We bought this as an alternative to our minivan, thinking we would get the same quality from the X5 as our other BMWs. From the start we had problems. Within the first 3 months we replaced the oxygen sensor, max air flow regulator, thermostat, and lower control arms, along with what seemed like a half dozen sensors that keep going bad. Even the general maintenance costs are very high, as its costs $120 for an oil change (8 quarts premium synthetic) and 91 octane gas, performance brakes & tires, etc. We ended up selling this and taking a loss. Back in college I had a 1984 318i and later a 1995 325i convertible that were both extremely reliable. What happened BMW?
The exterior looks great, I even like it better than the newer style E70 x5. Sits high like a truck. Lots of interior space. Our auto 3.0i seemed to get good gas mileage for an SUV.
Quality of parts are poor. Handles poor in snow. Stereo sounds horrible and doesnt pick up AM stations well (embedded antenna). Unless you have the sports upgrade, the seats are fairly uncomfortable on long trips.