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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 08-23-2016, 08:32 AM
pieceofchum pieceofchum is offline
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2011 X5 xDrive 35i in Snow

Hello,

I am in the process of buying a 2011 X5 xDrive 35i. I currently have a 2015 Honda Pilot AWD vehicle that I will be trading in for the X5. The Pilot is fantastic in the snow and has the ability to lock the rear axle (at low speeds) and so it is amazing in the snow. I was wondering what the xDrive is like and if anyone might have had a Pilot and could compare between the two as far as the AWD systems are concerned.

Thanks

Last edited by pieceofchum; 08-23-2016 at 09:08 AM.
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  #2  
Old 08-23-2016, 10:28 AM
Flying Ace Flying Ace is offline
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Firstly, your snow tire choice (brand, line, size) is more important than the differences in AWD systems.

Secondly, if you really want to get into technicals, I'm guessing both X5 and Pilot has some type of viscous coupling unit or mechanical feature (perhaps gear driven?) that automatically transfers power to the other axle, albeit, the BMW is rear bias and Honda is front bias, assuming all Honda AWD systems are similar (like the RL, TL AWD cars).

The Honda has a manual locking differential, but the BMW doesn't operate in that tradition 4WD format, and is more of a full-time AWD system, aka, some full time lock determined by wheel slippage and the car's computer, but not controllable by the user to force a full time lock, which isn't really that useful anyways for a urban car.

Cliff notes: you won't be able to tell, both cars are equally capable in snow with the right tires
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Last edited by Flying Ace; 08-23-2016 at 10:34 AM.
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  #3  
Old 08-23-2016, 10:29 AM
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Doug Huffman Doug Huffman is offline
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Apples to oranges. All XDrive differentials are open. The Dynamic Stability Control/Dynamic Traction Control - DSC/DTC - brake the spinning low traction wheel(s) and send torque to the end, front or rear, with better traction. The X5 Transfer Case is a multi-disc wet clutch under DSC/DTC control.

DSC/DTC can be overridden or defeated, while a locking/limited slip differential cannot.

In ten years of ol' grandpa driving my FWD VW TDI I was high-centered stuck once. Nokian Hakkaplittas are almost as good as 4WD.
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Last edited by Doug Huffman; 08-23-2016 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 08-23-2016, 10:36 AM
Flying Ace Flying Ace is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Huffman View Post
Apples to oranges. All XDrive differentials are open. The Dynamic Stability Control/Dynamic Traction Control - DSC/DTC - brake the spinning low traction wheel(s) and send torque to the end, front or rear, with better traction. The X5 Transfer Case is a multi-disc wet clutch under DSC/DTC control.

DSC/DTC can be overridden or defeated, while a locking/limited slip differential cannot.

In ten years of ol' grandpa driving my FWD VW TDI I was high-centered stuck once. Nokian Hakkaplittas are almost as good as 4WD.
thanks for confirming...so the BMW is not a viscous coupler and is a gear driven clutch system. Good and bad, I suppose.

I came from the Evo/Subie world, where there's incredible debate on what types of transfer cases/center diffs are better for whichever purpose. Buyers of those cars pay a premium for the high tech center diffs in those cars for minimum performance returns (most are street driven)
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  #5  
Old 08-23-2016, 11:47 AM
pieceofchum pieceofchum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Huffman View Post
Apples to oranges. All XDrive differentials are open. The Dynamic Stability Control/Dynamic Traction Control - DSC/DTC - brake the spinning low traction wheel(s) and send torque to the end, front or rear, with better traction. The X5 Transfer Case is a multi-disc wet clutch under DSC/DTC control.

DSC/DTC can be overridden or defeated, while a locking/limited slip differential cannot.

In ten years of ol' grandpa driving my FWD VW TDI I was high-centered stuck once. Nokian Hakkaplittas are almost as good as 4WD.
Ok so it is an a-typical AWD system like a Haldex setup. Most of the AWD vehicles and even most trucks operate with open differentials and most don't have the rear locking axle either. Thanks for the information. I think I might miss the Pilot's system but the handling, style and luxury of the X5 will more than makeup for the loss.
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Old 08-23-2016, 12:12 PM
ArgentoCarNut ArgentoCarNut is offline
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I am afraid that what you will really miss from the Honda will be the reliability... Particularly when comparing a 2015 with a five-year-old used car.

I don't think I would make this type of change.


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  #7  
Old 08-23-2016, 01:15 PM
pieceofchum pieceofchum is offline
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Originally Posted by ArgentoCarNut View Post
I am afraid that what you will really miss from the Honda will be the reliability... Particularly when comparing a 2015 with a five-year-old used car.

