Jun 09, 2014
Reviewed By Chad Tyson
Price as Tested $70,975; 302-hp 3.0-L I6, 8-spd auto, AWD

Active steering ($1,550) makes this vehicle three times as fun as it would be normally, although that’s not a scientific measurement. Bird’s-eye-view camera ($1,900) is nifty and even a talking point. Plenty of power from the 3.0; a fair dosage of economy as well. EPA rates highway mpg at 27. With 300 horsepower and all-wheel drive, that’s a win for technology. Full maintenance plan (called BMW Ultimate Service) for four years or 50,000 miles is reassuring.


Seat bottoms are flat, and my bottom is not. Not comfortable, and more lateral support would have been helpful while testing the active steering. Soft-close doors, keyless entry and single year of satellite radio is a $2,700 “premium package” option. Keep in mind that Sirius/XM is $199 a year for all access. At this price point, that apparently doesn’t matter. Subtracting the options from this car leaves it relatively spartan, but that’s the case with every modern BMW. It’ll be $250 for rear side window shades. Comfort rear seats are a $500 option.


The X5 is expensive compared to similarly equipped competitors. A side-by-side comparison shows the base price for a 2014 Mercedes ML350 (with equal horsepower) is $5k cheaper than the BMW. The X5 starts at $7,650 more than a Lexus RX350 F Sport too. I wonder how much of the BMW Ultimate Service is factored into the base price. The X5 does cost more, but it delivers more. Whether measuring interior dimensions, fuel economy, power or price, the BMW tops the competition. Only Lexus offers a superior drivetrain warranty (six years/70k miles v. four years/50k miles). If you want the most in a standard luxury SUV, BMW is at the top of the mountain, but you’ll pay to get there.

Fun to Drive
2.0 rating
Fun to Look at
2.0 rating
Overall Experience
2.0 rating