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2012 BMW X5 Photo
8.0
/ 10
On Performance
BASE INVOICE
$43,700
BASE MSRP
$47,500
On Performance
The 2012 BMW X5's handling and performance is impressive, but the X5 M sets a benchmark.
8.0 out of 10
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PERFORMANCE | 8 out of 10

Expert Quotes:

The 2011 BMW X5 is one of the best-handling midsize luxury crossovers you can buy.
Edmunds

Running north out of Miami in slow traffic, we had plenty of time to experience the legendary smoothness of BMW's inline-six working through its new gearbox.
Autoblog

Thanks to the quick-spooling single turbocharger, the power comes on low in the rpm band and stays on all the way to redline.
Popular Mechanics

Despite its size, weight and optional third-row seats, the 2010 BMW X5 remains one of the few largish sport utilities that can be fun to drive for serious drivers.
Kelley Blue Book

Check it: 0-60 mph takes place in 6.1 seconds, wowza fast for a six-cylinder SUV.
Motor Trend

On paved roads, the 2012 BMW X5 excels. The engines might bring some funky names to the mix, but they deliver the goods in terms of power, smoothness, and, in some cases at least, fuel efficiency.

The xDrive35i model is a turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine rated at 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. The turbocharger helps the torque arrive early, provided very good acceleration and passing power despite the X5's size. A diesel model, the xDrive35d, provides similar performance with 265 horsepower but a prodigious 425 pound-feet of torque delivered at very low rpms.

Stepping up to the V-8 models, there's the xDrive50i, good for 400 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque, which effectively turns the X5 into a very tall performance sedan with a surprising amount of cargo space. All standard X5s come with an eight-speed automatic transmission that delivers smooth shifts and an engaging manual mode. When equipped with the optional AdaptiveDrive dynamic damping system, the X5 allows adjustment into even sportier guises while retaining a safety net of stability and traction control.

The X5 M also gets a turbocharged V-8 engine, but scores a huge 555 horsepower and 486 pound-feet of torque, delivering sports car-like acceleration. The suspension, wheels, and tires are also upgraded, enabling incredible feats, though to truly tap the X5 M's capability, you have to get to a track. Even the brakes on the 5,250-pound beast are impressive. M Dynamic Mode stability control allows even greater slip angles while still providing computer-aided chassis control.

Off-road, the X5 is perhaps less impressive than some of the alternatives, and the often low-profile tires fitted may compromise grip and rugged-terrain capability, but it's not just a soft-roader. The X5 can handle mud, snow, gravel, inclines, and even water crossings when driven properly.

Conclusion

The 2012 BMW X5's handling and performance is impressive, but the X5 M sets a benchmark.

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