2009 BMW X5 SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2009 BMW X5 SUV

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BMW X5 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.0 L Inline 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 265 hp @ 4200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 19/26 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2009 BMW X5

  • In the luxury crossover SUV segment, the 2009 BMW X5 sets the standard for handling and performance. In terms of value and utility, however, many competitors are better.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Nimble handling, powerful engines, luxurious and comfortable interior, huge list of features, excellent iPod interface.

  • Cons

    Ride is on the firm side for some, munchkin-sized third-row seat, hefty price, frustrating iDrive interface.

  • What's New for 2009

    A new twin-turbo diesel engine debuts on the 2009 BMW X5, which promises robust power and enhanced fuel economy. Optional and standard equipment has been adjusted throughout the X5 lineup, as have the trim level names.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Great performance and reliability

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Vehicle: 2008 BMW X5

I purchased my 2008 4.8 X5 new. I now have 75k miles and have not had any major issues. This car has been a joy to drive and very reliable. I had one issue with the adaptive headlights, but that was covered under warranty. I did not purchase an extended warranty and very happy with that decision as it would have been a waste of money. Consumer reports rates this vehicle low for reliability and my experience says they got this one wrong. Glad I did not trust their analysis.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

2008 bmw 4.8i x5 sport

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Vehicle: 2008 BMW X5

Strangely, agree with most reviews, + and -. But overall, happy I bought it new. Power is plenty. You pay at pump - never beats 14 MPG around town, 19 MPG highway. Sometimes quirky shifts at low speeds, but never when you pay attention or hit the throttle - pure, magnificent pull. Totally trustworthy handling on most pavements of course. Never leans. "Heavier" feel than our '04 4.4i X5 Sport which I prefer - but wife likes '08 better. 20" OEM Dunlops great, but $$$ to replace every 14K. Battery tends to go low; don't leave tailgate up! Worthless rear camera & NAV. Minor oil gasket leaks, but garage floor is clean. Brakes squeal if you break too lightly, but perfect slowing & stopping.

35 of 35 people found this review helpful

Water pump fail

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Vehicle: 2008 BMW X5

We bought an '08 X5 6 cyl in Oct/2011 w/ a little over 48k miles, had it serviced while still under warranty, cracked air-intake boot replaced, faulty left mirror adj switch replaced, oil-gasket leak repaired & new brake pads & sensors replaced on all 4 - all warranty work. Then in Jan/2012 the elec water pump failed causing eng over-heat & the car automatically forced my wife to slow down. This, in itself to me, is quite dangerous, depending on what sort of traffic one might be in when this occurs. At the time, the car had just past 50k miles by 200 miles. We still got a free tow (under warranty) & BMW did pay for the water pump part, but not the pricy labor involved. This is our 1st BMW.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

What did bmw do to

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Vehicle: 2008 BMW X5

WOW "" I had a 2005 X5 That was the best car I ever owned But when I bought into this piece of plastic crap very poor qualiyt all the way around what did they to' what was a mastered car. I can't wait to trade back to an 05 06 no power poor sound system And a flawed I drive I have a 6 cy but the car thinks it's a v12 very poor on gas I will cost me 15 K loss But I will be back to an 05 06 . and if you have an 05 06 hang on to it my last one had over 140K And ran like new when I made my fatal mistake $ 38K Mistake

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Rocket ship

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Vehicle: 2008 BMW X5

I purchased a CPO with just 16k on the odometer three months ago, and waited to write this review. Thus far, I fall more in love with it every day. Parked in the driveway, with the 20" wheels, it has beautiful lines and exudes raw power. Not the best in stop and start traffic, but once we hit the Pacific Coast Hwy or a twisty canyon, it attacks the road. So confident driving on the freeway, especially in Sport mode. Kids love the panoramic sunroof, and I always feel safe hauling them in the X5. Not sure what the fuss is with iDrive- I love it. Spend the time to learn and you will be amply rewarded. First BMW, and I'm sold for life (previous cars include MB, Audi, and Land Rover).

1 of 6 people found this review helpful

A beauty and a beast

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Vehicle: 2008 BMW X5

Just purchased a very low mileage CPO. This car is very powerful yet very refined. Works well with two kids around town, but it really shines on the freeway. So smooth, so stable, even over 75 mph with twists and turns... Lower end power not as ideal as I'd hoped (it's a heavy vehicle), but once you get going it's like flying a jet fighter. Technology works great (for 2008 vintage) and iPod integration, bluetooth, and everything else is seamless. Actually love the iDrive- it's intuitive and really lets you customize the car how you want it. Just spend an hour learning it- it's well worth it. Yes, it guzzles gas, but if you buy this vehicle you know what you're getting into.

Full 2009 BMW X5 Review

What's New for 2009

A new twin-turbo diesel engine debuts on the 2009 BMW X5, which promises robust power and enhanced fuel economy. Optional and standard equipment has been adjusted throughout the X5 lineup, as have the trim level names.


BMW put the "sport" in sport-utility vehicle when it introduced the X5 a decade ago. At its launch, BMW's marketing department dubbed the crossover a Sports Activity Vehicle (but then again, they also call the new four-door X6 a coupe, so perhaps nomenclature isn't BMW's strong suit). Nonetheless, the 2009 BMW X5 is just as sporty as its predecessors, injecting an ample amount of Bavarian handling chutzpah into the ridin'-high body of a family-friendly SUV. Although several luxury automakers have taken aim at the X5's sporting formula, this BMW remains very attractive for those who want the "S" in SUV to actually mean something.

