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X5 E53 (1999 - 2006)
The X5 SAV Forum

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  #1  
Old 10-30-2004, 03:05 PM
aschem7912 aschem7912 is offline
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Manual Transmission X5

Hi all.

I was hoping to get feedback on driving an X5 3.0 with a manual transmission.

I expect to purchase an X5 in the next several months and I have been partial to manual transmissions with my last two BMW's ('96 328is and '02 330i).

Unfortunately, the dealerships here in NY do not have any manual X5's available to test drive, so I was hoping to get some feedback from anyone here that has experienced driving a manual transmission X5, comparatively speaking in regard to a 3 series sedan.

Any feedback would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
Old 10-30-2004, 03:14 PM
Alex Baumann Alex Baumann is offline
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Welcome to the Bimmerfest,

I'll move this post to the X Forum, our resident gurus will be happy to help you.
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  #3  
Old 10-30-2004, 04:08 PM
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I can't really speak from driving one but some friends have one that I have ridden in a few times. Real smooth as an suv/sav for a passenger but they definitely are not that keen on the clutch. I believe it also has the CDV giving the same imprecise feel as in all the other manual BMWs. Once removed I am sure it would be great as it has been in my 325Ci. I do know it was by a stroke of luck they even found the manual X5.
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  #4  
Old 10-30-2004, 06:06 PM
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UCrewX5 UCrewX5 is offline
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There are quite a few X5 owners that post here regularly who have the manual transmission, so I'm sure you will get some great feedback from them on this setup. In general you will likely find that the 1st gear is thought to be geared low (what md would call his "stump puller" gear). And the pre-'04's did not have the 6th gear overdrive, so at highway speeds they tend to run at a fairly high RPM. Other than that, I think the concensus from manual tranny owners is that they love it!

Good luck!

Quote:
Originally Posted by aschem7912
Hi all.

I was hoping to get feedback on driving an X5 3.0 with a manual transmission.

I expect to purchase an X5 in the next several months and I have been partial to manual transmissions with my last two BMW's ('96 328is and '02 330i).

Unfortunately, the dealerships here in NY do not have any manual X5's available to test drive, so I was hoping to get some feedback from anyone here that has experienced driving a manual transmission X5, comparatively speaking in regard to a 3 series sedan.

Any feedback would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
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  #5  
Old 10-30-2004, 06:44 PM
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motordavid motordavid is offline
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Hi Aschem...+

There are a half a dozenish of us that have the manual trans; a couple even have the newer 6 Spd.

I like our '01 5 Spd Sport, though I have 6 Speed Envy,

Here's my 2Cts:
-even on the '04s and newer, 1st is Indeed a Stump Puller low ratio; you'll learn 2nd gear starts are easy & effective.
-The CDV deal is a much diff feel than most BMWs or other man.tran cars. It can be replaced. I've driven 540s and M3s w/out the CDV and that situ is much better.
-On pre-04s, top gear is 5th and is not OD; thus, the rpms are fooking screaming at highway speeds; eg 75ish is 3500++ RPMs.
-The '04s and newer have a "slightly" OD'd 6th; helps, but it could use another 10-15% less ratio,imo.
-Clutch action is smooth/forgiving with easy friction point.
-Tranny shifts "OK"; other BMWs I've test driven, shift more precisely,imo.
-Synchros can be beat and I don't mean in speed shifting.

Overall, Fun, Different and you are correct: it will be Very hard to find one on a Stlr lot.
Look/call around for a used one sitting at a Stlr collecting dust; go for a drive.
GL, md
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  #6  
Old 10-30-2004, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motordavid
There are a half a dozenish of us that have the manual trans; a couple even have the newer 6 Spd.

I like our '01 5 Spd Sport, though I have 6 Speed Envy,

Here's my 2Cts:
-even on the '04s and newer, 1st is Indeed a Stump Puller low ratio; you'll learn 2nd gear starts are easy & effective.
-The CDV deal is a much diff feel than most BMWs or other man.tran cars. It can be replaced. I've driven 540s and M3s w/out the CDV and that situ is much better.
-On pre-04s, top gear is 5th and is not OD; thus, the rpms are fooking screaming at highway speeds; eg 75ish is 3500++ RPMs.
-The '04s and newer have a "slightly" OD'd 6th; helps, but it could use another 10-15% less ratio,imo.
-Clutch action is smooth/forgiving with easy friction point.
-Tranny shifts "OK"; other BMWs I've test driven, shift more precisely,imo.
-Synchros can be beat and I don't mean in speed shifting.

