My X5 BMW SUV has lasted me 14 years with minimum repairs of tear and wear. It's not bad on gasoline and it is beyond safe. I absolutely love it and will pass it on to my son when he is ready to drive.
Purchased 2002 BMW X5 back in early 2012 with 85K on the odometer. One owner vehicle. It's been a long and sad 4 years. Currently at 122K. List of issues: Instrument cluster was pixelated, used "BMW's good faith" one time repair to fix it. From then on, it's one thing after another. Poor tire reliability, need to replace tires every other year (every 10K or so) even after having the alignment done multiple times and buying quality tires. 2 window regulators replaced. Inside drivers door handle broke, fixed it, 2 weeks later, outside door handle broke, same door. Factory radio stopped working, replaced with aftermarket Kenwood head unit w/Navigation. Power Steering reservior cracked and leaking, had to replace it. Now it gets fun....
Transmission and transfer case literally blew chunks all over the highway at around 105K miles, paid 5 grand to fix it. Then had to replace tie rods and other misc. suspension parts. Temp sensor and thermostat failed, had to replace those along with water pump. Currently in the shop to replace manifold parts due to Service Engine Soon light. I know it's an older vehicle and repairs would be frequent, but I was under the impression that a fine German automaker like BMW would be rock solid, but stupid little things like the door handles breaking? Oh, and the engine burns a quart of oil ever 1200 miles or so, they say it's normal....really? I have heard to never own a German vehicle out of warranty/above 60K miles, I can now see why.
Yeah I know....but It's my wife's vehicle and she loves driving it, hence why I dumped so much money into it to keep her happy. When it runs, it's quick, has a lot of room and the ride is very nice. The leather interior is great, but mechanically it's just falling apart. I have owned various Toyota and Nissan vehicles and they never had issues like this... My 14 year old Corolla only needed a Starter in the entire time of ownership.
I bought my 2nd X5 - a 2002 BMW X5 4.6is with 120k miles on it. After two weeks of owning the transmission failed and had to be replaced at a cost of $4k. The dealer wanted $8k to replace, but did work with me on the installation of the rebuilt one I found online. The vehicle is powerful and fun to drive, but I've spoken with other owners who have experienced tranny failure, so this may be a systemic issue. My first X5 was a 2001 3.0 and I did not have any issue with it.
Having owned 3 consecutive 4.4l BMW from 5 to 7 to X5, I have liked the pwr. pkg. & the 5-series is my fav. Even w/o driving this one much I could never sell the vehicle. Safe and responsive 4800lbs., fun to drive the 4.4l pwr gets the same fuel economy as the 3.0l (so go for the 4.4l). Typical mechanical wear over time. Sport Model wears tires on a staggered 19" wheel (can be altered to matching 255-55-19) with a tight suspension for handling. Offers an addicting drive response w/performance from optionl steptronic if desired, you could probable take the 5-speed to 125MPH in 4th gear, just stealth performance.
Performance, handling, stability @ higher speeds, driver height, safety & solid build. Good acceleration and excellent braking. Parts reasonable and readily available verses Lexus/Toyota. Speed sensitive steering w/dynamic stability. Driving is just fun.
1) Tire wear on staggered Sport Model.
2) Battery under spare in rear compartment.
3) Plastic overflow reservoir design.
4) Requirement of routine oil change service entity to re-set oil change dash monitor with proprietary diagnostics, which most don't purchase, limiting oil change services for dash monitor
SAV drives and handles awesome. I've loved it since owning it. It is quick, fast and fun to drive. BUT... it does have its quirks. Speed and weight causes brakes to wear. Electronic issues at times for heat, lights, etc. With 70,000 miles, the real problems have now started (and it looks like I'm not alone). CV boots & front axles had to be replaced. One month later, failed transmission with no warning. Dealer quote for transmission of $8,300 to replace. Although I love this vehicle, research tells me I can expect further serious problems and it is time to get rid of. (Contrast my '92 325i with 150,000 miles and still runs like new.) Now, looking at Porsche Cayenne.
Everything except BMW's quality control. They really got it right with the design, performance and handling.
75,000 miles with failed handling and transmission systems, not to mention the electronic gremlins, is simply unacceptable.