BMW X5 – 2007 Review: At first look, the BMW X5 looks like pretty much any other crossover. When you sit in the driver’s seat, you’re surrounded by a combination of luxury and truckness. You feel the overall heft of the vehicle as you cruise down the street. But something peculiar happens when you take it onto a twisty mountain road: It does not drive anything like a big crossover. The 5 Series underpinnings haven’t been outweighed by the taller cabin and cargo space. Indeed, the X5 has both the power and the handling to make you think sport, not utility.
What We Drove
It’s a good thing that the X5 drives so well or else this one would be the Ultimate Option Machine. While the crossover starts at $55,225, including $775 destination charge, our test vehicle came with a whopping $22,195 – a MINI Cooper’s worth – of options. Among them were Active Ventilated Seats, Premium Package, Premium Sound, Rear Climate, Sport Package, Technology Package, third-row seats, Rear Seat Entertainment, Active Steering and Comfort Access System, which is BMW’s ultra-fancy remote control. Many of these packages included less-than critical items, but they also included features that made the X5 more comfortable and perform better.
BMW’s 4.8-liter V-8 accelerates well in full auto and even more aggressively in manual mode. The 350 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque made short work of passing other vehicles. The smooth power band and throaty sound make for an entertaining drive. The six-speed automatic has three modes: D, in which it does all the shifting; DS, which shifts at higher engine speeds; and M for manual shift, although it will automatically upshift when close to redline. Manual mode allowed for spirited driving on mountain roads, and DS mode kept the transmission from hunting on climbs.