2006 BMW X5 SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2006 BMW X5 SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
BMW X5 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.0 L Inline 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 225 hp @ 5900 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 13/20 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2006 BMW X5

  • If you want a vehicle that looks utilitarian but doesn't drive that way, you can't do much better than the 2006 BMW X5 SUV -- just don't expect much in the way of practicality.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Rides and drives like a BMW sedan, multiple drivetrain choices, top safety scores, high-end cabin furnishings.

  • Cons

    Unimpressive fuel economy, expensive option packages, mediocre cargo capacity, no third-row seat.

  • What's New for 2006

    There are no major changes for the BMW SUV this year.

Full 2006 BMW X5 Review

What's New for 2006

There are no major changes for the BMW SUV this year.


With an ever increasing demand for luxury SUVs, BMW bowed to the gods of market share and introduced the X5 for the 2000 model year. But BMW knows that most luxury SUV buyers spend about as much time off-roading as they do in the 99-cent store. These customers are looking for a palatial and secure environment to carry them between business meetings and little league games.

Here the BMW X5 scores, with leather and wood interior surfaces, a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system, advanced active safety technology, front and rear power seating adjustments, rear climate controls, a DVD-based navigation system and a total of 10 airbags. Purely from a safety standpoint, the X5 is an impressive vehicle. Further, its short overhangs, compact size (it's shorter than a 5 Series sedan) and precisely tuned chassis make it highly maneuverable for an SUV. The X5 features classic BMW styling cues we've come to expect, including a twin kidney-shaped grille, quad headlights and L-shaped taillights. Those with budgetary concerns will be glad to know that even the base engine is world-class in terms of its power delivery.

Moreover, despite the utilitarian image this vehicle attempts to convey, the emphasis is on driving, not practicality. Certainly, you can transport five people in comfort with the 2006 BMW X5, but it wouldn't be a good choice for home improvement projects or any other activity that requires serious cargo capacity. Interestingly, one can pretty much say the same thing about BMW's X3. We'd actually suggest taking a look at the X5's smaller and less expensive sibling as long as you're not horribly smitten with the X5's prettier styling, optional V8 or more premium status. The X3 has equally capable driving dynamics and, surprisingly, even more cargo room. Another point to consider before making an X5 purchase is that a completely redesigned X5 will debut for the 2007 model year, and it's expected to be much larger and have three rows of seating.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The BMW X5 is a five-passenger midsize SUV offered in three trim levels: 3.0i, 4.4i and 4.8is. Standard features on the 3.0i include 17-inch wheels, a power driver seat, wood trim, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, power-folding and reclining rear seats, one-touch windows, automatic climate control, a CD player and a full-size spare tire. The 4.4i adds 18-inch wheels (losing the full-size spare), leather upholstery, park distance control and a power front-passenger seat -- all this stuff is optional for the 3.0i. The 4.8is adds 20-inch wheels, front and rear heated seats and a panoramic moonroof. Additional options for 3.0i and 4.4i models include larger wheels, a sport suspension, automatic HID headlights, upgraded leather upholstery, heated power front sport seats, heated rear seats, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming mirrors, a moonroof, a premium sound system and a DVD-based navigation system. BMW also offers an adjustable ride height suspension that better enables the X5 to handle light off-roading.

Powertrains and Performance

All-wheel drive is standard on the BMW X5. The 3.0i is powered by a 225-horsepower, 3.0-liter inline six that comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission; a five-speed automatic is optional. Although its numbers don't indicate it, this engine has surprising vigor, given its broad, smooth power band. Power fiends can go with either the 4.4i and its 315-hp, 4.4-liter V8, or the 4.8is and its 355-hp, 4.8-liter V8. These engines only come with a six-speed automatic. Fuel economy is nothing to brag about for a car-based SUV -- regardless of which model you choose, you're looking at 16 mpg in the city and 21-22 on the highway. In the unlikely event you decide to tow a trailer, capacity is 6,000 pounds on all models.


Every X5 has stability control, dynamic brake control, Hill Descent Control, front side-impact airbags, head protection airbags for front and rear occupants and an extra set of brakelights that activates during panic stops. In government crash testing, the BMW SUV earned a perfect five stars for driver and front-passenger protection in frontal impacts. In side-impact testing, it earned four stars for front-occupant protection and five stars for the rear. The X5 earned a "Good" rating (the highest possible) in IIHS frontal-offset crash testing.

Interior Design and Special Features

When it's time to haul the family, the BMW X5 isn't much better than a typical luxury sedan. Rear-seat accommodations are average at best, with the Acura MDX, Infiniti FX, Lexus RX 330 and Volvo XC90 offering more space and comfort. With the second-row seats folded, the X5's maximum cargo capacity peaks at 69 cubic feet, mediocre for this class. The clamshell rear hatch design is lighter-weight than many overhead liftgates but can impede the retrieval of itinerant groceries.

