BMW X5 xDrive35i Review
X marks the sport

Story and photos by Raymond Lai
20 Aug 2010

BMW has updated the X5 with new engines that are more powerful but yet more efficient.

X factor

The original BMW X5 redefined the luxury SUV market when it was first launched in 1999. Never was there an SUV (SAV or Sports Activity Vehicle in BMW-speak) that handled so well on the road until the arrival of the X5.

Eight years later and BMW released the second incarnation of the X5. The second generation X5 was recently updated to help it fight off the threat of new luxury SUV models like the latest generation Porsche Cayenne. The updated Audi Q7 as well as the impending Volkswagen Touareg.

You'd have to squint to distinguish the new X5 from the old as the changes are relatively minimal. At the front, the new X5 features new headlamps with integrated daytime running lights, a more prominent double-kidney grille, a new heavily countoured bonnet as well as a new bumper that is more in line with BMW's other X models like the X6. BMW says that the larger air intakes on the bumper represent better performance and more powerful engines. Viewed directly from the front, the new X5 appears wider and more muscular.

The rear, with its double tailgate design is now more purposeful and sporty thanks to a new rear bumper with cut outs for exhaust tailpipes at either sides and slightly darkened tail lamps. The wheels on the xDrive35i might be 18-inches in diameter but they somehow manage to look lost under the X5's sizable wheel arches. Well, one can always browse the BMW parts catalogue for some 19- or 20-inch wheel options. The changes to the exterior are minimal but the new details do give the X5 an even more premium and upmarket feel.


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Engine Capacity 2979cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 6
Power 306bhp @ 5800rpm
Torque 400Nm @ 1200rpm
Power to Weight 145.4 bhp per ton


Acceleration 6.8s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 235 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 9.9 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 8 -speed Auto Tiptronic
Drive Type F4


Body Type SUV
(L x W x H)
(4854 x 1933 x 1776) mm
Wheelbase 2933 mm
Kerb Weight 2105 kg


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Ventilated Discs