Powerful and efficient new engine, confident ride and handling, sublime front seats, loads of available high-tech features.
Options quickly cause price to skyrocket, not as spacious as some rivals, low-mounted backseat.
The 2011 BMW X5 eases its twin-nostril nose into an alligator-infested Florida everglade, the murky water rising higher and higher toward the driver window. The BMW representative riding shotgun urges a cautious speed. "A driver vent too fast earlier and got stuck. He had to vait for an hour in zee vater." Doesn't that sound fun?
Yet big luxury SUVs like the X5 are all heading into metaphorically murky waters. With gas prices hovering around 3 bucks, green consciences expanding and governments from around the world enacting or threatening strict new emissions regulations, the future has the potential to be gloomy for the X5 and others. As such, big changes are in order for it to stay ahead of the rising tides.
Not that you could tell by looking at the redesigned 2011 X5, though. Note how BMW moved the foglights inward, raised the rear bumper reflectors a few centimeters and resculpted the lower valances front and rear. The iDrive screen is now wider. Not exactly a Heidi Montag makeover.
It's actually under the hood where the 2011 BMW X5 sees those major changes. Not only does the V8 model get the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 from the 7 Series, the base model now features BMW's latest twin-scroll, single-turbo inline-6 that features direct injection and Valvetronic throttle-free intake technology.
Not only does this new 300-horsepower X5 xDrive35i out-accelerate the old V8 model and produce 40 more horses and a whopping 75 more pound-feet of torque than the outgoing xDrive30i, it achieves significantly better fuel economy thanks to a bevy of new high-tech features like an eight-speed automatic and brake energy regeneration. Indeed, this new X5 is more fuel-efficient than an all-wheel-drive Ford Flex.
While we trudged out of that everglade successfully unstuck and uneaten, the BMW X5 likewise seemed capable of making a similar metaphorical escape by lowering its fuel consumption while not only maintaining performance expectations, but exceeding them. At the very least, this powertrain achievement certainly gives the X5 a leg up against competitors like the Acura MDX, Infiniti FX35, Land Rover LR4, Porsche Cayenne and Range Rover Sport. How does it fare in other ways? Well, trudge on.
The 2011 BMW X5 xDrive35i is the base model in the three-trim lineup (four if you count the X5 M), but there's really nothing base about it. With 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque available, this turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 elicits a simple question: Why would you need anything else? Power is immediate and robust, without any trace of turbo lag. There is the same irritating throttle delay found in several of BMW's recent products, but this can be eliminated by selecting Sport mode and its sharper throttle response.
The eight-speed automatic produces the sort of smooth shifts and quick responses you'd expect, but more importantly, its additional ratios are a big reason for the 35i's impressive fuel-economy numbers. According to BMW, the base X5 will return 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined. That's only a few mpg lower than the diesel-powered xDrive35d, which is noisier and slower off the line.
The X5 has always put a premium on its handling, however, and for 2011 that doesn't change. Its balance of ride and handling is still exemplary, and although our driving route in South Florida didn't provide many twists or turns, the X5's high-speed stability and driver confidence are indicative of (though not synonymous with) a much smaller sport sedan.
Our test car came equipped with the optional Active Steering system, an advanced variable-ratio and assistance technology available on most BMW models. Normally, we consider it a needless expense, as BMW's standard steering is typically characterized as being a hallmark for communication and response. In the X5, though, it's also characterized by a heavy effort at lower speeds. Active Steering makes things easier on your arms, so even though communication through the wheel isn't as good as with the standard steering, we think it's better suited to a vehicle like the X5.
Despite the commendable handling, the 2011 BMW X5 rides quite comfortably while still feeling buttoned down at elevated speeds. Just as the xDrive35d proved during the severe desert wind storm that struck our Fuel Sipper Smackdown 3, wind and road noise are remarkably well controlled in the X5.
In typical BMW fashion, the X5's driving position is about as good as it gets, thanks to a well-positioned power-adjustable steering wheel, a commanding elevated driver seat and excellent outward visibility fore and aft.
Front-seat comfort is excellent in standard form, but our tester's optional 14-way "multicontour" seats with adjustable lumbar and bolsters are best described as "beyond reproach." The rear seat is a different story, however, as the cushion is rather low and shapeless. A third-row seat is optional, but even if you get it, it's virtually uninhabitable by anyone old enough to remember the Clinton administration.
