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PERFORMANCE | 8 out of 10
propels the 5,225-pound SUV like a freight train
accelerates with far more insistence than you'd expect from a 3.0-liter inline-6”
Nimble handling for this type of vehicle
It does not drive anything like a big crossover
With a sporty feel and reasonable fuel economy for its class, the 2009 BMW X5 is definitely not just another stodgy SUV. The performance of the new-for-2009 diesel-powered X5 proves especially impressive.
According to Cars.com, “The X5 xDrive35d has a huge reserve early on that propels the 5,225-pound SUV like a freight train. Though it gives up some high-revving power to the xDrive48i's V-8, in everyday driving, it feels even beefier.” The reviewer “noticed some accelerator lag early on, but by the end of the week the SUV moved without hesitation. In comparison, Mercedes' turbo-diesel ML320 and GL320 Bluetecs exhibit annoying—and potentially dangerous—accelerator lag no matter how long you drive them.” Popular Mechanics says, “Click the fly-by-wire shifter into 'D' and heavy pressure on the right pedal produces strong thrust. Remember, there's 425 lb.-ft. of torque way down at 1750 rpm, so the X5 accelerates with far more insistence than you'd expect from a 3.0-liter inline-6.” Its EPA-estimated fuel economy is 15 mpg city, 21 highway and 18 combined, reports Edmunds.
According to Cars.com, the 2009 BMW X5 in 3.0si trim has a "venerable 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine," which produces 360 horsepower with 225 pound-feet of torque. The 4.8i trim's "4.8-liter V-8 makes 350 hp and 350 pounds-feet of torque." Edmunds reports that "in performance testing, the X5 4.8i went from zero to 60 mph in 7 seconds"; Cars.com's speed tests have the 3.0-liter engine doing 0-60 in 7.8 seconds and the 4.8-liter doing it in 6.4. Car and Driver predicts that the 3.0si "will be enough for most" and says that the "V-8 is a bit over the top." As for towing, Cars.com states the "inline-six and V-8 versions are both rated to tow up to 6,000 pounds when properly equipped."
Both powerplants of the BMW X5 "feature BMW's exclusive Valvetronic electronic valve actuation and Double VANOS variable valve timing, which contribute to better-than-expected fuel efficiency for such performance-oriented vehicles,” reports Kelley Blue Book. The result, says Car and Driver, is that while the driver is enjoying an excellent driving experience, "the powertrain is busy eking the most out of every drop of gas." Edmunds states that EPA fuel economy estimates for the BMW X5 are "15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway for the 3.0si, while the 4.8i returns 14 mpg city and 19 mpg highway."
"As automatics go...the X5 is right up there with the best of them,” contends Cars.com, "both engines work through a six-speed automatic.” In fact, when it comes to the BMW X5, "the shift quality is excellent and the transmission kicks down when necessary." When the car is in sport mode, the kick-down is still quick and the engine braking "decent," especially since the "transmission doesn't upshift as readily."
MyRide.com mentions that on twisty mountain roads, the BMW X5 does not handle in the way a large crossover usually does: "The 5 series underpinnings haven't been outweighed by a taller cabin and cargo space. Indeed, the X5 has both the power and the handling to make you think sport, not utility." Edmunds declares the X5 one of the "best-handling midsize luxury SUVs you can buy." According to Car and Driver, this 2009 BMW has "responsive steering, powerful engines, and a taut chassis," which give the X5 that athletic feel missing in most sport utility vehicles. Cars.com agrees, saying that the X5 "always feels stable and under control," with Car and Driver praising the "natural-feeling steering."
The performance of the 2009 BMW X5 is superb, with reviews praising its handling and the powerful nature of the engine.