BMW created the X5 luxury SUV to be a family vehicle that was comfortable and luxurious enough to spend much of its time on-road, yet powerful enough to easily conquer any off-road obstacles it faced. Focusing less on complete off-road dominance allowed BMW to create a crossover experience with unparalleled performance sweetened by classic BMW elegance. For 2012, the X5 continues to set the standard for its class by providing nimble handling, roomy interiors, and ample features.
Available in four gasoline-powered models and one diesel model, shoppers have many options when they visit the X5 part of the showroom. Carrying over the refresh from last year, the X5 Series comes with some slightly altered standard features.
As we approached the X5, we remembered everything we loved from its 2011 model. Its distinct profile creates a foreboding silhouette that strikes fear into competitors and inspires drivers around the country to seek out its prestige, power, and handling. We loved it even more when we got behind the wheel and experienced the X5 firsthand in all its glory.
For all five models, drivers can choose from options and feature packages sprinkled throughout the product line to create a personalized driving experience.
The 2012 X5 xDrive35i offers shoppers the entry point to become part of the BMW owner community. Its turbocharged, inline 6-cylinder engine took us down the road in effortless style. After easing the machine into gear, it propelled us from rest to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds, impressive for a car of this size with a 6-cylinder engine. This explains why BMW markets the X5 35i vehicle as one that competes with the V8 models offered by other companies.
Backed by 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque, the luxury crossover navigated even the toughest road conditions with ease. Its standard xDrive all-wheel drive gave us the sporting feel we expect from BMW. Its rear-wheel bias gives way to custom torque delivery as soon as the car senses slipping from the 18-inch wheels.
The SUV’s high-quality audio system comes with standard iPod and USB ports, as well as built-in HD radio. Buyers can choose to upgrade to satellite radio, if desired. Inside, drivers also enjoy micro-filter dual-zone climate control and vehicle and key memory. Seating comes with standard black or beige leatherette upholstery and silver matte trim. Like most parts of the car, buyers can upgrade the seating à la carte to one of five leather colors.
Outside the crossover, the xDrive35i offers a choice of 8 metallic colors and 2 non-metallic colors. It also features fog lights, automatic wipers, roof rails, and hitch-ready wiring. An optional Convenience Package adds ambient lighting, one of three shades of wood trim, auto-dimming inside and outside mirrors, and a panoramic moonroof to this model.
The xDrive35i starts at a MSRP of $47,200.
For 2012, BMW keeps the 2011 xDrive35d. We liked how the diesel version of the X5 features a panoramic moonroof and automatic mirrors among other things. Also, BMW makes extra feature packages available for this model.
Leaping out of the gate with its 265 horsepower diesel engine delivering an impressive 425 pound-feet of torque, we enjoyed driving this car for a second time. The 35d boosts gas mileage from the 23 mpg highway offered by the gasoline models to 26 mpg highway.
The xDrive35d begins with a MSRP tag of $51,800. Buyers now have expanded package options, 7 in all, that can instantly class up the vehicle even more. Packages include the Technology Package, Cold Weather Package, and Sport Activity Package to name a few.
X5 xDrive35i Premium
The xDrive35i Premium adds heated leather seating as standard equipment in front with a heated rear seat optional. The car also boasts an electrochromatic rearview mirror, standard wood grain interior trim, and pushbutton ignition.
Other additions that come standard on the x35i Premium include a panoramic moonroof, and optional running boards. It also jettisons the 18-inch wheels of its lower siblings in favor of 19-inch upgrades.
BMW only offers five feature packages with the Premium X5. These include the Technology Package, Cold Weather Package, and the Convenience Package for starters. Shoppers can take this model home for a starting MSRP of $54,800.
X5 xDrive35i Sport Activity
The Sport Activity model of the X5 comes equipped with 20-inch wheels, a sport steering wheel, and distinctive exterior trim. Inside, buyers have more leather and trim choices as standard equipment.
Packages available for the Sport Activity model of the X5 include the M Sport Package, Premium Sound Package, Convenience Package, and others. This loaded vehicle starts out-of-box with an MSRP of $57,300.
We found even more to love in the top-rated xDrive50i. Equipped with a 400-horsepower V8 engine producing up to 450 pound-feet of torque, this model easily stands out for its responsiveness to acceleration inputs. It also includes navigation as standard equipment. It pays for its performance by sipping gasoline at a modest 20 mpg highway rate. This model starts at $63,800 MSRP.
The 2012 BMW X5 series offers shoppers the best performance of any luxury crossover. Its smooth ride, the understated luxury of the cabin, and the power under the hood provide an unmatched family motoring experience. By omitting off-road features that bog down other luxury car makers, BMW delivers impressive X5 models worthy of their price points.