Now three years into its current generation, the X5 adds a new engine for these fuel-economy-conscious times. The 2009 X5 xDrive35d features a twin-turbocharged diesel inline-6 that not only produces ample low-end power (425 pound-feet of torque) but also sips fuel at the rate of a compact SUV rather than one that weighs 5,000 pounds. New emissions-scrubbing technology known as BluePerformance makes this diesel engine suitable for sale in all 50 states.

Aside from its engine, the xDrive35d is mostly identical to the xDrive30i and xDrive48i trim levels (which were renamed for 2009 from 3.0si and 4.8i, respectively). They all provide sharp and confident handling, comfortable seating for five people (although the optional third row is only suitable for small kids) and plenty of luxury goodies. This isn't to say BMW has a patent on this formula. Vehicles like the Acura MDX, Infiniti FX and Porsche Cayenne also provide the type of handling that sport sedan drivers will appreciate. If spirited handling isn't a priority, there are other luxury crossovers that offer a comfier ride, easier steering at slow speeds, better value and more utility. But for Bimmer-philes or driving enthusiasts who need a family-friendly SUV, the 2009 BMW X5 is the obvious sporting choice.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 BMW X5 is a midsize luxury SUV available in xDrive30i, xDrive35d (late availability) and xDrive48i trim levels. Standard equipment on the xDrive30i includes 18-inch wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, cruise control, a panoramic sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, power front seats with driver memory settings, a power tilt and telescoping steering column, vinyl "leatherette" upholstery, the iDrive electronics interface and a 12-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack. Aside from their different engines, the xDrive35d and xDrive48i trims are virtually identical (the 48i adds leather upholstery, however).

A number of optional packages are available to further luxe out the X5. The Premium package adds auto-dimming mirrors, a power liftgate, BMW Assist telematics with Bluetooth and leather upholstery with the xDrive30i. The Sport package adds an adaptive suspension, 19-inch wheels, sport seats and a sport steering wheel. The Premium Sound package equips the X5 with a premium sound system, a six-CD changer and an iPod interface (included on the xDrive48i, a stand-alone extra on the xDrive30i). The technology package adds parking sensors, a back-up camera and a navigation system with voice activation and real-time traffic. The rear climate package adds rear privacy glass, manual rear side sunshades and four-zone auto climate control. The active ventilated seat package adds multi-adjustable front "comfort" seats with ventilation.

Other stand-alone options include upgraded leather upholstery, keyless ignition and entry, active steering, a head-up display, an iPod adapter (requires the sound package on the xDrive48i), a rear-seat entertainment system, satellite radio and HD radio. A third-row seat is also available and includes a rear self-leveling suspension. Twenty-inch wheels can be added to the Sport-package-equipped xDrive48i.

Powertrains and Performance

There are three engines available for the 2009 BMW X5. The X5 xDrive30i is powered by a 3.0-liter inline-6 that produces 260 horsepower and 225 lb-ft of torque. Its EPA estimated fuel economy is 15 mpg city/21 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined. The xDrive35d features a twin-turbocharged diesel inline-6 that produces 265 hp and 425 lb-ft of torque. This engine includes clean-diesel technology that allows it to be sold in all 50 states. BMW estimates fuel economy will be 19 mpg city and 25 mpg highway while matching the xDrive30i's acceleration abilities. The X5 xDrive48i gets a 4.8-liter V8 good for 350 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. In performance testing, the 48i went from zero to 60 mph in 7.0 seconds. EPA fuel economy estimates are 14 city/19 highway and 16 combined. All X5s are all-wheel drive and come with a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control. Properly equipped, an X5 can tow 6,000 pounds.


The 2009 X5 comes standard with antilock brakes, traction control, stability control, brake drying and standby features, a rollover sensor, front side airbags and side curtain airbags for the first and second rows. In government crash tests, the X5 scored a perfect five stars for frontal-impact driver protection and four stars for frontal-impact passenger protection. It got a perfect five stars for front and rear side protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the X5 its highest rating of "Good" in its frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The new X5's interior is one of the most elegant BMW has ever built. The construction is precise, the materials are high-quality and the instrumentation is crystal-clear. The front seats are nicely shaped and adjust for a wide range of body types (the optional comfort seats offer even more adjustment). The only sour notes include the complex iDrive system (although it's well-suited to the optional iPod interface), the cramped third-row seat and the gear selector, which many drivers find too much like a video game controller. With the second- and third-row seats folded, the X5 offers a total of 75 cubic feet of cargo space, which is about average for this class.

Driving Impressions

The 2009 BMW X5 is one of the best-handling midsize luxury SUVs you can buy. Whether driving on back roads or on an endless expanse of interstate, the X5 is a champ. Although some competitors offer more utility and many are more adept off-road, the X5 does an amazing job of taking the sensations and talents of BMW's legendary sport sedans and translating them to the SUV world. This is particularly true when the X5 is fitted with the optional active dampers and stabilizers.

The X5 isn't perfect, though. We've found the steering to be overly heavy at parking lot speeds, even if its hefty nature is a boon on the open road. The optional active steering system eases parking maneuvers, but the downside is reduced steering feel. The X5 has an agreeable ride quality, particularly on long highway jaunts, but buyers looking for a Lexus-like comfy-couch ride may find this Bimmer a little harsh.

Talk About The 2009 X5

Read more about the 2009 BMW X5

Gas Mileage


  • 19
  • cty
  • 26
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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