The Button Never Pushed - 2008 BMW X5 Long-Term Road Test

2008 BMW X5 Long Term Road Test

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests
  • Comparison
  • Long-Term (11)

2008 BMW X5 4.8i: The Button Never Pushed

February 23, 2009

Contention: A Hill Descent Control system on the strip-mall off-roader X5 is like having a tow/haul mode for the automatic transmission in the Miata.

Look, I know that it doesn't really cost BMW anything for the lines of computer code that applies the brakes automatically and frequently enough to keep this beast crawling down inclines. Seems like the one good thing BMW might have gotten out of its unfortunate and costly days owning Land Rover.

But, come on. I'd bet less than 10 percent of X5 owners even know what that button is for much less that they can vary the vehicle's target speed between 4 and 15 mph using the button.

Dan Pund, Senior Editor, Detroit


  • There is actually a forum for X5 owners who tow decent loads (travel trailers, etc). The reason is, because of its weight and ratio of rear wheels to hitch, it makes a really good tow vehicle, especially when accompanied by the 8 cyl. I was considering an X5 instead of a truck for light to medium towing needs.

Leave a Comment

Past Long-Term Road Tests

Have a question? We're here to help!
Chat online with us
Email us at
*Available daily 8AM-5PM Pacific
Call us at 855-782-4711
Text us at ED411