2008 BMW X5 Long Term Road Test

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2008 BMW X5 4.8i: The Great No-Compromise

February 24, 2009

car-of-the-week.jpg X5 bobcats final 555.jpg

There was some gnashing of teeth 'round the home office when we were ordering our long-term X5. This is because once you see a sport-package X5 fitted with the optional 20-inch wheels and fat, high-performance treads, you can't get it out of your head. It just looks so good.

That's the X5 I want to drive. It's just not the one I want to live with. You see, there's this frozen precipitation that falls from the sky and accumulates on everything where I live. You know how fun that stuff is on summer rubber? None.

X5 tire 555.jpg

The 19-inch wheels with Michelin Latitude all-season tires are notably less bitchin' looking. But it's a great all-around set up. They proved to be excellent in one of the snowier winters in Michigan history. And, at least on the X5, they don't give up much in the way of dry performance. With them, the X5 still stops from 60 mph in 123 feet, one of the better performances available in the world of crossovers. And our long-termer made it through the slalom at a surprisingly fast 62.9 mph. And it circled the skidpad at .82 g. Not bad. Not bad at all.

And when you factor in not having to swap out summer tires for winters each year and not having to deal with the terrain tracking exhibited by X5s with the 20s, I'd say there's not much compromise is making the sensible choice here.

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