I thought I needed the bigger engine. No one NEEDS an SUV with this much power. I find I rarely have the opportunity to use it. Even merging, if I floor it, it's so ferocious I let up on the right foot. With the eight speed transmission, manual shifting mode is not something I utilize much. In sport mode, the computer delivers flawless downshifts. I've owned an X1 35i and 335xi. This SUV is tons faster than either of those very quick cars. Power aside, this car is extremely poised on the road. The ride is the best I've owned, loads better than my new get Volvo xc90 (without air suspension). Steering is numb but in every day driving, I actually appreciate not having to work to turn the wheel. It is a bit scary accelerating in a corner with such little feedback. The car never wanders on the straights, though. Interior quality is the best I've owned in the BMW. I did get the extended leather upgrade. My X1 has some cheap plastics on the pillars and doors. Not the X5 50. Everything feels top notch. I've not had any unwanted noises or noticed anything that doesn't quite fit together right (unlike my volvo xc90). Back seat space is great. I fit my three kids back there just fine. There is more than enough space in the boot, in my opinion. Tech is the sore spot for me. Yes, this car has blind spot and pedestrian detection. The cross traffic detection is just not that handy. You have to be looking at the display for the flashing yellow. There is no audible or tactile feed back so if you are just backing up and not paying attention to the center display, it's pretty useless. Also, really BMW? Not including auto-cruise control at this price point is just stupid. My X5 doesn't have that option. Still, the idrive interface is easy to use. I really appreciate the knob now that my wife has an xc90 where everything is touch. There is touch too which really helps with entering addresses. I think the writing feature on the dial is a gimmick. I never use it. I have the standard harmon kardon sound system. It's just fine. However, my wife has the B&A system on her XC 90 and it does not disappoint. I think it would be worth the extra $$$. Handling is great with xdrive. I live in MN. I put pirelli winter tires on the spare rims I got with the car (mine was optioned with the 21" M wheels with pirelli p zeros). Compared to my wife's new xc90 with all season tires, there is a definite difference with stopping and starting. Turning is better in the volvo. The car is more rear wheel biased and xdrive doesn't really help much when turning in snow at least compared to my experiences in other all wheel vehicles. Bottom line: if you are getting an $80,000 plus BMW you probably do care what others think. In the 50i, you know you are going to leave the Q7 and CayenneS drivers in your wake (most cars really). It's very satisfying moving such a large vehicle with such ridiculous acceleration.
I read some of the reviews that were complaining about their X5. I suspect some of these are fake as we love our X5. Engine is smooth and powerful and gives respectable mileage for an SUV. Ride is firmer than other SUVs but that?s the reason why you bought a BMW. The sportiness of the X5 makes it fun to drive and useful as well. Doesn?t have a third row but we didn?t need one. Cargo area is what you see. Interior is what I would call spartan luxury. Surfaces are nice but not the soft leather feel like some cars. More of a sturdy feel to the surfaces. I don?t have any complaints about this car and I?d buy it again in a heartbeat.
Pros: Nice looking, nice navigation, sound system, automatic headlights are nice, especially if you drive a lot on rural or less busy roads like myself. If there is any traffic on the highway they will not activate. Cons: - Biggest disappointment for my 72K car is the engine. Base engine is barely adequate. The 6 cylinder engine will struggle to move the car. I have never had a car that goes over 6000 RPM to the red zone every time I merge to the highway. Do not expect sporty performance. - LED headlight are cool looking, have whiter shade than HIDs, and they may last longer but they are not any brighter than HIDs on other cars. They are not worth the extra money. - The hand break does not engage well. The car will always roll down a few inches after stopping the engine, even in park and engaging the hand break. I park on slightly steep drive and I never with this issue. - The electric shift knob is not precise. You will not feel the shifts. It does not have the secure click like in my Mercedes. I must take my eyes off the road to make sure I am in the right gear, or I will be revving the engine in neutral, or moving when I was supposed to be in neutral. - The button that activate and deactivate auto shut off when stopped is too small and too close to ignition. The problem is that they are both hidden under the steering wheel, you may push both with your thumb if you do not look and then you would have the engine shutoff unexpectedly on the first stop. - The A/C is very weak. I never had to put the A/C on MAX cold in any car before and I do not like strong A/C. It might be fine if you live in the northern states. I live in the south and the A/C will only be fine on cooler days. On hot days, exactly when you need it, it will take 30-minute highway drive on MAX cold to cool off the car. - The blind spot monitor only works on relatively high speed, I believe something like 30 miles/hr. It is not useful in busy slower traffic. - The seats are not comfortable. I have the higher-end seats they can be adjusted in many ways. I can never find them comfortable. - There is a front camera which I was excited to see. I thought it would help to see what is right in front when you park. It is absolutely useless. It will show exactly what you normally see ahead of you without leaning forward. You will not be able to view anything below to hood level. - Would not recommend low profile tires. Easy to scratch rims, very stiff ride.Not comfortable.