BMW was one of - if not the first - auto manufacturer to design an SUV-like vehicle for the way the vast majority of them are used. Taking a look at the habits of the drivers of these vehicles, BMW elected to make its SUV more of a driving machine for the street — leaving offroad capability completely out of the mission statement. As a result, the BMW X5 soon found its way into the driveways of every precisely manicured neighborhood in America.
Actually, more than just optimizing the X5 for the street, the company — being BMW — set the X5 up to absolutely excel on the street. As a result, the Bavarian tall wagon accelerated furiously, cornered tenaciously and braked mightily. It was about as close to a sports car as you could get, and uh, you know, still be perched like four feet off the ground, while surrounded by over 6000 pounds of wood, steel, leather, rubber, aluminum, and glass.
Introduced in 1999, as a 2000 model year product, the X5 was also one of the first two BMW products to be built in the United States (Z3 was the other one). In fact, for a number of years, every BMW X5 on earth was built in the U.S. at the Spartanburg, South Carolina BMW factory. There have been two generations of the BMW X5 offered since that first production one rolled off the assembly line back in 1999.