k on my 2008 X5 4.8i and no major issues so far. Knock on wood.
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  #10  
Old 06-13-2012, 08:53 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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We still have my old Tahoe in the family (210K miles) and it has been great. Did rebuilt the transmission at 100K miles ($3400) but that, along with the usual shocks, brakes, and tires has been it for repairs. When you need a truck -- you need a truck and drivability aside they are hard to beat for real utility and longevity.
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  #11  
Old 06-13-2012, 08:08 PM
Pourboire Pourboire is offline
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Jason, there are no guarantees regarding car reliability. For instance I bought a new 2007 Acura MDX sport model and all 4 struts failed after the car was out of warranty. The total mileage when I traded it in for a 2013 X5 was 34,000 miles. The cost to replace was not cheap. Installed $2600 for the front 2 struts and $2000 for the 2 rear. If you go on the internet you will hear horror stories which will scare you from buying any thing. I for one researched the Audi models and was scared to consider any of their models. The X5 is a wonderful car to drive and handles extremely well. This is my second X5, traded my first 2006 X5 for the Acura MDX, which turned out to be a mistake. One more thing, Acura praises their SH-AWD system. You can convince me, it handles terribly in snow.
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  #12  
Old 06-13-2012, 08:29 PM
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I wouldn't keep an X5 out of warranty. Self-repairs aren't easy, computer diagnostics require specialised equipment only found at dealerships and high-end independent shops, and there's just so many things to go wrong in an over-engineered vehicle like the X5. I'd prob just stick with a new SUV from either Ford or GM.
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:27 PM
onefish2 onefish2 is offline
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I would never keep any of these luxury SUVs after the warranty expires. That is why so many people lease them. I have a 2011 X5. 20 months left on my lease and then I will get another.

Last edited by onefish2; 06-13-2012 at 10:28 PM.
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  #14  
Old 06-14-2012, 06:59 PM
autoque autoque is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onefish2 View Post
I would never keep any of these luxury SUVs after the warranty expires. That is why so many people lease them. I have a 2011 X5. 20 months left on my lease and then I will get another.
It always amazes me how new cars can be tossed away after a few years use, like it's a smartphone just out of contract. If it's a company fleet, I can understand, but for private buyers/use in the long run, it'll cost more to keep leasing every 2 to 3 years than keeping the vehicle for seven to ten years and fix whatever issue you might come across. Warranty expiration and repair cost is one of the excuses car leasers make to drive a new vehicle every couple of years. But in the end for private buyers, the cost to repair almost always never exceed the cost to lease. Just admit it, you want a new car every few years. Nothing wrong with it though if you can afford it.
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Old 06-14-2012, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by autoque View Post
It always amazes me how new cars can be tossed away after a few years use, like it's a smartphone just out of contract. If it's a company fleet, I can understand, but for private buyers/use in the long run, it'll cost more to keep leasing every 2 to 3 years than keeping the vehicle for seven to ten years and fix whatever issue you might come across. Warranty expiration and repair cost is one of the excuses car leasers make to drive a new vehicle every couple of years. But in the end for private buyers, the cost to repair almost always never exceed the cost to lease. Just admit it, you want a new car every few years. Nothing wrong with it though if you can afford it.
Have you had to do repairs on a modern BMW? It costs a lot to do relatively simple things, and correct diagnosis without the specific computer equipment is near impossible.
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:03 PM
kck7 kck7 is offline
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Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
Have you had to do repairs on a modern BMW? It costs a lot to do relatively simple things, and correct diagnosis without the specific computer equipment is near impossible.
Maybe, but not every 'keeping' customer would experience such repairs, while every one of the leasing ones WILL incur the payments. It is about probability etc, and it depends what your approach to the situation is.
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:43 PM
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AzNMpower32 AzNMpower32 is offline
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Maybe, but not every 'keeping' customer would experience such repairs, while every one of the leasing ones WILL incur the payments. It is about probability etc, and it depends what your approach to the situation is.
I do prefer buying versus leasing, but every BMW needs preventative maintenance at some point, usually starting around the 130-140.000km (80k miles) point. Belts, cooling systems, fuel filters, etc.....start adding up, along with the wear-and-tear items such as brakes, fluid changes (which can get expensive depending on what you're changing). These are all pretty much a given and necessity to maintain the vehicle's level of performance unless one plans to only rack up very few miles. Personally I'd budget around $2k/yr for a vehicle like the X5 in maintenance and repairs.
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Old 06-15-2012, 09:41 AM
kck7 kck7 is offline
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Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
I do prefer buying versus leasing, but every BMW needs preventative maintenance at some point, usually starting around the 130-140.000km (80k miles) point. Belts, cooling systems, fuel filters, etc.....start adding up, along with the wear-and-tear items such as brakes, fluid changes (which can get expensive depending on what you're changing). These are all pretty much a given and necessity to maintain the vehicle's level of performance unless one plans to only rack up very few miles. Personally I'd budget around $2k/yr for a vehicle like the X5 in maintenance and repairs.
True for any brand or model. $ vary of course but they haven't succeeded in making a maintenance-free vehicle yet. Yes the German marques do seem to be more finicky about maintenance, more expensive (though not by huge amounts if DIY or if you find the right shop). Japanese makes however do seem to weather the neglect better, I'll give them that.

