Now That's Snug - 2008 BMW X5 Long-Term Road Test
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2008 BMW X5 Long Term Road Test

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2008 BMW X5 4.8i: Now That's Snug

February 27, 2009

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In a bid to appear like responsible adults we ordered the $1,200 third-row seats option on our long-term X5 instead of the monster 20-inch-wheels option. They are mutually exclusive options.

We're not saying it was a mistake, per se. But we can say that if we were buying an X5 for personal use we'd save ourselves the $1,200. And if we really needed three rows of seats, we wouldn't even consider the X5.

The two folding mini-buckets in the way-back are simply not very useful. But what about kids, you say? Well, there are no Latch attachments for the third row which would mean you'd have to use the old-school belts. And beside, we think some of our child-safety seats are bigger than the X5's third-row buckets. Although the kids would at least get an HVAC vent and a couple of cupholders back there.

And what about cramming adults back there, just for short trips? Stop being ridiculous. We crawled back there and it hurt. We don't dislike anyone that much -- certainly not anyone we'd allow into our car. Even employees of BMW North America will admit that offering the third row in the X5 was simply a marketing exercise and not a particularly useful option.

During it's stay with us the X5's rear-most seats remained folded into the floor basically always. There they added weight and cost and became the locus of resentment for staffers who really wanted the big, meaty rear tires.

-- Daniel Pund, Senior Editor, Detroit at 26,358 miles

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