2008 BMW X5 Long Term Road Test

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2008 BMW X5 4.8i: Manual Control of the Automatic Climate Control

February 22, 2009

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I'm a set-it-and-forget-it guy. I leave the automatic climate control system at somewhere between 69 and 72 degrees on any car I drive and leave it. Cranking it to 85 degrees doesn't make an 18 degree morning tolerable any quicker than setting it at 72.

Which is why, years ago when I first encountered BMW's manual intensity settings for its automatic climate control system, I thought it was a gimmick. Just another layer of complexity in the brands increasingly complicated control systems.

Briefly the system works like this: You set your temperature as normal. Successive pokes at the AUTO button will change the intensity of the climate control operation, including the fan. So you want some hot air blowing on you? Crank it to Intensive. Want to hear a quiet piece of music without cranking the audio system to compete with fan noise, punch up Soft. You can also adjust it through iDrive, of course. But that's a minimum four-step process.

Look, sometimes you want 72 and sometimes you want 72, if you know what I mean. Could I just manually adjust the fan and get much of the same benefit. Yes, but why should I. I drive a $70,000 BMW.

Dan Pund, Senior Editor, Detroit at 26,310 miles

X5 climate intensive 555.jpg X5 climate soft 555.jpg X5 climate med 555.jpg

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2008 BMW X5 in WA is:

$162 per month*
* Explanation
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