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STYLING | 7 out of 10
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
With a major redesign last year, the BMW X5 offers only subtle differences this year, and most reviewers consulted by TheCarConnection.com found it attractive but not particularly compelling inside or out.
According to Edmunds, the 2008 BMW X5 is a "midsize luxury SUV available in two trim levels: 3.0si and 4.8i." As the trims refer to engine size, there are no significant exterior styling differences between the two. Both trims, reports Kelley Blue Book, sporting "signature twin-kidney grilles...prominent between a sculpted power-dome hood and a black lower fascia," while in the back "a functional roof spoiler houses the high-mounted brake lamp, and large oval dual exhausts are imbedded in the black lower fascia." Commenting that the "BMW X5 looks like pretty much any other crossover," MyRide.com notes that the 2008 BMW's "taller cabin and cargo space," has allowed for larger windows and large outside mirrors. Car and Driver adds that the second-generation X5 is both longer and wider. Overall, the 2008 BMW has taken styling cues from other Bimmers; Edmunds says the "exterior sheet metal mimics other designs by BMW stylist Chris Bangle, though here the flanks seem less chiseled, the creases more softly hewn."
The similarity to other BMWs carries over into the interior, with Cars.com saying "like other BMWs, the X5's cabin is sleek and purposeful without a lot of extra frills to get in the way of driving." MyRide.com writes, "when you sit in the driver's seat, you are surrounded by a combination of luxury and truckness." Edmunds calls the interior of the 2008 BMW X5 "one of the most elegant BMW has ever built," noting that the "dash is gently curved, with handsome wood inlays, generously sized air vents, oversized instrumentation and a truly gorgeous soft-feeling top that unifies the whole design."
While the 2008 BMW X5 is attractive for a crossover vehicle, it does not bring much new to the styling world.