Took a chance buying a used 2003 X5 4.6 with about 80,000 miles. Have put about 12,000 miles on it so far. Not a commuter car. Best as a hot rod Sunday driver or on short drives to the lake towing 2 wave runners or a boat. Horrible stock radio. You'll want to replace the radio 'head unit' so factor in $500 to $1,000 for that if you DIY. Very nice seats. Fit and finish of interior for 2003 exceptional. Ride too harsh for most people (mainly due to the big 20" wheels and low profile tires of the 4.6is). One thing critics overlook is that this machine was built to tow 6,000 pounds! So much torque and power. Quick 0-60. Snaps your head back in the seat, no problem. More than you will ever use. Could you take this car to 300K? Maybe, if you are gentle. I've heard the weak spot is the transmission. Don't abuse it and you should be okay. It's really a 2nd car for carving back roads on sunny days. It is a high performance car that just happens to be an SUV. I wouldn't beat it up commuting. There are better cars for that job. Oh... and did I mention this car can corner! You can definitely take this car to the track if you like. It can hang some serious turns. It really is an ultimate driving machine if you get it out on the twisties and cut loose. It's like two different cars. Around town it's a bit bumpy and overkill. But in the canyons it drives like a race car.
Since I purchased this car it has had nothing but problems. The car has spent more time in the shop than in my garage. Every week is something wrong with this car. I have spent over 9k in repairs and that's not including what the extended warranty company has paid. I am very disappointed in BMW, this car is not the ultimate machine they make it to be.
Fun to drive, very fast. Living in Boston where it is full of annoying potholes it is tough on the suspension. Year round Toyo Prox tires are the way to go! I am getting bored now so I am purchasing some Dinan products to enhance performance and sound.
Acceleration, handling, sound system, aggressive stance, 20 inch rims with WIDE tires.
Bought new in 2003 and worked great when it was under warranty but everything went wrong when the car reached 50,000 miles this year. Cooling system is leaking everywhere, power steering is leaking fluid at bushings, parking distance control often stops working, and much more. It is a fun, comfortable SUV that is a blast to drive but compared to the last BMW we owned (a 1993 3 series) it is not very reliable ($5000+ in less than 10 weeks is unacceptable).
Awesome engine, good acceleration and handling for an SUV, comfort on long drives, navigation system, good sound system, heated front AND rear seats, parking distance control (when it works).
Reliability is horrible (particularly engine cooling system), parking distance control, disk changer in trunk, better spare tire would be nice(!), better fuel economy (yes I am serious).
While I love driving my 4.6IS there are times that I wish I had bought the 4.4 in hopes that it would be a firm and sporty suspension without riding like a corvette (but it's great to be able to keep up with most sports cars). The 4.6IS is incredible fun, awesome styling, and full of luxury. My only criticism is that it doesn't ride as smooth as my Lexus LS400 I traded in for it (no surprise there). I would buy another one tomorrow...
Interior Luxury (Nav, computer, etc) and the 20" rims