Driving Impressions

Ground clearance is limited and there is no low-range transfer case, so the 2006 BMW X5 is definitely an all-weather vehicle rather than an all-terrain vehicle. Accept it as a fast, agile, stylish vehicle for spirited runs through the suburbs, and you won't be disappointed.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Bmw lover no more

by on
Vehicle: 2006 BMW X5 4.4i 4dr SUV AWD (4.4L 8cyl 6A)

I owned a 328is which was a truly great car. This led me to believe that buying a used 2006 X5 4.4i with very low mileage was a safe bet. Wrong. We have owned it for 18 months - and had non-stop troubles - expense - and time wasted at the shop. The latest - It has taken BMW 8 months and 5 trips to the dealer to determine what is causing the coolant leak we have. We still aren't 100% sure - but now they think the heads will need to be replaced - or perhaps the entire engine. $25K wasted on this vehicle. I'll never buy BMW again. The ultimate driving machine - for driving to the shop.

3 of 11 people found this review helpful

[non-permissible content removed]

by on
Vehicle: 2006 BMW X5 4.4i 4dr SUV AWD (4.4L 8cyl 6A)

This car is amazing, when it works. It's beautiful, sounds great, fast, has a ton of features, but if its over 100k miles prepare to repair, paying all along the way. Since I've bought this mean machine, I've had to fix it, not once, not twice, not thrice, but EVERY week since I bought it (I've had it six months.) Every week, like German clockwork (if the clocks were designed to break) I've had to build and rebuild this car. Head gasket, exterior door handle, side lights, interior door handle, head lights, cv joints, alternator bracket gasket (didn't even know there was such a thing) window regulator, just so many things one thing right after another. Don't buy one without a warranty

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Very intriguing sav

by on
Vehicle: 2006 BMW X5 3.0i 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

I purchased it exactly 15 months ago as a cpo with the 6yr/100k warranty but hardly ever needed it during the 30k i put on it. very few things have gone wrong like a minor rattle from the engine bay turning out to be a/c fan plastic clips and failed driver side window switch after i left it open in rain by mistake (my fault). dealer fixed both, no questions asked. other than that, its been excellent & trouble free and i've taken it on numerous long trips since i owned it. the interior comfort and materials fit & finish is top notch and exterior looks good too. I've the 3.0i which has excellent low end torque (take off) but OK highway torque (you need to step up to the bigger v8s for better)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Bought used

by on
Vehicle: 2006 BMW X5 4.4i 4dr SUV AWD (4.4L 8cyl 6A)

This is my second BMW and my first second hand car. I was worried about the reliability of the X5 but it's been two years, 44,000 km and the car has been solid. I love the V8 in this bad boy. I just want anyone that may be second guessing about the reliability of the X5 to just go out and get it! No disappointments! I get great mileage on the car, around 600-650 km a tank. I drive about 65% HWY and 35% city.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Bmw x5 rocks!

by on
Vehicle: 2006 BMW X5 3.0i 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

This is my first BMW and after 3 months of research I bought this used X5 with almost all bells and whistles. Lot of heads turn when you drive around the town. The ride is phenomenal and feel the comfort immediately. Excellent safety features and you can see it immediately when you open the door which is HEAVY with plenty of steel bars inside. Though its a SUV it rides like a car and the performance is awesome and never felt this on any other SUV like ML or Lexus. BMW is a BMW and its King on the road!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Pleasure to drive

by on
Vehicle: 2006 BMW X5 4.8is 4dr SUV AWD (4.8L 8cyl 6A)

This is my 3rd BMW and my favorite. (also have a 318 and 540)This SAV handles like a dream, the rumble of the awesome 4.8 L is amazing to hear. And talk about fast, my 540 is fast it has a 4.4, but this thing is neck breaking quick! The tires on this thing are monsters, very intense looking, the interior is roomy and very comfy and well appointed, I just love this vehicle! I like the clam shell hatch, it is more functional then I thought it would be. The radio is fantastic, I find the on board computer/navigation easy to use, don't know why some people complain they must not be very smart! I have the LeMans blue, it is beautiful! If you want speed, beauty, comfort, and great handling, buy one!

Talk About The 2006 X5

2006 BMW X5 Discussions See all Started By

2006 X5 with premium package,rear climate,auto tran.,self dimming mirrors, xenon headlights,dest. frt included. MSRP $49,620 paid $47,061. I would recommend the xenon as a very nice option....

2006 X5 4.4, msrp $59895.00...

p.s. I am a skinny dood before someone claims that the BMW's seats were too snug. No issues at all w the seats in an x5 or 5 series....

Gas Mileage


  • 13
  • cty
  • 20
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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