2012 BMW X5 Review

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8.4
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7.0
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8.0
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2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Nelson Ireson Nelson Ireson Senior Editor

It doesn't pop with the styling or interior plushness of its competitors, but the 2012 BMW X5 has the powerful X5 M and frugal diesel up its sleeve.

A frontrunner in the luxury SUV segment, the 2012 BMW X5 continues to prove its value, moving forward for the new model year with minimal updates. Given its handsome styling, ample space for five passengers, and luxurious interior, that's a good thing.

Styled with BMW's brand aesthetics up front, but with a more masculine appeal than most of the range, the X5's chunky proportions meet with flowing lines to deliver a conservatively handsome look. Inside, the story is much the same, with a restrained style that will appeal to a wide range of buyers. A number of color and materials options allow customization for specific tastes.

While the X5 might largely fly under the styling radar, it shines in performance. Under the hood of the base model lies a twin-turbocharged inline six-cylinder rated at 300 horsepower and 23 mpg highway. This base engine, dubbed xDrive35i in BMW terms, is available in three trim packages: base, Premium, and Sport Activity. More on those later.

A turbocharged diesel is available in the X5 xDrive35d model, good for 265 horsepower and 26 mpg highway, though it commands a slight premium in price over the standard gasoline model. The most potent standard X5 is the xDrive50i, powered by a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 engine rated at 400 horsepower and 20 mpg highway but delivering thrilling acceleration, particularly for an SUV. A very highly tuned version of the same engine is available in the X5 M, rated at 555 horsepower and upgraded with a shockingly good suspension setup.

The X5 rides and handles more like a big sedan, even though it's considerably taller and bulkier. The X5 M is an oddity, but one we love: a track-ready sport-utility vehicle that makes no sense on paper and a lot of sense on a speedway. On most models, ride quality is better than expected.

The X5 is comfortable for up to five adults, though a tiny third-row seat with two more spaces for kids is available Cargo space is adequate, if not excessive.

The IIHS gives the X5 good crash-test ratings, but the NHTSA hasn't fully vetted it yet. All models come with all-wheel drive.

Among other features, BMW offers navigation, an iDrive infotainment interface, power front seats, keyless ignition, parking sensors, a rearview camera, and a USB port.

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May 2, 2015
For 2012 BMW X5

I've been complimented on this vehicles appearance more than any of the over twenty cars I've owned through the years.

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This X5 has the optional twin turbocharged V8 and Dinan's stage 2 programming raising the stock HP and tourque from 400 and 450 to 500 HP and 575 ft. Lbs. The result is an SUV that performs like an X5 M... + More »
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April 20, 2015
For 2012 BMW X5

BMW review.

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Fantastic car V16 engine with single turbo star alloy wheels leather interior the body colour is carbon fibre with twin exhausts.
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September 19, 2016
2017 BMW X5 xDrive35i Sports Activity Vehicle

Problems within 1week

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Built our second BMW X5. I had a 2009 before. As my 13 year old stated "Round 2 of trouble." She was right, within 1,week the Instrument Board stopped working a new Instrument board will have to be installed.
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