2008 BMW X5 Long Term Road Test

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2008 BMW X5 4.8i: Night Out on the Town

September 25, 2008

Altruism. Not a word that is normally associated with me. As a native Los Angeleno, I'm quite content being self-serving and self-involved. Imagine my surprise when I volunteered to be a designated driver for a group of friends. Granted, these friends were exceptionally attractive members of the opposite gender - ok, so maybe this wasn't as selfless as I lead on...

That was my pitch to the keeper of the keys. My personal cars don't have enough seats and I was really hoping to procure something with a bit more style than the usual fare that I'm offered (I'm the new guy, so it's usually the Saturn Aura or Diesel Jetta). In a "Help a Brother Out" moment, the keymaster came through. Our BMW X5 - Four doors, easy entry/exit, decidedly upscale interior and ride, and quiet enough to hear the conversations.

The X5 was perfect. My passenger easily found the tunes she was in the mood for on my iPod via iDrive. Entering the address of bachelorette number two proved a bit more problematic, but before too long we had audible instructions to our next stop. In heavy Hollywood traffic, the X5 easily sliced through the throngs of inattentive drivers and the shoddy Melrose pavement was smoothed over by its supple suspension. The rearview camera made me look like a parallel-parking pro and let's face it, I felt pretty good driving an upscale SUV in image-conscious L.A.

We ended-up closing down one of the finest West Hollywood restaurants and in my sobriety, I realized that next time I should probably hire car service. Having all of my faculties among inebriated aspiring starlets is not nearly as fun as I thought. Much like a Tarantino movie, I hung in there out of morbid curiosity (seriously, shooting hoops at midnight and losing a game of H-O-R-S-E to a red-headed model in stilettos?). Only in L.A. - and I'd have it no other way. BMW X5, you can be my wingman anytime!

Mark Takahashi, Associate Editor, Edmunds.com

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