The 2008 BMW X5 scores highly 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 IIHS's Top Safety Pick award.
As for safety features, Edmunds mentions that the BMW X5 "comes standard with antilock brakes, traction control, stability control, brake drying and standby"; this last feature is described by Cars.com as keeping "the discs clean during inclement weather." Kelley Blue Book reports that "Hill Descent Control, trailer stabilization, rollover protection system and two-stage front, front seat-mounted side and front and rear head-curtain airbags" are also standard. Cars.com adds that the adaptive brake lights "illuminate over a wider area under heavy braking." In discussing optional safety features, Edmunds mentions the front and rear parking sensors to avoid minor fender benders, while MyRide.com the "anti-roll stability system and run-flat tires as part of a Sport Package."
ConsumerGuide reports "rear headrests partially block the view astern, but visibility is good otherwise, aided by available front and rear obstacle detection." MyRide.com agrees, saying that the BMW X5's large mirrors, large windows, and rearview camera result in "good visibility all around." The camera is automatically activated when the car is put in reverse, so there is no fiddling around with controls that can take away from the task at hand. Also, the 2008 BMW X5's "right side mirror dips to give a view of the curb, and its image is overlaid with a grid and lines that move with the steering wheel."