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I am looking at replacing my Acura MDX which has now become expensive to maintain @120k miles. The reliability has also been less than expected for a Honda product. Wife really wants the Mercedes GLS but they are pretty pricey. So I was leaning toward the Audi A7, which is a bit less pricey and gets rave reviews.

However I've always been partial to BMW and a colleague suggested the X5. But my brother bought one years ago that was such a lemon that eventually BMW replaced the engine.

So here's my question:

(1) How many miles have you driven and how was your reliability?

(2) How does the 4WD perform with 3-6" of snow on the ground? (we like to ski)
 

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As many members on this forum would say: if you have to worry about the cost of owning BMW please look elsewhere.

As far as reliability - I wouldn't say they are unreliable - just they need expensive (dues to costly parts) and timely maintenance by a experienced professional

I personally have a diesel, and except the annoying (and expensive) SCR (emissions that is ) systems repairs - it has been a smooth sailing. Of course I've fixed my issues and future ones in a radical manner
 

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If you have to ask about owning a bmw its not for you.
 

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The vehicle has its faults but I'm already thinking about a X5M.

I've just passed 40k miles on my '12 X5D and haven't had any problems, except for a recurring and annoying DEF no-start warning message.

Haven't driven it in snow but I would expect it to handle like a champ.
 

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If you want an SUV that performs like a sports car buy the X5. If you want an nice dependable all terrain SUV you might try this!
Click...
 

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Honda product? People are replacing on Toyota 4Runner calipers once a year, but if you ask them about reliability they will say: oh it is Toyota.
My mother and father in law have 2009 Pilot. 3 sets of rotors, differential, abysmal MPG etc. And car has 60K.
Anyway, first, you need to tell us what are your expectations? BMW are much more complex then Acura (which is rebadged Honda Pilot).
1. BMW's (and any Euro cars) are like planes. You have scheduled maintenance, and if you fallow that you will be OK in that department.
2. Engines are turbo, 35i being most reliable due to the fact that it does not have complex emission system like diesel. Has much more power then Acura (although hp is not that higher on paper).
3. Diesel in my opinion is best for X5 due to low rpm torque. However, get ready for some inconvenience with emission system and some improvisations on that.

Personally, if you do not have indy mechanic that knows BMW's, do not get it.
Snow? Good, if you have snow tires. In 6 inches of snow it will go forward on good All season tires. Now, if you want to stop take into consideration that X5 is between 4900lbs for 35i to 5200lbs for diesel. And in those conditions only snow tires are going to stop this car in time.
Corners? Good, unless you put too much input or you are fast (possible) then rear end in slick conditions will show BMW rear end bias. I love it, I do it in purpose, and that is with snow tires! My wife thinks it is stupid, unnecessary and ridiculous and that I never grew up.
Tell us what made you thinking to get rid of Acura?
 

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No, I would not buy again. But this is the most fun I've had in an SUV. Just got my car serviced for some maintenance and it is expensive. Also found out there is oil leak which is costing a hefty sum. Hondas and toyota are cheaper to repair and maintain, but aren't as fun to drive. My next car would probably be a Honda or toyota since I won't be driving like I stole it with my family in the car.

Sent from my SM-N910T using Tapatalk
 

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I just purchased my 3rd X5( this one a diesel). I also have a 3281D which we love.

We did "stray" and have in between a Porsche Cayenne and most recently an AudiQ5.

The previous X5's were great, fantastic in the snow. Moved over the the Porsche and it was a fantastic ride but there is where I was told over and over...if you can afford the car, you can afford the upkeep. It was a money pit and I would not consider another. Had multiple issues with it.

The Audi is another story. Did get a maintenance package but they would cover nothing. Problem with MOLD in the air system...not covered about 15,000 miles. Electrical issues, unable to find, finally at 75K we got rid of it, too many problems. Very difficult to deal with also.

Just picked up our 5th BMW last week, X5D. BMW has stood behind their cars, did by the 2016 due to maintenance change 2016 and good deals right now.

My very first BMW was a 5 series, had a locking issues and was a new car. After making several attempts to fix it, we wrote a letter about the CA lemon law, a week later they asked what color I wanted in the new car.
They stand behind their product, this is something we have not found in other car's from our experience.
 

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Good winter tires were essential for me. Here is what a typical winter road looks like on the drive to our cottage

https://youtu.be/fO63qrwaMr0

Snow at my destination



I have to saw the blizzaks have been remarkable. Great grip in deep snow, and even better on ice.
 

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1. In 2004 when I was first shopping for a BMW, I was facing a crisis of image: Did I want to be another BMW arsehole? My wife helped by pointing out I was already an arsehole. Problem solved - I bought an M5

2. The response about "if you have to ask" can be viewed from a position of 'rich guy superiority', but in a way it is true: these CAN be expensive to repair and CAN break down with some regularity- if this will bother you (not 'can you afford it') you may not want to even consider it. Having said this, it rubs me poorly to- along with 'ya gotta pay to play' and 'you get what you pay for'...

3. I have 275k on my 2001 MDX. original owner, 15 years old (purchased the very first day the MDX was sold in the USA) I probably spent 10k on repairs and maintenance- one tranny, some AC parts, lots of fluid changes and belts, some suspension parts, brakes.

