2012 BMW X5 SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2012 BMW X5 SUV

We didn't find any results. You can try changing your zip code, or check another model year.

We found matches for you!

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
BMW X5 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.4 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 8-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 400 hp @ 5500 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 14/20 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation Yes
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2012 BMW X5

  • The 2012 BMW X5 remains a top choice among luxury crossover SUVs thanks to its athletic performance and refined interior.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Athletic handling; potent and efficient engines; luxurious and comfortable interior; huge list of features; steadfast high-speed stability.

  • Cons

    Standard steering is stiff at low speeds; ride may be firm for some; hefty price.

  • What's New for 2012

    After last year's refresh, the 2012 BMW X5 returns with some previously optional features becoming standard. Most notably, the xDrive50i now comes with the navigation system as standard.

Full 2012 BMW X5 Review

What's New for 2012

After last year's refresh, the 2012 BMW X5 returns with some previously optional features becoming standard. Most notably, the xDrive50i now comes with the navigation system as standard.

Introduction

After coming off a slight refresh last year, the 2012 BMW X5 sees little in the way of change. And that suits us just fine, as the vehicle that defined the luxury crossover SUV segment more than a decade ago still makes the top of the list. With generous features, a choice of powerful engines, a refined interior and solid on-road credentials, it's easy to see why.

As a front-running luxury crossover, the X5 offers nearly every modern convenience we've come to expect. Evolving improvements to BMW's iDrive interface makes controlling these features easy as well. Shoppers also have several engine choices, ranging from a stout turbocharged six-cylinder to a brawny twin-turbo V8 or a torque-rich diesel. There's even a 555-horsepower monster in the X5 M.

All of the X5's rich offerings come at a price, of course. And that price climbs sharply once you begin adding options. Buyers should also be aware that some items, like optional third-row seats suitable only for children, heavy steering effort at low speeds, and a ride quality that might be too stiff for some may tarnish some of the X5's shine.

Even with these drawbacks in mind, the 2012 BMW X5 is a top pick among a strong group of competitors. The Acura MDX, Infiniti FX and Land Rover LR4 are worth a look and will probably leave more money in your bank account. You'll spend a lot for Porsche's Cayenne, but it holds the performance edge. And don't overlook the Mercedes M-Class given its impending redesign this year. For all-around excellence, however, the X5 is hard to beat.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 BMW X5 is a midsize luxury crossover SUV that seats five. An optional third-row bench adds two more seats, though they are quite small. Five trim levels are offered: xDrive35i, xDrive35i Premium, xDrive35i Sport Activity, xDrive35d and xDrive50i. The last three digits in the xDrive name indicate the engine. A high-performance version known as the X5 M is covered in a separate review.

Standard equipment on the xDrive35i includes 18-inch wheels, foglights, automatic and adaptive xenon headlights, roof rails, a power tailgate with adjustable opening height, automatic wipers, parking sensors, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 10-way power front seats, leatherette premium vinyl upholstery, BMW Assist telematics with Bluetooth and a 12-speaker sound system with HD radio, a CD player, an iPod/USB audio interface and an auxiliary audio jack. The diesel-powered xDrive35d is equipped similarly, but adds a panoramic sunroof, auto-dimming mirrors, heated front seats and the availability of additional options.

The xDrive35i Premium enhances the 35d's extra content with 19-inch wheels, privacy glass, a power-adjustable steering wheel and leather upholstery (all are available options on the xDrive35d). The xDrive35i Sport Activity adds an upgraded suspension, 20-inch wheels, sport seats, a sport steering wheel, darker exterior trim and an increased top speed. This equipment is optional on the xDrive50i, which instead gets a V8 engine, a navigation system and a 16-speaker premium stereo.

The base xDrive35i offers the fewest options, eligible only for the Convenience package (panoramic sunroof, auto-dimming mirrors, wood interior trim and ambience lighting), heated front seats, satellite radio and a navigation system.

These items, plus a cornucopia of others, are available on the higher trims both in packages and as stand-alone options. They include a multiview parking camera, sideview cameras, active steering, an adaptive suspension, automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, the third-row seat, Comfort Access keyless entry (push-button start is standard), four-zone climate control, 14-way "multicontour" front seats, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, a head-up display, a rear seat entertainment system, the 16-speaker premium sound system and satellite radio.

The M Sport package available on the xDrive35i Sport Activity and xDrive50i includes different 20-inch wheels, the adaptive suspension, parking sensors, a body kit and an M steering wheel.

Powertrains and Performance

All 2012 BMW X5 models are all-wheel drive but shoppers may choose from three available engines. The xDrive35i is powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 that produces 300 hp and 300 pound-feet of torque. Both this engine and the xDrive50i come standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission. According to BMW, the 35i will go from zero to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds. Its EPA-estimated fuel economy registers 16 mpg city/23 mpg highway and 19 mpg in combined driving.

The X5 xDrive50i gets a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 producing 400 hp and a robust 450 lb-ft of torque. It'll do the 0-60 run in 5.3 seconds and returns a less efficient fuel economy rating of 14/20/16 mpg.

The X5 xDrive35d features a 3.0-liter inline-6 turbodiesel that produces 265 hp and 425 lb-ft of torque. It comes with a six-speed automatic. In Edmunds acceleration testing, it went from zero to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds. This engine, which features so-called "clean diesel" technology returns estimated fuel economy of 19/26/22.

Safety

Standard safety equipment on all 2012 BMW X5s includes antilock brakes, stability control, brake drying and standby features, a rollover sensor, BMW Assist emergency telematics, active front head restraints, front side airbags and side curtain airbags for the first and second rows. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the X5 its highest rating of "Good" in its frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests.