With its fully loaded features list bursting at the gills, there's a whole lot of functionality to be had in the 2011 BMW X5. Let's address some of the key points, however. For 2011, the X5 finally gets the complete up-to-date iDrive electronics interface with the addition of the 8.8-inch widescreen LCD featured in other BMWs. This, along with last year's revised controller layout and menu structure, makes iDrive an exponentially friendlier interface than loathed previous versions. Climate controls are a little complicated (especially the soft, medium and intensive Auto settings), but most other basic functions are easy to find and figure out.
Our tester came with the optional head-up display, and although it comes in handy by putting navigation directions closer to the driver's line of sight, it is mostly redundant. The optional multiview parking cameras and sideview cameras are more useful. One provides a bird's-eye image of each side of the X5, making parking that much easier, while the other gives you a helpful view when nudging blindly into traffic.
In our real-world functionality testing, the X5's 21.9-cubic-foot cargo bay easily swallows a large suitcase and a golf bag. However, with a rear-facing child seat installed in one of the backseat's outboard positions, the corresponding front seat was practically uninhabitable by those with longer legs.
Design/Fit and Finish
As mentioned earlier, you'd need a side-by-side picture to tell the differences between the 2010 and '11 BMW X5s. Inside, only the bigger iDrive screen is different. In terms of quality and construction, nothing has changed: The X5 still exhibits premium materials, high-quality switchgear and strong fit and finish.
Who should consider this vehicle
The 2011 BMW X5 is not an inexpensive vehicle, especially when loaded with options. Indeed, if you're looking for similar performance and handling for less money, the Infiniti FX35 is a good alternative. If you want more space for your money, the Land Rover LR4 could be a better choice. The Acura MDX is an alternative on both performance and space counts. Perhaps the vehicle closest to the X5 is the Porsche Cayenne, though it's even more expensive.
If you have your heart set on an X5, though, the xDrive35i could be the pick of the litter. The 35d gets better fuel economy, but it's noisier and slower. The V8-powered 50i is, of course, a real kick in the hind end, but you certainly don't need it, given how swift the 35i is.
The 2011 BMW X5 is offered in the following submodels: Diesel, SUV. Available styles include xDrive50i 4dr SUV AWD (4.4L 8cyl Turbo 8A), xDrive35d 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 6A), and xDrive35i Premium 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A). X5 models are available with a 4.4 l-liter gas engine or a 3.0 l-liter diesel engine or a 3.0 l-liter gas engine, with output up to 400 hp, depending on engine type. The 2011 X5 comes with all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 8-speed shiftable automatic, 6-speed shiftable automatic. The 2011 X5 comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a used 2011 BMW X5?
Save up to $300 on one of 59 used 2011 BMW X5s for sale at dealerships within 25 miles of Ashburn, Virginia with prices as low as $12995 as of Dec 11, 2017, based on data from 18 dealers and 236 consumer-driven dealer ratings ranging from 4.2 to 5 out of 5 stars.
Price comparisons for used 2011 BMW X5 trim styles:
The 2011 BMW X5 xDrive35i Premium is priced around $18199 with average odometer reading of 73305 miles.
The 2011 BMW X5 xDrive35i Sport Activity is priced around $16995 with average odometer reading of 97819 miles.
The 2011 BMW X5 xDrive35i is priced around $16051 with average odometer reading of 101370 miles.
The 2011 BMW X5 xDrive35d is priced around $16758 with average odometer reading of 88322 miles.
The 2011 BMW X5 xDrive50i is priced around $16850 with average odometer reading of 69639 miles.
Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, Virginia. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.
Is the 2011 BMW X5 a good car? Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2011 BMW X5 and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2011 X5 featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
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How do people like the 2011 BMW X5? Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2011 BMW X5 and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2011 X5 4.2 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2011 X5.
Vehicle xDrive35i 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)
Review This thing is a blast to drive, and a really good option for families with one or two kids. You can't beat the safety features; this thing's a tank. The only real concern with the X5 35d is the upkeep cost. If you consider the fuel economy, maybe it evens out...but doubtful. I can't say the repair cost is high, because we haven't had to actually have any repairs done (60k miles). The warranty covered a few sensors that needed to be replaced, but everything else has been routine. Don't bother with a dealership for oil changes. They will straight up lie to you. I had two local BMW shops tell me it's over $300 to change the oil and fill the DEF on my 35d. Order the Castrol oil, a filter and some DEF and do it in the driveway, or take it to a small shop and pay 15 bucks. Total cost for me was less than $100. If we can afford it in the future, we will certainly invest in another X-model. Let's hope we can squeeze 150k out of this one.
