Owner Review

2014 BMW X5 xDrive35i review

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My wife and I bought this car to replace a diesel powered Range Rover product that we had no end of issues with. When its warranty expired we decided that we had to get rid of it. The BMW X5 had been a vehicle that we had desired for some time but we couldn’t afford a new one, but with some extensive research we managed to locate a low kilometre, one-owner vehicle for a reasonable and affordable price, and so a Sophisto Grey xDrive 35i joined our garage.

We specifically targeted a non-diesel powered version due to the issues we had experienced with the Range Rover, plus we were hearing of more and more issues with regard to DPF’s, EGR’s, EGR coolers, DEF injectors and exhaust systems with more and more manufacturers. We realised that we would compromise fuel economy a little but concluded that the 3.0-litre turbo petrol in the 35i was quite fuel efficient, and after taking one for a test drive we were hooked. It was a bit of a rocket ship, and we were most impressed with its acceleration and smooth performance.

The gear changes were silky smooth and the ride was even better than the Range Rover, which we thought could not be surpassed. When I did some research I was amazed to see that it was even quicker than our 8th Gen Honda Civic Type-R - who would have thought, from a large 5-seater SUV? The X5 also has a beautiful induction roar when you accelerate, which is something that I never tire of hearing. The X5 is predominantly my wife’s everyday driver, as I drive a Mercedes Benz GLA250 to and from work. My car is quite a nice little jigger and has pretty good performance - especially in SPORT mode - but after driving the X5 it feels slow.

We love the white plush leather seats, however they are a bit of a pain to keep clean. Our model has the two screens on the back of the front seat headrests for DVDs and TV. We don’t really use the screens but we recently picked my sister up from the airport, and as she gets car sick we sat her in the front passenger seat, allowing my wife to get in the rear and watch TV all the way home.

Can you believe it? You can even watch TV. It's only when you are exposed to these prestige cars you realise how good they are and why they cost what they cost. Another feature we love is the 360-degree camera vision when parking, plus the car is so intelligent, when we went on a dirt road, it automatically detected the road surface and decided that the 360 deg vision might be helpful, automatically popping up on the screen for us. The car is smarter than we realise and we are still learning about all of its bells and whistles.

The navigation system is superb and easy to use, plus the sound system is pretty darn good too.

So far (after approximately nine months of ownership), we have had trouble-free motoring, except for a slight knocking sound in the front end that gradually got worse. It turned out to be the bushes in the lower control arms that needed replacing, which is a relatively expensive repair because you can’t change just the bushes - you have to replace the whole control arm. It can be made more affordable due to aftermarket parts being significantly cheaper than those with a BMW stamp on them, and it really is a wear and tear item for a 6 year old vehicle, with about 60,000 kms on the clock.

The F15 X5, whilst not a bad looking vehicle, was initially not as pleasing to the eye as the model it replaced (E70) but it has grown on me. It looks better with the M-Sport pack's wheels and wheel arch extensions, but a Porsche Macan will always look better in my opinion.

Overall, I just love every time I get in this car and drive it. The combination of silky smooth ride, silky smooth gear changes, surprising acceleration performance for such a large vehicle and amazing handling (again for a large SUV), combined with the great induction roar on acceleration, just brings a smile to my face. It makes me wonder how it could ever be improved upon. Maybe a Porsche Macan can - I haven’t driven one so won’t know, but until that day comes, I’m more than content with this car and hope to enjoy it for many years to come.

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