2013 BMW X5 Photo
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On Performance
$26,980 - $50,900
On Performance
The 2013 BMW X5 offers impressive performance for an SUV, but it's the X5 M that really shines, especially on track.
8.0 out of 10
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PERFORMANCE | 8 out of 10

Expert Quotes:

The heavy steering wheel feel will be too much for those seeking a coddling luxury SUV, but BMW has always emphasized driving character.

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.

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

Whether driving on back roads or on an endless expanse of interstate, the X5 is a champ.

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

The 2013 BMW X5's strongest suit is its paved road handling and comfort. In V-8-powered xDrive50i form, there's plenty of power on tap--and most certainly so in the 555-horsepower X5 M--but all X5s steer, grip, and feel much like a car behind the wheel.

The xDrive35i's 3.0-liter turbocharged in-line six-cylinder engine is rated at 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. It feels like it offers every bit of that to the driver, with good low-end torque and strong acceleration at almost any speed. The eight-speed automatic transmission, common to all X5s, feels sporty enough to keep up with the X5 when the driver wants to hustle, and is very laid-back and smooth-shifting when the pace is more relaxed.

With the xDrive50i, the X5 steps into the realm of the real performance SUV, bringing 400 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque from its 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine. The result is something like a very tall performance wagon, with shockingly good cargo room.

The optional AdaptiveDrive dynamic damping system improves the sporty side of the X5. Electronic stability and traction controls provide a safety net that allows a fair amount of fun before slowing things down and straightening them out.

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.


The 2013 BMW X5 offers impressive performance for an SUV, but it's the X5 M that really shines, especially on track.

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