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2011 BMW X5 inventory listings Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2011 BMW X5 for sale near Ashburn VA. There are currently 383 new and 1013 used and CPO 2011 X5s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as 12995 and mileage as low as 0. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2011 BMW X5. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to 300 on a new, used, or CPO 2011 X5 available from one of 2804 dealerships in your area.
How can Edmunds help? Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color
2011 bmw x5 xDrive50i 4dr SUV AWD (4.4L 8cyl Turbo 8A), 8-speed shiftable automatic, premium unleaded (required) 16 combined MPG 14 city MPG/20 highway MPG
2011 bmw x5 xDrive35d 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 6A), 6-speed shiftable automatic, diesel fuel 22 combined MPG 19 city MPG/26 highway MPG
2011 bmw x5 xDrive35i Premium 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A), 8-speed shiftable automatic, premium unleaded (required) 19 combined MPG 16 city MPG/23 highway MPG
What options are available on the 2011 BMW X5?
Available BMW X5 2011 Submodel Types: SUV, Hybrid, Diesel
Available Trims: 3.0i, 3.0si, xDrive40e iPerformance, 4.8i, xDrive30i, xDrive35i, 4.4i, xDrive50i, xDrive48i, sDrive35i, xDrive35d, xDrive35i Premium, xDrive35i Sport Activity, 4.6is
Exterior Colors: Dark Graphite Metallic, Mineral White Metallic, Glacier Silver Metallic, Imperial Blue Metallic, Sparkling Brown Metallic, Carbon Black Metallic, Monaco Blue Metallic, Atlas Cedar Metallic, Jet Black, Sterling Gray Metallic, Toledo Blue Metallic, Platinum Gray Metallic, Deep Sea Blue Metallic, Mineral Silver Metallic, Titanium Silver Metallic, Mineral Green Metallic, Black Sapphire Metallic, Sparkling Bronze Metallic, Vermilion Red Metallic, Alpine White, Deep Green Metallic, Space Gray Metallic, Steel Gray Metallic, Topaz Blue Metallic, Kalahari Beige Metallic, Orion Silver Metallic, Oxford Green Metallic, Platinum Bronze Metallic, Siena Red Metallic
Interior Colors: Black Dakota leather, Canberra Beige/Black Dakota leather, Terra Dakota leather, Mocha Dakota leather, Canberra Beige Dakota leather, Ivory White/Black Dakota leather, Mocha Nappa premium leather, Criollo Brown Extended Merino premium leather, Black SensaTec leatherette, Cinnamon Brown Nevada premium leather, Black leather, Black premium leather, Black, Black Nappa premium leather, Sand Beige Nevada premium leather, Black leatherette, Beige, Gray leather, Beige leatherette, Ivory White Nappa premium leather, Oyster Nevada premium leather, Gray, Saddle Brown premium leather, Sand Beige leather, Black Nevada premium leather, Sand Beige Perforated Nevada premium leather, Gray premium leather, Cinnamon Brown premium leather, Sand Beige premium leather, Ivory White/Black Nappa premium leather, Tobacco Nevada premium leather, Tobacco leather, Tobacco premium leather, Black Perforated Nevada premium leather, Sand Beige Nappa premium leather, Smoke White Extended Merino premium leather
Popular Features: USB Inputs, Keyless Entry/Start, Heads up display, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Monitoring, Apple Carplay/Android Auto, 360-degree camera, Mobile Internet, 6000lb Towing Capacity, AWD/4WD, Alarm, Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel, Auto Climate Control, Automatic Emergency Braking, Aux Audio Inputs, Fold Flat Rear Seats, Multi-Zone Climate Control, Post-collision safety system, Power Driver Seat, Power Liftgate/Trunk, Rear Bench Seats, Stability Control, Tire Pressure Warning, Trip Computer, Upgraded Headlights, Adaptive Cruise Control, Third-row seating, Sunroof/Moonroof, Pre-collision safety system, Leather Seats, 5000lb Towing Capacity, Cooled Seats, Navigation, Parking sensors, Back-up camera, Bluetooth, Electronic Folding Mirrors, Heated seats, Rear Entertainment System, Upgraded Stereo