Monday, March 17, 2014

Used Car Review - BMW X5 (2007-2014)

This model is getting replaced and the previous model will have its last hurrah courtesy of Myk Belmonte.

2007-2014 BMW X5

SUVs - or sport utility vehicles - were in the rage until the Europeans (as a whole) joined the party in the late 00s. Mercedes Benz first fielded the M Class which despite some quality quirks, became popular. Then BMW rewritten the norm: marketing these vehicles as SAVs or Sport Activity Vehicles. First in the family is the X5 with the members expanded later on. See, you need not to be the same with others in order to be salable, sometimes being unique is the key.

Going to its second generation model under the codename E70, the E70 X5 model incorporated new technologies, a reworked interior, and an electronic gearstick known as the 'joystick' among others. The FlexRay, used to control the chassis damping system, first saw use in this vehicle. No more manual transmission available but it paved way for an M variant, which was only exclusive for the passenger car line-up. The F15 X5 replaced this one in late 2013.

The local BMW distributor brought in the E70 X5 in early 2007 to make battle with the newbie Audi Q7 and the updated Porsche Cayenne. M models were launched in 2010 while the gasoline models were discontinued in 2013. By this time, F15 models are now available at the nearest BMW dealer.

Value and Costs
With the introduction of the F15 X5, expect used prices to drop further with the oldest models lingering in the P1.5M range. Like we always say, going to the certified pre-owned route is the best way for your ownership experience. Diesels are the majority of units sold locally, which is what we choose (more on this one later).

Maintenance prices are at par with rivals from Germany, whether you choose a gasoline (with the exception of the M) or diesel model. Since this vehicle has tons of electronic gadgets, have an eye on them. If it has run-flat tires, do check them since replacing a set of them is very expensive.

Exterior and Interior
Although it looks smaller than the model it replaced in pictures, length, width and wheelbase were stretched although the height is still the same. If there are some sharp creases existed in the older model, some soft lines while remaining attractive is evident here.

The big news for the E70 X5 - which is totally relevant to the Philippine market - is the availability of a third row bench. Only children and people with short build are welcome to apply there as it is cramped and better used for emergency purposes only. As usual, interior quality is topnotch and the iDrive is much simpler than before. A joystick type shifter is the 6-speed automatic which looks quirky. Replacing the old interface is a touch screen monitor which houses the radio.

Let us start with the popular (and our recommended) engine: the M57TU2D30 2,993cc diesel which carries 235hp at 4,000rpm and 520Nm giving out needed torque at the range of 2,000 to 2,750rpm. There are two options for a gasoline powered X5 and start from the N52B30 2,996cc V6 having 272hp at 6,650rpm and 315Nm at 2,750rpm. If you gotta go petrol, get this one but go on an extensive search since it was dropped in February 2010. Those who crave more power can opt for the N62B48 4,799cc V8 that possess 355hp at 6,300rpm and 475Nm with a range between 3,400-3,800 rpm. Any of the three are fast but the diesel is what we pick due to its blend of low maintenance costs and performance. The 3.0 gasoline is fine while the V8 is ferocious both in acceleration and fuel consumption.

Driving Impressions
Thank goodness, the drive is still as enjoyable as before especially when driven on twisty paths but body roll (which is minimal) and a firm ride is there. The latter can be rectified with an optional adaptive suspension, which may be standard in a unit you are looking for. Driving layout is flexible for every position one desires and no noise intrudes the cabin that disturbs the occupants.

Luxury SUVs have their own unique traits and the second generation X5 has its own set of abilities and flaws. For those who want the prestige of a Bimmer while needing the added height (do not use it for off-road abilities) for less cash might want to consider a pre-loved unit.

The Good:
  • Driver's delight
  • High quality materials used
  • Practicality
The Bad:
  • Somewhat firm ride
  • Tight third row
  • Expensive maintenance costs
The Pick: 3.0d

Engines: 2,996cc N52B30 V6 and 4,799cc N62B48 V8 gasoline, 2,993cc M57TU2D30 V6 diesel
Power: 272hp @ 6,650rpm (3.0 gas), 355hp @ 6,300rpm (4.8), 235hp @ 4,000rpm (3.0 diesel)
Torque: 315Nm @ 2,750rpm (3.0 gas), 475Nm @ 3,400-3,800rpm (4.8), 520Nm @ 2,000-2,750rpm (3.0 diesel)
Fuel Consumption: 4-7km/L (city), 7-10km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Suspension: Front independent double wishbone, rear independent multi-link

Price (New): P5,250,000-P8,140,000
Price (Now): P1,800,000-P3,000,000
Rivals: Audi Q7, Land Rover Discovery, Mercedes Benz M Class, Porsche Cayenne, Volvo XC90
On Sale: 2007-2014

Prestige Cars BMW - (02) 892-8127
Autohaus BMW - (02) 638-0734
Autozentrum BMW - (02) 772-6021

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