Owning two late-model Bimmers I have to say they are great cars. But I think the competition is catching up and when it comes time for us to trade there's no certainty it will be for another Bavarian. Also, if one wants to downsize (downprice I mean) there is a tremendous selection of good, reliable, well-made Jap metal at a price point the Germans can't even approach (ok maybe VW in places but you know which Germans I mean). Some of them even have a rep of being fun(ish) to drive (eg Mazda).
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Old 06-15-2012, 10:01 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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....a rep for being fun to drive. Yes, there are several asian car companies that offer some entertainment value along with the reliability. One that stands out is the Nissan GT-R, I think most everyone would consider that a "fun car" to drive. Another couple are the Subie WRX-sti and the Mitsui Evo's. Both are entertaining to zip around in. Lexus has a very sporty entry size M3 "wannabe" too. All this iron is not without its entertainment value. Even the staid old domestics offer some fun too. The SRT8's in the Chrysler group have to be considered as "fun" as do the pony cars from Ford (Boss 302 etc.) and the Camero/Corvette/CTS-V offerings. Not just the europeans have a monopoly on "fun" cars to drive IMHO!
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Old 06-15-2012, 10:23 AM
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chiefneil chiefneil is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
Have you had to do repairs on a modern BMW? It costs a lot to do relatively simple things, and correct diagnosis without the specific computer equipment is near impossible.
I mentioned earlier that we kept our 2002 X5 for 10 years. I still have my 2002 330i.

Repairs haven't been bad at all. IME if you have problems during the warranty period, you'll probably have problems post-warranty. A trouble-free warranty period is a very good sign that the vehicle will not need excessive repairs later on.

Our X5 had some a/c issues and window regulator issues early on. Those cropped again post-warranty. New ports +recharge on the a/c ran around 1k around the 8 year mark, then the evaporator started leaking around year 10. I think we went through 4-5 more window regulators post-warranty (and about 4 in-warranty). Those were the only repairs that I would characterize as "not normal".

My 330i on the other hand was trouble-free during the warranty and is still trouble-free. Fuel pump and water pump replaced around the 7-8 year mark. Various radiator parts a few times. None of those were especially expensive, maybe $300-$500 or so. Assorted standard maintenance items like belts, gaskets, etc, again a few hundred bucks or so a year. Oddly, I find myself wishing the engine would explode or something so I can go get the Porsche Cayman I have my eye on, but it's incredibly hard to justify a brand new $50k vehicle when your current one is a blast to drive, very reliable, and runs a few hundred bucks a year in maintenance.

What worries me with BMW's is the electronics. That's why on our 2012 X5 I skipped AD and comfort access. That stuff would scare me outside the warranty, just more very expensive stuff to fail. On the mechanical end, BMW's are very solid, imho.
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:49 PM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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I think the chief nailed it! The electronics are the big worry after warranty IMHO.

Last edited by UncleJ; 06-15-2012 at 01:50 PM.
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  #22  
Old 06-15-2012, 10:49 PM
onefish2 onefish2 is offline
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Originally Posted by autoque View Post
It always amazes me how new cars can be tossed away after a few years use, like it's a smartphone just out of contract. If it's a company fleet, I can understand, but for private buyers/use in the long run, it'll cost more to keep leasing every 2 to 3 years than keeping the vehicle for seven to ten years and fix whatever issue you might come across. Warranty expiration and repair cost is one of the excuses car leasers make to drive a new vehicle every couple of years. But in the end for private buyers, the cost to repair almost always never exceed the cost to lease. Just admit it, you want a new car every few years. Nothing wrong with it though if you can afford it.
They are not tossed away. Someone else will purchase it. Many people will be a used luxury vehicle because a car that is a few years old and of the current body style is more affordable to them.

I like leasing. I get a new car every few years that comes with the maintenance and the warranty... no worries for me.

You pay one way or the other. I would prefer to have no to few headaches.
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