Overall, Fun, Different and you are correct: it will be Very hard to find one on a Stlr lot.
Look/call around for a used one sitting at a Stlr collecting dust; go for a drive.
GL, md
I second MD's eval. Almost 40k with the manual, and first gear is definitely "granny low." I bought the manual for a reason; I wanted it. I could've afforded the 4.4, but no standard shift. Plus, I like BMW straight sixes. I learned to drive on an MB straight six (300E), and something about the smoothness of the engine really does it for me. I wouldn't get the six with an auto...
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  #7  
Old 10-30-2004, 11:49 PM
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mkh mkh is offline
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I totally agreed with all the above comments. Yes, 1st gear is ridiculously low, and is probably more suitable for towing. You have to upshift as soon as the car starts moving.

I have driven BMW manuals for the past 10 years. Because of the gear ratios, the first two gears of the X5 are very different from any other models. It took me the longest time to get used to driving it smoothly. For comparison, I took no time getting used to driving the 330i after delivery. On the plus side, it gives you a lot more torque at the low end.

So be warned if you are not very experienced in manual driving. It will be a little challenging. But once you get used to it, you'll like it much more than the Steptronic. I originally wanted a 4.4i but after test driving it, I hated the Step., and with no alternatives, I was kind of forced to take the 3.0i. Now with 54k miles, I did not regret a bit. I don't think the 6sp has anything changed other than the overdrive.
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  #8  
Old 10-31-2004, 04:57 AM
alpinewhite325i alpinewhite325i is offline
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I'm a big fan of manuals and would almost always recommend them over slushies.

In your case, though, if you don't plan on keeping the X5, trying to resell a manual will be a beotch!!
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  #9  
Old 10-31-2004, 06:47 AM
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spydrz spydrz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpinewhite325i
I'm a big fan of manuals and would almost always recommend them over slushies.

In your case, though, if you don't plan on keeping the X5, trying to resell a manual will be a beotch!!
Resale will probably be difficult; unless you come across someone like us who will only take a manual!
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  #10  
Old 10-31-2004, 07:42 AM
aschem7912 aschem7912 is offline
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I thank all of you for your comments, they have been extremely helpful.

The dumb-founded reaction I get from the dealers here in New York when I mention a manual X5 has been concerning, so your feedback has been consoling.

The good news is that I intend to lease this vehicle, so re-sale is really not an issue.

I am going to push my dealer to locate one close to me so tha I can experience some of your comments first hand.

As some of you mentioned, I have also test driven the 4.4 X5, and although it has a nice kick to it, the steptronic is not the same.

Comparatively speaking, how much power are you really giving up from the 330i to the X5? One of my concerns is that the A/C is now working harder to cool a larger space while carrying more weight than the sedan. Is this an issue?

Also, what has been your experience as far as agility and quickness as compared to the 330i? I test drove the x5 3.0 automatic, and is seemed rather quick to me, but then again it was a brand new car with 10 miles.

Thanks again for your feedback!
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  #11  
Old 10-31-2004, 08:38 AM
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mkh mkh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aschem7912
Comparatively speaking, how much power are you really giving up from the 330i to the X5? One of my concerns is that the A/C is now working harder to cool a larger space while carrying more weight than the sedan. Is this an issue?

Also, what has been your experience as far as agility and quickness as compared to the 330i? I test drove the x5 3.0 automatic, and is seemed rather quick to me, but then again it was a brand new car with 10 miles.
You are not giving up power, you are giving up power to weight ratio. They use the same engine but the X5 is 1200 lbs heavier. So don't compare it with the 330i. It's just no comparison in terms of acceleration and handling. That said, the X5 is no slouch in quickness and agility on its own, and I'm used to driving E36 M3 and now a 330i/ZHP. I have no trouble hitting 100mph even going uphill (not with passengers). Merging into freeway is not a problem either. Also, the A/C is cool enough for me in California summer and it doesn't eat up power more than my 330i. But if you really want to get the most of its power, you still need to turn the A/C off. It makes a difference.
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  #12  
Old 05-24-2014, 08:37 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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I know this thread is 10 years old but...

I currently own a 1998 528i 5sp MT, at highway speed 60mph and 5th speed, the tach is 2100 rpm or so.

I am looking at a 2006 X5 with MT, can someone with similar car tell me the engine rpm at 60mph is?
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