2003 BMW X5 Consumer Review: An honest X5 review

2003 BMW X5 - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

232 Total Reviews

4.6is 4dr SUV (4.6L V8 AWD 5-speed Automatic)

38 of 39 people found this review helpful
An honest X5 review
By burts_dog on


2003 BMW X5 4.6is AWD 4dr SUV (4.6L 8cyl 5A)


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. Update 12/05/2017... Still have the car and it's still doing well. If you want to keep one of these long term there are a few maintenance items you will need to address. You can perform these fixes yourself if you have time and inclination; timing chain guides, valley pan, vanos, driveshaft spline. You can Google them and see what is involved. Also possibly gasket behind the water cooled alternator housing. Google them, see what is involved and see if you are up for it. Or, look for a car that's had some or all of these things done already. Not all of them need to be done right away. Just depends on the mileage and how the car was driven. There is also a cold weather oil separator issue fix but those in moderate climates don't need it.

Best Features

  • Climate control

Worst Features

  • Usb ports

Recommend (38) (1)

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