In Edmunds brake testing, an xDrive35d with optional 19-inch wheels came to a stop from 60 mph in a just-average 121 feet.

Interior Design and Special Features

As with most BMWs, the X5's interior layout is elegant yet austere, with solid construction and high-quality materials. The front seats are nicely shaped and adjust for a wide range of body types (the optional comfort seats offer even more adjustment). The 2012 X5's cabin is not without its drawbacks, though. The second-row seats are mounted a bit too low to the floor, even though headroom is plentiful. Longer-legged passengers will likely bemoan this seating position, as it forces knees upwards. The optional third row is even more cramped and really only accommodates children. With both rows folded, cargo space measures 75 cubic feet, about average in this class.

Driving Impressions

The 2012 BMW X5 is one of the best-handling midsize luxury crossovers around. Whether driving on back roads or on an endless expanse of interstate, the X5 is a champ. Some competitors offer more utility and off-road capabilities, but the X5 ably brings BMW's legendary handling prowess to the SUV arena. You'll notice the elevated ride height and considerable curb weight on tight roads, though. Engine performance is strong throughout the lineup, even with the base six-cylinder.

On the downside, the X5's steering is overly heavy at parking lot speeds, even if its hefty nature adds precision on the open road. We're not fans of optional active steering in other BMWs, but it's well-suited to an SUV like the X5. Road and wind noise are pleasantly muted, but buyers looking for a Lexus-like comfy-couch ride may find this Bimmer a bit firm.

ADVERTISEMENT
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews


3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Confidence in the passing lane

by on
Vehicle: 2012 BMW X5 xDrive35i Sport Activity 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)

On the highway, in the passing lane….this is where the BMW X5 sets itself apart. It holds the lane so well and it WANTSto go fast. It is so comfortable on a long trip home from the ski slopes, you look at other vehicles that you pass from the far left lane and think to yourself…"Gosh, I'm sorry you're not driving this" Its not about the emblem, its about the strength and soul under the hood. This all sounds a bit melodramatic, but see for yourself…compare an X5 to a Lexus GX…it is no contest.



15 of 18 people found this review helpful

1.5 year bmw x5 experience

by on
Vehicle: 2012 BMW X5 xDrive35i Sport Activity 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)

Let me provide you with the list of problems i faced one after the other. 1. Dashboard failed within 3 months. 2.State inspection failed within 12 months, tires gone and no support from BMW. Very poor customer care. 3. Door from driver side failed, wouldn't work with keyless entry. 4. Here comes the worst one, engine malfunction. God saved my life on a highway where my X5 suddenly gave this error message on dashboard screen and stopped suddenly on highway, where 2 big trailers were just behind me. Very scarey. 5. Low battery message in just 16 months.



4 of 9 people found this review helpful

Fuel pump issue and putting

by on
Vehicle: 2012 BMW X5 xDrive35i Premium 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)

I love the way this car drives but after 10,000 miles it broke down on the side of the road. It was a fuel pump issue which I've heard has been a consistent issue with the X5. My friend said they are replacing it with the same fuel pumps so she ended up having it happen again and got rid of her car. I also opted to put a hitch on aftermarket but beware it may cause serious problems with your lease return since they have to actually break off a piece of the bumber to put it on so you would get dinged when turning in the lease. I opted to use the tow clips with a BMW bike rack which carries 2 bikes (can opt for a 3rd tray but it would be tight) and it's a fantastic bike rack.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Back to bmw for more

by on
Vehicle: 2012 BMW X5 xDrive35i Sport Activity 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)

Very pleased with the car so far after 2 weeks. Switched from a 2010 Range Rover Sport with the 5.0 V8 but the car is just as fast - different power delivery. Fuel economy in a different league. Ride quality is much better than the RRS both on 20" wheels. Handling is much more sedan than SUV. Convenience features on the BMW are leagues ahead of the RRS. Electronics are so much better thought out and things like the power lift tailgate etc make a big difference when you have a small one. Last BMW was a diesel X5 in the UK ten years ago, was one of the best cars I've ever had. Mine is actually a 2013 model not that there are any changes.



8 of 12 people found this review helpful

Yes to bmw x5

by on
Vehicle: 2012 BMW X5 xDrive35i 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)

The 2005 BMW X5 is my first BMW. I was amazed at how fun this car was to drive. The X5 is a sports car, not an off road vehicle. Don't buy this car if you intend to do a lot of off road driving. The X5 handles like a dream even at high speeds. The top speed is about 128 MPH. At 128 MPH the x5 handles like my Land Rover did at 70 MPH. Speed and handling are definately the X5's best features. The X5 is dependable. If you have any problems it will be with the electrical system. BMW has power plant, drivetraine and suspension down pat. They have a few things to learn when it comes to electronics. I have had problems with tail lights and electric door locks.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Very nice

by on
Vehicle: 2012 BMW X5 xDrive35i Premium 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)

Just bought my x5 2/3/12 and simply love it. Drove the SRX, and Q7 and when I drove the X5 it sold me right on the spot. Great handling, though a bit tight in the steering but the rest of the pros were great. Ken



Talk About The 2012 X5

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 14
  • cty
/
  • 20
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
Reliability

Identifix Reliability Ratings

Rating unavailable for this vehicle

      (No data available)
See All Ratings
Have a question? We're here to help!
Chat*
Chat online with us
Email
Email us at help@edmunds.com
*Available daily 8AM-5PM Pacific
Phone*
Call us at 855-782-4711
SMS*
Text us at ED411