Took a chance buying a used 2003 X5 4.6 with over 80,000 miles. Have put around 3,000 miles on it so far. Not a commuter car. Best as a hot rod Sunday driver or to the lake towing 2 wave runners or a boat. Horrible radio. You'll want to totally replace the radio 'head unit' so factor in about $1,000 for that if you DIY. Very nice seats. Fit and finish for 2003 exceptional. Ride too harsh for most people, but lower tire pressure will help. One thing critics overlook is that this machine was built to tow 6,000 pounds! So much power. Quick at 0-60 in 6.5. More than you will ever use. Could you take this car to 300K? Maybe, if you are gentle. But prepare to pay the $. It's really a 2nd car.
Plush seats. Muscular look. Big wheels/tires on the 4.6. Looks like a Hot Wheelz car. 6,000 lb towing capacity. Head turner. Still looks better than many newer generation SUVs. Cornering is awesome. Quickness is shocking for an SUV, especially of this era.
Replace radio head unit. Lower tire pressure for softer ride. Might want to wear gloves as steering wheels feels slippery. Watch out for big wheels/tires of the 4.6 as they can get caught in rain ruts made from smaller wheels on the freeway and jerk you around. Best if you DIY repair on most items or find a good independent shop. Dealer repair too expensive.
Since I purchased this car it has had nothing but problems. The car has spent more time in the shop than in my garage. Every week is something wrong with this car. I have spent over 9k in repairs and that's not including what the extended warranty company has paid. I am very disappointed in BMW, this car is not the ultimate machine they make it to be.
Fun to drive, very fast. Living in Boston where it is full of annoying potholes it is tough on the suspension. Year round Toyo Prox tires are the way to go! I am getting bored now so I am purchasing some Dinan products to enhance performance and sound.
Acceleration, handling, sound system, aggressive stance, 20 inch rims with WIDE tires.
Bought new in 2003 and worked great when it was under warranty but everything went wrong when the car reached 50,000 miles this year. Cooling system is leaking everywhere, power steering is leaking fluid at bushings, parking distance control often stops working, and much more. It is a fun, comfortable SUV that is a blast to drive but compared to the last BMW we owned (a 1993 3 series) it is not very reliable ($5000+ in less than 10 weeks is unacceptable).
Awesome engine, good acceleration and handling for an SUV, comfort on long drives, navigation system, good sound system, heated front AND rear seats, parking distance control (when it works).
Reliability is horrible (particularly engine cooling system), parking distance control, disk changer in trunk, better spare tire would be nice(!), better fuel economy (yes I am serious).
While I love driving my 4.6IS there are times that I wish I had bought the 4.4 in hopes that it would be a firm and sporty suspension without riding like a corvette (but it's great to be able to keep up with most sports cars). The 4.6IS is incredible fun, awesome styling, and full of luxury. My only criticism is that it doesn't ride as smooth as my Lexus LS400 I traded in for it (no surprise there). I would buy another one tomorrow...
Interior Luxury (Nav, computer, etc) and the 20" rims