BMW X5 4.8i Quiz
June 06, 2008
What do these items have in common?
...and with the back seat of our BMW X5 4.8i?
You guessed it. They all have "shaker" in their names. Okay, so the BMW's back seat isn't called a shaker, but it should be.
We don't often get the chance to evaluate a vehicle from the backseat, and it's hard to turn off the Edmunds ratings machine, constantly running inside our heads. In this case, even if we wanted to, we really couldn't ignore the X5's back seat ride.
Editorial Director, Kevin Smith (the other Kevin Smith), and I rode together in the X5's multi-adjustable amazingly-roomy otherwise-comfy second row seats some 130-miles; from an undisclosed parcel of land (future Edmunds test track?) in California's central valley to our Santa Monica offices.
I hadn't noticed the choppy ride on the way up because I was driving. This time, however, Dan Edmunds was driving and, having been a ride-and-handling engineer at two major car companies prior to arriving here, told us all the reasons for the X5's belly-bouncing ride: rear springs were designed to accommodate the X5's newfound third row of passengers and/or cargo and the non-adjusting dampers are tuned with too much rebound damping. Solutions? Air springs, adjustable dampers, unfashionable high-profile tires, or some combination of the above.
Adding a third row, as BMW did with the 2008 X5, might increase its seating capacity, but it also degrades the ride during those times when there are only 3 or 4 passengers aboard.
Chris Walton, Chief Road Test Editor @ 10,184 miles