2011 improved more than just engines
By JJ on
2011 BMW X5 xDrive35i 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)
I traded directly from a 2009 X5 35d (built in July 2009) to a 2011 35d (built in May 2010) and noted significant differences even though the diesel engine and transmission are unchanged. The vehicle is quieter. Road/engine/exhaust noise are less intrusive into the cabin and the suspension is more supple. Highway ride is more composed. The media joke that most of the 2011's 4,000 new parts must be in the engines, but clearly more than the drive train and bumper styling have changed. This X5 feels like a luxury SUV now. The gravelly sound of the diesel engine is just a distant murmur except on hard acceleration, which is to be expected from BMW.
The diesel feels powerful and makes a thirsty turbo 8 cyl feel unnecessary. The new iDrive and nav system are outstanding (old issues like the slow-to-boot back up camera have been fixed.) BMW Assist with Google search and maps is excellent. Love getting real-time fuel prices at nearby stations.
The stereo could be better; even the upraded system isn't that great. The 8 speed transmission would have been nice for the diesel; the high gear should improve highway mpg. Everything else is nearly perfect.