Other than no lumbar support ... this is and has been an awesome machine to drive. I purchased it new in January '04 ... now have 165,000 miles and it rides the same as the day I bought it! I have driven cross country (CA to NY and return) four times and have visited almost every state. I service it as scheduled and have had routine problems ... brakes once, front boots, a faulty thermostat when new and a broken brake light. I do have to add one quart of oil between each oil change ... I drive long high speed miles and the engine runs hot I have been told. Since the 1 qt has stayed consistent ... and no engine problems, I'm good. I'm onto to 300,000 miles!
Purchased new. Always followed recommended maintenance schedule. 54,000 miles driven as of jul/2010. Front brakes replaced under warranty (28,638). Starting to have lots of maintenance issues. Heat exchanger (34,113 miles). Thermostat (37,803). Front axle boot (47,488). Brakes fluid needed flushing (52,779). Rear brake light assembly (53,353). Front thrust rod bushings replaced (53,793). Told we need to replace other front axle boot. Passenger side a/c not working. What is next? All BMW repairs are not cheap. We purchased a 2005 Ford escape SUV (now with 57,000 miles) and have experienced only brake replacement. We didn't expect a $50k BMW to have these issues. We intended 2004 x5 to be 100,000 car.
BMW = Be My Wreck 2004 X5, 4.4. When I bought this hunk of junk 3 years ago, I was glad I spent the extra money for an extended warranty. And, before I bought it, I insisted the seller take it to a BMW dealership and have it checked out. It cost me $100, and was found to have no issues at that time. Within the first six months, all the seals for the transfer case had to be replaced - $3,300. Within the next year, it started blowing white smoke from the exhaust, also common with this model. I took it in for an oil change and diagnosis for the white smoke. The repair shop found 3 small pieces from the oil pan and informed me that I needed a new oil pump, another common issue with the 4.4 engine - $3,000. Next, they informed me that, due to BMW using cheap valve guides which wore out prematurely causing the engine to burn oil, those had to be replaced. Another common issue with the 4.4 engine. Cost - $7,000. My extended warranty provider refused to pay for repairs that totaled more than the value of the vehicle, so I ended up paying $4,000 out of pocket. After only six months since the rebuild, the engine is now leaking oil all over the driveway. Total cost paid by me and extended warranty = $22,000. My advice: Never buy a BMW x5 with over 100,000 miles on it. I am now shopping for a 4Runner.
Just bought a very clean 2004 3.0 6 cylinder BMW X5 with 95k miles on it. Drives like new. Great handling and getting 20mpg combined city and highway. Computer screen has bad sunspots and will cost $2200 to replace (not going to happen). Finding that BMW parts are expensive to replace, and can only happen through dealers. Roomy passenger spaces but very limited back storage area. I drive highways and some pretty rough areas, and this vehicle handles them all well.