Strangely, agree with most reviews, + and -.
But overall, happy I bought it new.
Power is plenty. You pay at pump - never beats 14 MPG around town, 19 MPG highway.
Sometimes quirky shifts at low speeds, but never when you pay attention or hit the throttle - pure, magnificent pull. Totally trustworthy handling on most pavements of course.
"Heavier" feel than our '04 4.4i X5 Sport which I prefer - but wife likes '08 better. 20" OEM Dunlops great, but $$$ to replace every 14K.
Battery tends to go low; don't leave tailgate up! Worthless rear camera & NAV.
Minor oil gasket leaks, but garage floor is clean. Brakes squeal if you break too lightly, but perfect slowing & stopping.
Trusted power and agility.
Never found myself in a situation that had anything to do with the car. Maneuvers almost like a small sports car. Slight understeer just right. High enough seating to see around/over anything but truly huge SUVs and trucks (unfortunately we have a lot of those in AZ). Quiet. Comfortable. With 2nd row seats down, I can throw my road bicycle in without taking the front wheel off or leaving tire smudge on back of front seats. With 2nd row up, can actually handle all our luggage to A/P - that's saying something.
Very high day to day utility!
BMW should never bother with 3rd row seating! It will never compete with our Suburban for hauling people and stuff, nor should it try!
And X5's have notoriously soft rears, which you will find out if you so much as touch anything with it at any reverse speed, no matter how slow.
Some minor things persist even in the new X5's - like hard to set fan speed without actually looking down while driving (hey BMW, put the fan speed on the big knob and temp on the tiny buttons!).
Finally BMW, isn't there some design thing you can do to help keep black grit off the tailgate?
It gets filthy one day after a wash, both the '08 and '04.
Lastly, I agree that the running boards are more pain than gain.