I had to bring my car to the dealership twice for repair on the AC on 2015 BMW X5 with less than 10k miles. Essentially, this is the first summer using the AC on long highway distance at speed. Dealership had to contact BMW in order to come up with a modification to the (transistor???) as a solution, yet to be tested. My understanding is this does happen on other BMW models as well. Buyer be aware of this as we learned the hard way on a brand new $60K SUV with problematic AC.
This is a brand-new car for me and the year or so I've owned it now I have to say that the reliability has been fantastic so far. No problems to speak of, drove a lot (15,000 miles so far), had one service, and still going strong.
THE GOOD STUFF:
As far as a driving machine goes this car is very hard to fault. Coming from a manual transmission car I was afraid I was going to lose some of that sporty fun of shifting gears, but this has a very good select-shift automatic that is fast and doesn't nanny you too bad. The push forward for downshifts and push back for upshifts is also more akin to racing cars, which is great. The MOST amazing thing about this car is definitely the fuel efficiency. For my mix of commuting of road trips, I'm averaging about 26 mpg, which is about the same I got with my old Mark V GTI, which is a 4-cylinder compact car. The fact that I can get that kind of mpg of a car so heavy and powerful is nothing short of amazing. A large thanks to this is the 8 speed transmission, which barely spins the engine when you are in top gear on the highway and still lets you have some low-end power for gentle passing.
Besides that it holds corners very well, brakes well, and acceleration is very strong when you need it. It'll happily cruise at around 80-90 mph and when passing it'll reach up to 115 or so without much trouble. One of my favorite things is that when you are in drive and push shifter to the manual mode, it'll automatically shift down two gears as though it knows you are trying to pass on a narrow road. Even in Comfort mode the ride is quite firm. A lot of people associate "luxury" cars with plush rides and supreme quiet. This is not that car, this is for someone who enjoys driving and feeling the road for sure. It's a refined ride for sure, so you don't feel fatigued even after many hours of driving. It's also got a huge gas tank so you don't have to stop and fill up too often (~5oo miles per fillup) The steering is electric and takes some getting used to I thing, but once you do, you don't really think about it's little weirdnesses too much. The space is immense and it has a lot of storage for items and various small knickknacks.
Besides that It's got all the standard luxury car fare like rain sensing wipers, bright headlights, seat memory, electronic trunk close, backup camera and all that. They all work as they should, but the seat memory is particularly notable in that it memorizes the position of the side mirrors as well, which I feel is the most difficult thing to get right.
For as much as I like the car, there are a few things that are annoying. The first is the looks, while I like it, I liked the previous generation better, it was more aggressive and masculine. The 2015 one looks a little more subdued and feminine. The driving is great, but it's so heavy and has so many gears that the engine braking is not great on moderate downhills. The only other thing I wish could be improved with the driving experience are the automatic headlights. It seems to come on when it is almost totally dark, I wish it would come on sooner. I've also yet to find a why to prevent the air conditioning to stop turning itself on when you start the car on a hot day. This means I'm constantly turning it off. Like many German cars, it's also a huge hypochondriac in that it tells you to pull over and go to a dealership even when a tire has slightly low pressure due to cold weather. That is very annoying and alarming when you are trying to just drive casually somewhere.
When it comes to the iDrive. The only good thing about the map is how you can instantly zoom in and out with the use of the track wheel thingy, but the routes are really dimwitted. The new letter tracking input is just not easier than the normal track wheel letter selection. It's just too hard to get right at 70 mph. The iPhone/iPod integration is also bad because it is meant to be universal so it works like a really dimwitted file directory sort of system so you can't do advanced features specific to your device. I'm also really disappointed the stereo has no midrange control, it has a great set of speakers, but it's hard to get the midrange out for sure.
The primary reason I chose the X5 over its direct competitors, the Lexus RX, Acura MDX, Audi Q5/Q7, Mercedes M Class, Porsche Cayenne, etc. is that l preferred the look of the exterior and interior over all the others. Having had a BMW in Europe I knew what to expect with the driving experience. What I wasn't prepared for coming from a VW to a this car, in America at least, is just how hated you can be in the real world. People seem much less likely to let you pass on a highway, let you merge, and let you out of side turns. I thought it was imagination, but even my wife noticed that she is definitely treated differently in this car that our other cars.
Beautiful car, great ride, although you do feel bumps to a degree. Not as plush a ride as Lexus or Lincoln. Car not made for short people who are 5'1", but I can work around it. Car is my husband's car, and fits him well. Hard for me to see over high dash on driver's side, hard to get out of car without bruising back of calves (but salesman showed me the trick on how short people can get out more easily), back of front seat cushion makes seat uncomfortable for short people, as the cushion pushes my back out. It hits the right place of the back on regular-height and tall people. If I sit on a pillow, the back of the front-seat cushion fits my back fine, but I shouldn't have to do this in an expensive car like this. Car handles beautifully, quiet inside, high-quality materials. Hard for me to see blind spot when I turn around due to my height. Biggest complaint is difficulty of using the features, changing a radio station, finding what you want on the screen. There are some buttons, but most features accessed by a mouse-type wheel on the console. Very dangerous to find what you want while you're driving. Mercedes is much more intuitive and easier to use. No current weather outside is displayed for the passenger - it only shows for the driver! This should be standard in all cars. Also, was told by salesman that the rear-view mirror would display the direction you're headed with an "N," "NE," etc., but it doesn't. Also, you cannot use Maximum A/C or Heat on the floor only. Being short, this is important to me, as the middle vents always blow in my face and eyes. However, happily and surprisingly, the BMW vents can be directed so it doesn't blow in my face, unlike the Mercedes. Storage space is adequate; nice, extra storage compartment under floor in very back if you do not use it for a spare tire, which you shouldn't need with the run-flat tires. Glove compartment is small for size of car - the manual takes up the whole glove compartment. My husband absolutely loves the car. It is fun to drive, even for short people! And I love how quiet it is inside.
Great gas mileage and Road handling. Steering feel is a little bit vague compared to the older BMW's. But steering feel is still better than most other SUVs ...other than the Cayenne. Tech package is great. Screen can't be stowed, but can be turned off. The other reviewer needs to read the owner's manual it's really quite simple. Lots of storage and the noise level is very quiet on the highway. Not a cheap car but you get what you pay for and it's definitely more reliable than the Porsche.
When I first bought this car I thought that it would be a great car. Once I took delivery of the car everything seemed great and perfect. Everything was great the driving the ac. Everything seemed great until exactly a week of driving it that morning I wanted to get into the car but it wouldn't open, so I called roadside assistance they sent a flatbed truck who then jump started the car so then I drove it to the dealership. I gave the dealership the car they told me they were going to fix it after four days they told me to come pick it up when I went to pick it up they told me that there was something wrong with the battery drainage and when I got into the car it said battery failure so I gave it back to them. Then it took them five days to fix it again and every time I called them they would ignore me then it took along time to get it fixed and it didn't get fixed so I gave it back to the dealer which was very hard to give it back to them because they just wanted the money to stay with them. The car turned out to be a lemon and then I felt good that I returned it because if I kept it I would've been keep taking it to them over and over. I wonder how much the "repairs" costed if they weren't covered under the warranty. This car gave a terrible review of BMW and I think they should check their cars better at the factory.