They limit visibility just behind the vehicle, and demand an extra dose of caution when the X5 is backing up. It can take a while. The lower third drops down, once the upper portion has been lifted up. Part Number: 61319164417 It is brand new, however it does have some minor blemishes and a broken tab on the clockspring from shipping and storage see pics. Those who frequently switch between talk radio and music may find this inconvenient. All three X5 engines deliver plenty of usable torque for good acceleration.
The door bins are molded into the door panels, and split into two compartments. The failure mileage was 95,116. They're wide and deep, so anything you put here is likely to stay when you open or slam the door, and lined with rubber so contents aren't prone to sliding and making noise. There are also phone and redundant audio controls on the steering wheel spokes. The console box opens down the middle, clamshell style, and it measures about six-by-six-by-ten inches, lined with a rubber mat. The optional 19-inch wheels and high-performance tires grip pavement tenaciously, and the level of stick seems more impressive given the high seating position of the driver.
The clamshell tailgate is a mixed bag, in our view. We'd wager that it's the quickest vehicle in the class, with the exception of the Porsche Cayenne S and Turbo models. The optional Comfort Seats have a lot of side bolstering for this type of vehicle, and that's a double-edge sword. Think of the X5 as a 5 Series sedan with more headroom and a bit more cargo space. Acceleration builds quickly when you step on the gas, regardless of how fast you're already going, but it's never rough or intrusive. There's also a separate slot for sequential manual shifting.
The system interfaces with AdaptiveDrive--part of the optional Sport Package--to coordinate the steering system's operation with active roll stabilization and electronic damping control. Entry and exit to 3rd-row seat requires contortions. There's also temperature control and a fan switch on models so equipped. They all work well, but there are so many that fine tuning takes time and some trial and error. On the road, that means an emphasis on sporty driving dynamics, even if it comes at the expense of utility. The six-speed automatic contributes to this effect.
Active safety features include electronic stability control and advanced anti-lock brakes with a pre-loading and water-sweeping feature. The iDrive control, located in the front seat central console, drove reviewers crazy. The gasoline engines also feature turbine-like smoothness. Third-row seating includes a self-leveling suspension feature, plus rear climate controls. Factor in the sensitive gas pedal, and you might end up with more aggravation than a hockey dad or soccer mom needs. The 35d is new for 2009, and is powered by a 3.
The standard fog lights also work as cornering lamps, lighting when the corresponding directional signal is selected. I do not feel comfortable putting my passengers at risk while they sit there! But shoppers looking for a practical three-row luxury crossover may want to consider other options. We couldn't safely get near the limits of the X5 on public roads because its limits come at speeds far too high for public welfare. But we'd keep the X5 on the road or at worst on gravel or smooth dirt roads. Yet like the throttle, the brake pedal can feel a bit sensitive. At a stoplight you might even engage Park inadvertently.
Accessing that last row can be even more of a problem. Indeed, the X5's strength is its ability to get down the road in the step-on-the gas, shove-through-corners fashion of a genuine sports sedan. On the plus side, the split design is handy for dropping smaller packages in the back. Gas mil is great for this big a car, and the power is so much fun. The electronics also help keep the X5 balanced when braking hard through a turn, and they now include a feature that compensates for brake fade as the brakes heat up with heavy use. At times it feels rough or balky in its gear selection, almost clunky. With the third row folded, the X5 has 18.
In the first and second rows, the X5 offers a good, quiet ride as well. Items like a power liftgate, Bluetooth, leather seats, an iPod interface, navigation, parking sensors and a backup camera were available in option packages when the X5 was new. The X5 emphasizes the sport half of the sport-utility equation, even with the diesel engine. All X5 models come standard with run-flat tires, which allow operation at 50 mph for up to 90 miles when completely flat. In other words, it's the heavier, more substantial portion of the gate.
Moreover, the electronic controls allow a driver to maintain full steering control in full-panic stops. There is some additional storage under the X5's load floor, enough for a tool kit or a six pack, in the bin with the temporary spare. The diesel engine also allows the 35d to tow up to 6000 lbs. Occurs when no passenger is present. It also generates less carbon dioxide. The memory feature, which comes standard, is handy once the driver has found a comfortable position. It's louder and rougher in general than the X5 gasoline engines, and also some of the other new-age diesels from Mercedes-Benz and Audi.