I don't think I would make this type of change.


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Really I have indeed heard that BMW's are not reliable. Unfortunately Honda's have lots of problems too. My wife's first Odyssey had premature failure of the engine mounts which I found out was very common because the ECO mode which is not easily turned off puts a lot of stress on the mounts to save 1 mpg of gas which is outrageous. My wife's second Odyssey, which is a 2014, has the six speed transmission which bangs into gears so hard that it is jarring to drive Honda claims that it is working within specifications. I have not personally experienced the issue but the last generation Pilot's engines would fail around 150k miles due to the ECO mode but that is just from forum posts. I had to return yes I forced a dealer to return a 2015 brand new Honda Pilot because the paint was defective, the paint did not dry before clearcoat was applied, Honda's have the worst paint job I have ever seen in my life bar none you should check out the Civic paint problems it is outright scary. I had a Honda Accord that I had to trade prematurely because the brakes were too small for the mass of the car and so the brakes would burn up after 10k miles, there was a lawsuit which Honda settled with thee courts to do one free brake job for their customers because of the issue.

I have had many Honda's and yes they are overall very reliable but they do have big problems that are not widely known their reliability is more myth than fact and you should check out the Acura MDX issues, early transmission failure (again the six speed), early engine failure, electronics failures etc. So I am not really sure how bad the BMW X5 is compared to the Pilot in reliability I think the problem might really be the BMW charges an arm and a leg to fix anything and for maintenance but I am buying the car from a dealership that is a very honest shop and charges about half what BMW does for service and maintenance. And don't forget for Honda the maintenance costs for scheduled maintenance are insane quite a few of thee scheduled maintenance is $1k or more and are mostly inspecting fluids and such versus actually replacing things just fyi.

Also I am buying a 2011 X5 xDrive 35i not any of the sports models or the diesel both of which I was warned by the dealer have issues and are much more costly to maintain than the standard 6 cylinder turbo.

Last edited by pieceofchum; 08-23-2016 at 03:57 PM.
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  #8  
Old 08-23-2016, 01:22 PM
pieceofchum pieceofchum is offline
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Has anyone tried the Fiscon Bluetooth for the BMW's?

http://shop.fiscon-mobile.de/index.p..._e-series.html
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  #9  
Old 08-23-2016, 02:01 PM
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Doug Huffman Doug Huffman is offline
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Honda's are appliances compared to German luxury cars. Dealers are by definition not honest brokers.

My BMW iDrive-smartphone BT mediated services work perfectly. Unfortunately the BMW Connected/Assist functions barely work due to the obsolescent MTU/SIM.
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Old 08-23-2016, 02:02 PM
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Doug Huffman Doug Huffman is offline
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Honda's are appliances compared to German luxury cars. Dealers are by definition not honest brokers.

My BMW iDrive-smartphone BT mediated services work perfectly. Unfortunately the BMW Connected/Assist functions barely work due to the obsolescent MTU/SIM.
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  #11  
Old 08-23-2016, 03:32 PM
pieceofchum pieceofchum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Huffman View Post
Honda's are appliances compared to German luxury cars. Dealers are by definition not honest brokers.

My BMW iDrive-smartphone BT mediated services work perfectly. Unfortunately the BMW Connected/Assist functions barely work due to the obsolescent MTU/SIM.
Again I have a lot of experience with Honda's and it really depends on what you are comparing there have been very bad Honda vehicles as well as really great ones. For example US News rates my wife's Odyssey as less reliable than a 2011 X5 believe it or not. I think the one thing that is true is that Honda's and Toyota's have a more consistent build quality than most European vehicles. But there are examples of incredibly well built BMW's for instance my boss has a 1992 BMW 5 series all original that has actually rusted out but the drivetrain is still functioning fine, it has an unknown amount of miles on it he estimated over 300k but the odometer stopped working a couple of years ago. I am hoping this 2011 X5 is reasonably reliable like $1k or less a year in maintenance (I drive 10k miles or less a year).

Last edited by pieceofchum; 08-23-2016 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 08-23-2016, 08:05 PM
edycol edycol is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArgentoCarNut View Post
I am afraid that what you will really miss from the Honda will be the reliability... Particularly when comparing a 2015 with a five-year-old used car.

I don't think I would make this type of change.