4. I had a 2010 X5 Diesel that I wound up lemoning. I did "buy this car again", namely replaced it with a 2012 X5D.

5. The '12 has been relatively trouble free. I bought a BMW gold warranty that paid about 2k of repairs (emissions/DEF tank) and I have done brakes, oil, fluids, filters. Even if I had to do the warranted repairs, Id be OK with that. But I am a DIYer and dont get too uptight about work or costs. HOWEVER...If I was paying dealer rates (on the BMWs, the Pcar or the MDX) Id likely have a different tune.
 

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Bear in mind that a BMW is not a luxury car so much as it is more of a performance vehicle. The ride is going to be stiffer, not a lot of chrome on the inside, the seats are going to be stiffer, the steering(at least on 2013 and older)is going to take a little more effort at some speeds.I guess the newer ones have electric steering so no experience with that. Because the engine is a performance engine you might not see the millage you want.Who buy's a BMW expecting good gas millage? performance equals maintenance and maintenance equals money. These X5's are heavy so they wear tires pretty fast especially if you are an aggressive driver but if you weren't you would be looking at another brand. Most people who complain about their BMW bought it thinking it is a luxury car, its not. I could go on but I think you get the point. Go and drive an Audi,Mercedes, or any one of the Japanese models. They're all good luxury vehicles and will go as fast as the BMW, they just won't get there as fast. I didn't mention the Volvo or the Volkswagon for a reason. Good Luck!
 

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Question 1. Had X5 three years now has 54k miles. Diesel model and so far no reliability issues.

Question 2. Great snow performance (although limited given years of drought). That is with dedicated 18 inch winter tires. Your mileage will vary with all seasons and staggered setup. Looks good, but not best choice for snow.

Not asked, but I have zero regrets with the X5. I have had BMWs for almost 20 years, definitely driven over half million miles on them, possibly close to three quarters. They get needy, but lurking on these forums helps knowing what troubles may lie ahead and how to plan for them if they happen (they don't always.) A trusty independent shop and or ability to DIY as well as a solid maintenance plan that goes beyond BMW recommendations are must haves for beyond 100k miles ownership IMO.
 

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I traded in my 2011 last year because I was afraid to own it out of warranty. It had over 60K miles on it when I got rid of it. I had purchased it in 2012 as a CPO. In those three years the car was pretty reliable with the only issue being a faulty backup camera.

We ended up buying a loaded and really beautiful 2013 CPO Avalanche. Yeah, I know, different vehicle.

We are now shopping and most likely looking to get back into an X5. These were my wife's daily drivers and she really misses the performance and features of the X5.

As for the Land Cruiser comment before, when we bought the 2011, we traded in a 2004 Land Cruiser that we purchased new. It had 160K miles on it.

Much different vehicle and not always without problems. At 40K miles we had a part fail that rendered navigation, HVAC and radio inoperable. There was a TSB out on it explaining that this was a known issue and the part had been redesigned. At a cost of $5,000! I was out of my factory warranty, but had fortunately purchased and extended warranty. I also had a few other issues related to the back up camera, and other stuff. By 50K miles the most of the issues were sorted out and for the next 110K miles the vehicle was essentially bulletproof, just regular maintenance, brakes and tires.

It still ran like the day we bought it the day we traded it in on the X5. Looking back on all the cars we have owned in my life, it was probably the best car I have ever owned, but I might have felt differently if I had to pay for those big ticket items out of pocket.

However, as was said, different vehicle.

You want to hear reliability horror stories? I have a 2010 Ford F-150 Lariat Super Crew in the stable. Bought it over two years ago as a CPO with 33K miles. I have a list of repairs that would make a BMW blush. The extended warranty has paid for itself three times over.
 

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I dont mean to be an as$hole, but if you dont think you can afford a used bmw you def cant or better yet may not want to deal with the recurring expense of owning a german car. Coming from an mdx especially one of the lowest maint cars around? I never leave my indy with less than 1k spent and the dealer worse. I left the dealer a few years ago wit my 750i which was covered under cpo w a $750 bill for a lower rad hose and sensor.
 

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Have a 2010 diesel 125,000 miles. Love it. Only minor issues so far emissions canister under warranty and some injectors and glow plugs. Now I think I need a new glow plug module. But overall doesn't sound like a lot for 125k
 

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No, I won't buy a BMW again.

I love the X5 and not worried about $$$ maintenance since I knew that before buying the car. Oil change is 140-150 instead of 19.99 but no problem; other services are expensive, no problem.

My issue with my X5 is squeaky plastic and rattling noise from here and there. I have had an Audi/Honda/Toyota/Hyundai and none of them had these annoying issues so it bothers me when BMW has them.

Emissions related CEL is icing on the cake. I can't believe I have to spend money this early (35K-40K) to fix emissions stuff.
 

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I concur 100%. Whats troubling for me about the cheap plastics and squeaks/rattles is that BMW did not correct the problem after the first model year. This wasn't something that slipped through the cracks. BMW has and CAN build a better car, but they didn't care to address the issue. My previous e46 and e90 did not experience anything like this--just push your finger into the plastics all around the car and it results in a squeak.
 

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I concur 100%. Whats troubling for me about the cheap plastics and squeaks/rattles is that BMW did not correct the problem after the first model year. This wasn't something that slipped through the cracks. BMW has and CAN build a better car, but they didn't care to address the issue. My previous e46 and e90 did not experience anything like this--just push your finger into the plastics all around the car and it results in a squeak.
I truly believe there is a metric wherein BMWAG considers the first owner/lessee to be 'their customer'. So 24-36 months is their 'lifetime'

The idea that they are building a 10-15 year piece of machinery is long gone....IMO
 
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