2008 BMW X5 Photo
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Reviewed by Marty Padgett
Editorial Director, The Car Connection
Quick Take
The 2008 BMW X5 is better than ever, but could use more dramatic styling and an iDrive transplant. Read more »
Decision Guide
Opinions from around the Web

It doesn't look radically different from its predecessor

Car and Driver »

The X5's skin shows no drastic styling rebirth »

The BMW X5 looks like pretty much any other crossover »

Luxurious and handsome interior

Edmunds »
Pricing and Specifications by Style
$46,200 $54,800
MSRP $46,200
INVOICE $42,505 Browse used listings in your area
AWD 4-Door 3.0si
Gas Mileage 17 mpg City/23 mpg Hwy
Engine Gas I6, 3.0L
EPA Class 4WD Sport Utility Vehicle
Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity 5
Passenger Doors 4
Body Style Sport Utility
See Detailed Specs »
8.4 out of 10
Browse BMW X5 inventory in your area.


The Basics:

The car experts at studied Web reviews of the new 2008 BMW X5 to bring you this conclusive review.'s editors also drove the 2008 BMW X5 to bring you more details on its performance, styling, features, safety, and quality to help you decide which reviews to trust and to explain why other reviews of the new BMW X5 might have differing opinions.

The 2008 BMW X5 carries on the German automaker's sport-utility brand after receiving an extensive redo last year. The BMW X5 is now larger and more powerful than before, and it has a different face to show the world.

The base engine is a 3.0-liter, 260-horsepower six-cylinder, while the optional 4.8-liter V-8 makes 350 horsepower. Both use a six-speed automatic transmission to get power to all four wheels via standard all-wheel drive. And both versions will accelerate to 60 mph in 8 seconds or less, even though they're heavy vehicles that can tow up to 6,000 pounds.

Exterior styling hasn't changed much even with last year's improvements, and the X5 was never one of the most handsome vehicles in its class, anyway--but it is inoffensive. Inside, it's fairly austere and decked out with gadgets like the infuriating iDrive controller that operates the audio, navigation, and climate controls. The 2008 BMW X5 is also capable of transporting seven passengers, now that BMW's fitted a third-row seat to its interior, and interior room is good for all occupants now.

The X5's handling and ride have been improved. The automatic shifts with authority, but is smooth at cruising speeds and in Sport mode alike. With or without the optional Sport package (which adds 19-inch wheels, run-flat all-season tires, and BMW's AdaptiveDrive stability and automatic damping control system), anything like legal speed driving doesn't begin to challenge the X5's composure. And if you keep leaning on it, the X5 leans right back, with the all-wheel-drive and electronic stability-enhancing systems always maintaining an even keel.

The 2008 BMW X5 scores high with federal and insurance-industry crash tests, earning mostly five-star ratings, save for a four-star side-passenger impact rating and a four-star rollover rating. It earns the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick award.


  • Expanded utility
  • Sharp handling
  • Well-balanced steering


  • Styling is same-old, same-old
  • Stiff tariff for a family vehicle
  • iDrive controller
Next: Interior / Exterior »
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