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My parents n law, 2009 Honda Pilot AWD:
1. VCM
2. Transfer case
3. Front diff.
4. Three sets of brake rotors.
Abysmal MPG. Plastic inside like they tried their best to choose worse possible plastic.
I drive all my life European cars (BMW, VW, Opel, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Peugeot, and not to forget Yugo) and never had to change three sets of rotors in 60K, including Yugo.
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Old 08-23-2016, 08:11 PM
edycol edycol is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pieceofchum View Post
Hello,

I am in the process of buying a 2011 X5 xDrive 35i. I currently have a 2015 Honda Pilot AWD vehicle that I will be trading in for the X5. The Pilot is fantastic in the snow and has the ability to lock the rear axle (at low speeds) and so it is amazing in the snow. I was wondering what the xDrive is like and if anyone might have had a Pilot and could compare between the two as far as the AWD systems are concerned.

Thanks
First of all, your choice of tire is most important. Both cars with all season tires in serious snow will do bad.
Now, with good snow tires both are going to be good. BMW will be more agile and in packed snow, ice, slush should do better. Honda should do better in deep snow below 25mph due to locking differential feature, but above 25mph, I think BMW should do better.
Take notice, if you push X5 through curve when it is slippery it will throw its back end. It is very rear end biased. I find it very funny, my wife thinks I am nuts.
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Old 08-23-2016, 08:16 PM
pieceofchum pieceofchum is offline
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Originally Posted by edycol View Post
My parents n law, 2009 Honda Pilot AWD:
1. VCM
2. Transfer case
3. Front diff.
4. Three sets of brake rotors.
Abysmal MPG. Plastic inside like they tried their best to choose worse possible plastic.
I drive all my life European cars (BMW, VW, Opel, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Peugeot, and not to forget Yugo) and never had to change three sets of rotors in 60K, including Yugo.
Wow that is terrible I feel for them. I am waiting or my wife's Odyssey to blow the tranny and then I will get it replaced under warranty (I have a lifetime powertrain warranty on it) and trade it for a Sienna. Thanks for the information on the xDrive yea that is what I figured also that the Pilot will kill it in deep snow and the xDrive would do better handling in lighter snow. I think the Pilot will also brake better in the snow since it is much lighter - 300lb difference. How reliable has your BMW been?

Last edited by pieceofchum; 08-23-2016 at 08:30 PM.
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Old 08-23-2016, 08:29 PM
edycol edycol is online now
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Originally Posted by pieceofchum View Post
Wow that is terrible I feel for them. I am waiting or my wife's Odyssey to blow the tranny and then I will get it replaced under warranty (I have a lifetime powertrain warranty on it) and trade it for a Sienna. Thanks for the information on the xDrive yea that is what I figured also that the Pilot will kill it in deep snow and the xDrive would do better handling in lighter snow.
Xdrive will do really good in deep snow too. I drove it through 15-20 inches over 11,000ft mountain passes in Colorado to ski, while interstates were closed. I have Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 tires, and always drive on snow tires in winter.
BMW will kill Pilot on the road, in 99% of situations, except parking lot when you have 2ft of snow. Once you keep moving, BMW will do better. The AWD in BMW is just more reactive, and actually tries to think ahead of driver. Is it better then Audi Quattro? NO! Is it better then Pilot? I think so, but again, be careful about its rear end.
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Old 08-23-2016, 08:38 PM
pieceofchum pieceofchum is offline
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That sounds awesome I am very excited to get mine have to add backup camera and Bluetooth but then it will be perfect for me. Drove one for an hour and it was great handled way better, brakes were much better, acceleration was better, transmission was smooth although a tad slow but I think it will be better if I manually shift since then normal shift points should be for gas savings there is no way to manually shift in my Pilot. Heated steering wheel and seats in the BMW, much more comfortable cabin for driver and passenger. The contoured seat package is awesome, and the third row is almost as good as the Pilot just wish the seats were a little higher (1-2 inch would be nice) but my son says the seats are more comfortable for his back and he loves the rear vents he was more comfortable climate wise (it was a very hot day when we went for the test drive). Love the sliding roof too it is awesome. I like the iDrive better than the Pilot's system but the Pilots is slightly easer to use but not by much and the Bluetooth is pretty bad in the Pilot but at least it is good for calls.

