Got rid of a Jeep Liberty and couldn't be happier. Offers more interior room, vastly improved handling, and far better gas mileage - I get 25 on highway going 75-80. Only problems encountered were bad rear brake light sockets and a bad sensor which were replaced under factory warranty. Big pluses are safety features and ratings, interior room for 5 passengers (comfortably!), engine and braking performance, its exterior looks, and the legendary BMW driving experience (my 3rd BMW). I found it a great compromise for both commuting to work and for family vacations. (I use a 20x60 trailer cargo box in the rear for extra luggage if needed, and it does not affect aerodynamics.)
Engine, brakes, handling, exterior and interior design, interior space, tilting mirrors when backing up
Cupholders (common complaint), better interior door handles (shows wear).
My requirements were simple: safe, fun to drive, reliable, stylish, and able to both serve as a commuter car and tow my boat. Answer: A 2001 BMW X5 3.0i. It's gotten safety awards, seats 5 comfortably, drives like a BMW, looks great, and both tows my boat and serves as my daily driver, averaging 19.2 MPG in Chicagoland traffic.
Performs and sounds like a BMW... but in SAV (not SUV, mind you) form and function.
Improve the Auto Climate Control LED panel, which reads like my digital watch from 1976.
First, this truck was fun to drive. But......This truck needed dealer service about 20 times in three years, beginning the day I brought it home new. Battery discharged in the winter. Goofy electronics problems. Trailer towing was no problem for the drivetrain, but the subframe bent from the tongue load towing a trailer supposedly within the rated load. The cupholders would only hold one at a time due to the intersecting circles-- an aftermarket cupholder corrected this. Due to the frequent dealer visits and lack of confidence I wouldn't drive it to Canada or any remote places like I had intended...I bought a used Jeep for the trips far away from a BMW dealer.
I have had two 01 BMW x5 4,4's and I never had any real issues with them. The first X5 was bought used at 49k and I had the lower control arms changed under warranty. I had it until 79k and nothing else but oil changes were done. I sold it and bought the same model with 69k and every single option as the other was just a 4.4 with no extra options. I had to change the AC Climate control module. I did the repair in 15 minutes. At 78k just did front brakes and coolant flush. I do not baby my vehicles and both x5's have held up very well in NYC. If you want an SUV that handles and drives great, this is it!
Wow the engine, get the 4.4 if possible! Quiet and very smooth ride. Classic Style looks better than new BMW's. Options really make it much better, cold weather package, xenons, premium sound, NAV, PDC, Heated steering wheel, sunroof, I paid 23k Orginal price 69k ouch! Used is sweet!
Fuel economy 15MPG in the city. Nav interface seems ancient. Only Automatic on v8 model, Nice trans though. Why is EVERYTHING plastic! It's like every car is made of plastic now. My 5X and Camaro are full of it, plastic radiators scare me. CD-r's skip in changer. Base engine is kinda week