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2015 BMW X5
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2015 BMW X5 Review
Value is a key element in automotive purchase decisions, but its definition varies considerably according to the buyer’s proclivities, which can lead to some interesting arithmetic. Consider the new BMW X5. If power absolutely rules your gotta-have-it list of traits, the choice is pretty simple: You need the X5 xDrive50i, with its 445-hp, 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8, which moves the 2.5-plus-ton SUV from 0-to-60 mph in a darn snappy 4.3 seconds. It’s the hottest X5 you can buy, at least until a next-gen M version comes along.

But if your buyer’s brain operates on a system of checks and balances, you’ll be feeding other factors into the equation. For example: the base price of the X5 xDrive50i—$69,125—is $13,100 north of the base for the X5 xDrive35i. The 35i is propelled by a turbocharged inline-six that generates 300 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque. That means you’d be paying $6550 for each of the 50i’s additional cylinders and a little over $90 for each additional pony. How about the 0-to-60 dash? The 35i does it in 6.0 seconds, not quite enough to induce brownouts, but respectable. Shaving 1.7 seconds off that time with the 50i costs a little under 1000 bucks per 10th. Inline-sixes have long been a BMW staple, and the boosted 3.0-liter in the 35i is a sweetheart. It’s smooth and quiet, with a torque curve that looks like the profile of the old airport mesa in St. George, Utah—long, high, and flat, with all 300 lb-ft online from 1300 rpm, barely off idle, to 5000. The single twin-scroll turbo delivers instant throttle response, and the eight-speed automatic is nicely programmed to make the most of it. Multiple downshifts for passing don’t require much of a prod on the accelerator, and the transmission goes about its business seamlessly in full auto mode. The inner X5 is tastefully turned out with quality materials, and as you’d expect, the heated leather seats are first-rate—supportive, widely adjustable, and all-day comfortable. BMW has instituted a number of sound-absorbing measures in this third-generation X5, and the interior is quite serene at freeway speeds. There’s plenty of room for second-row passengers, and our test unit wasn’t afflicted with the cramped third-row option. The second-row seats adjust fore-and-aft and fold almost flat to expand cargo capacity, and the liftgate is power operated. We also give high marks to this X5’s dark décor compared with the ivory-colored interior of our X5 50i test vehicle. BMW calls this a Sports Activity Vehicle, and many sports involve mud, grass, grease, oil, and other gooey stuff that doesn’t look good on light-colored upholstery. A couple ergonomic elements could be better. The shifter, for one, needs improvement, and a little more rake to the power tilting-and-telescoping steering-column adjustment would be welcome. But the standard 10.2-inch nav screen, set high on the center dash, is easy to read. We’re also happy that BMW’s iDrive system, so long reviled, is now surrounded by auxiliary buttons for basic functions and incorporates a touch pad, making it accessible even for Luddites. Besides the nav system, power liftgate, and heated front seats, our xDrive35i’s standard equipment included a power sunroof, respectable audio, USB connectivity, Bluetooth, smartphone integration, park distance control, and a solid collection of safety features, both passive and active. Not a bad list, and at $56,025, including all-wheel drive, the 2015 X5 is clearly an improvement over the gen-two version. However, besides Active Steering, our test vehicle included a Luxury Line package (sport steering wheel, roof rails, 19-inch wheels, $1700); the Driver Assistance package (rearview camera, head-up display, $1400); the Driver Assistance Plus (blind-spot detection, active cruise control with stop and go, active drive assist, 360-degree surround view, $1900); the Lighting package (full LED lights, automatic high beams, $1900); the Premium package (keyless entry, auto door closures, satellite radio, $2700); a Cold Weather package (heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, retractable headlight washers, $550); and white metallic paint, $550.

Including other minor items, the option grand total came to $14,950. At $70,975, the X5 xDrive35i begins to look pricey. But that’s only slightly higher than the base price for the X5 xDrive50i. So we’re back to the checks and balances. Unless your need for speed is very compelling, the xDrive35i makes a strong case for (relative) value versus velocity
2015 BMW X5 xDrive35i
Call:  1-800-851-9000 | 1-888-861-8080
Int'l: 1-561-862-5657 | 1-310-860-8986
Bodystyle:  Sport Utility
Ext Color:  Jet Black
Int Color:  Black
Engine Description:  Straight 6 Cylinder Engine 3.0L
Transmission:  8-Speed A/T
Drivetrain:  All Wheel Drive
Item Number:  BMWX535IX2015003
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Disclaimer: All advertised lease payments are based with 10% capitalized cost reductions plus standard drive off fee's. Typical terms are 48-63 months with A tier one credit and are based on between 10-12K miles per year. Payments shown don't include taxes or registration fee's, are subject to credit approval and prior sale. All advertised prices and payments include all factory rebates and incentives and are subject to qualification. Photos shown are vehicle stock photos and are for demonstration purposes only. Actual vehicle may vary based on color, options and trim level selected. Prices may vary by region depending on market conditions. Vehicle may be subject to prior sale. We and our partners disclaim any warranty as to the availability of, condition of, or accuracy of information provided about the vehicles listed on this website. Some vehicles may have dealer added equipment not disclosed.