Last edited by pieceofchum; 08-23-2016 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 08-23-2016, 08:49 PM
edycol edycol is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pieceofchum View Post
That sounds awesome I am very excited to get mine have to add backup camera and Bluetooth but then it will be perfect for me. Drove one for an hour and it was great handled way better, brakes were much better, acceleration was better, transmission was smooth although a tad slow but I think it will be better if I manually shift since then normal shift points should be for gas savings there is no way to manually shift in my Pilot. Heated steering wheel and seats in the BMW, much more comfortable cabin for driver and passenger. The contoured seat package is awesome, and the third row is almost as good as the Pilot just wish the seats were a little higher (1-2 inch would be nice) but my son says the seats are more comfortable for his back and he loves the rear vents he was more comfortable climate wise (it was a very hot day when we went for the test drive). Love the sliding roof too it is awesome. I like the iDrive better than the Pilot's system but the Pilots is slightly easer to use but not by much and the Bluetooth is pretty bad in the Pilot but at least it is good for calls.
Not sure how transmission is slow since 2011 should have 8 speed ZF, and in BMW that is one of fastest shifting automatics in the world.
You sure the one you drove is not 6 speed?
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Old 08-23-2016, 09:07 PM
pieceofchum pieceofchum is offline
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Not sure how transmission is slow since 2011 should have 8 speed ZF, and in BMW that is one of fastest shifting automatics in the world.
You sure the one you drove is not 6 speed?
Yes it was the 8 speed it needed a fair amount of RPM's to get into the next gear. I initially thought it was turbo lag but with dual scroll that shouldn't be the case. I don't think it is unusual my cousin has 2012 BMW 535xi and that reacts the same way. I did play with the manual shift and it is much better almost instant that way. My Pilot is the same. I had a G37x and that thing was great other than the 7 speed tranny which would hunt for gears and would take many seconds to find the correct gear had to put it in manual mode to have any fun . The fastest shifting car is the Evolution with the dual clutch at least from my experience that is very very quick couldn't shift faster manually if I tried.

Last edited by pieceofchum; 08-23-2016 at 09:08 PM.
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Old 08-23-2016, 10:43 PM
edycol edycol is online now
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Originally Posted by pieceofchum View Post
Yes it was the 8 speed it needed a fair amount of RPM's to get into the next gear. I initially thought it was turbo lag but with dual scroll that shouldn't be the case. I don't think it is unusual my cousin has 2012 BMW 535xi and that reacts the same way. I did play with the manual shift and it is much better almost instant that way. My Pilot is the same. I had a G37x and that thing was great other than the 7 speed tranny which would hunt for gears and would take many seconds to find the correct gear had to put it in manual mode to have any fun . The fastest shifting car is the Evolution with the dual clutch at least from my experience that is very very quick couldn't shift faster manually if I tried.
Well dual clutch is not automatic transmission per se, it is robotized manual gearbox, so I left that out in purpose.
As for ZF, in normal drive it should shift very, very soon, like at 1500-1700rpms.
If it is shifting during normal driving above 2000rpms, then that is not correct.
I have now 528 loaner and it shift like at 1500rpms when I drive slowly.
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Old 08-24-2016, 06:45 AM
eeyore8 eeyore8 is offline
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My post from Jan may be of some help ...

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...358&highlight=
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Old 08-24-2016, 08:04 AM
pieceofchum pieceofchum is offline
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Originally Posted by eeyore8 View Post
My post from Jan may be of some help ...

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...358&highlight=
Wow nice thread of snow driving adventures with the X5 nice sounds to me like it will handle my driving in the winter perfectly fine. I have a very steep driveway that basically requires and AWD vehicle and I have actually used my VTM-4 lock once getting up it but I think the X5 with xDrive will handle it fine.

Thanks
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Old 08-24-2016, 08:07 AM
pieceofchum pieceofchum is offline
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Originally Posted by edycol View Post
Well dual clutch is not automatic transmission per se, it is robotized manual gearbox, so I left that out in purpose.
As for ZF, in normal drive it should shift very, very soon, like at 1500-1700rpms.
If it is shifting during normal driving above 2000rpms, then that is not correct.
I have now 528 loaner and it shift like at 1500rpms when I drive slowly.
Yea the dual clutch is something different than a pure automatic transmission it is like a robotized manual I agree. You have given me some really good information though and I am going for one last test drive before I purchase it and will bring the mechanic that owns the shop with me and see if there is something wrong there. Could also be that I need to pull the battery and then drive it my way and let the computer adjust the shift points accordingly I had to do that with a Subaru Legacy I owned. I am also test driving another X5 this weekend that is newer and with much less miles just to get a feel for any differences. I wish I knew someone that owned one locally that I could test drive or drive with for a little while so I could get some experience with the vehicle.
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Old 08-24-2016, 08:45 AM
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Doug Huffman Doug Huffman is offline
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Removing X5 transmission adaptations are not so simple.

The Hondamatic has always, from day one, been an electrically shifted sliding gear 'manual' transmission.
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