Ever since BMW first released the BMW X5 SAV, or Sports Activity Vehicle, to the American public in 1999, people have loved it. It was built in Spartanburg, South Carolina, so that made it an American made German vehicle. If you needed a light utility vehicle that had safety, comfort and agility, the X5 was the one for you.

It was for the soccer mom who wanted to break all the stereotypes and drive a premium SAV, or for executives and young professionals,or the guy who didn’t want or need a Chevy Blazer, Trailblazer or Tahoe. But now, for the second generation, BMW has decided to upgrade it once more with a pair of new engines, new transmission, along with new colors inside and out, and of course, some great new accessories and options.

So if you don’t feel like reading through 2,400 words of a BMW press release, take a look at just the facts below.


Understated Subtlety

Dating back to its original design and features, the BMW X5 has always had some unpainted plastics around the exterior of the body. Not because it was cheap, but to add a rugged appeal. Now that’s all changing with virtually every exterior body piece being painted in the main color chosen for the car. Also, the lower front bumper/fascia appears to have been lifted and given a little redesign from the X6, giving it an appearance that makes the front end look lower and more aggressive. It also allows for wider air openings to feed the larger and more powerful engines more air.


To go along with what BMW has been doing lately for the 3-Series LCI, 335is, and F10 5-Series, the X5 features corona rings, or halos as most like to call them, that are full LEDs. As you can see in the picture, the fog lamps have now been placed higher on the bumper to allow better light emitting when off-roading, or in darker conditions. And to continue following the lead of all new BMWs, the rear taillights get a new L-shaped LED design.

There are a new choice in exterior colors, too, which include, Deep Sea Blue, Platinum Grey and Sparkling Bronze. New interior choices are, Oyster and Cinnamon Brown for the upgraded Nevada Leather option.



The outgoing X5 had three engine types, the X5 xDrive30i, xDrive48i and xDrive35d. While the diesel xDrive35d survives, the 30i and 48i die off and go to that wonderful BMW heaven, wherever that is. In to replace the outgoing naturally aspirated 3.0-liter inline-6 and 4.8-liter V8 are the N55 twin-scroll single turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 making 300hp and 300lb-ft of torque, as well as the twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 making 400hp and 450lb-ft of torque, similar to the engine in the X5 and X6 M models. So it will now be the X5 xDrive35i and xDrive50i, same with the X6. Zero to sixty times are estimated at 6.4 seconds for the 35i and 5.3 seconds for the 50i. Which is drastically faster than the past engines.


In order to reign all of this power in, an all-new 8-speed steptronic automatic, of which you see in the 5-Series GT and the 760Li. The new transmission weighs no more than the 6-speed model it replaces, and offers better gearing for lower speeds and rpm to make the X5 faster from a dig. It also adds the two extra gears up top to help with efficiency at highway speeds. You can also select gears manually, as always before, by pulling the gear shift closer to you and pushing and pulling the shifter forward or back (-/+).

Brake Energy Regeneration

Something that we’ve been hearing a lot about lately, and seeing in Formula 1 with KERS (Kinetic Energy Regeneration System), is BMW’s new Brake Energy Regeneration, which BMW says it can save about 1-2% on fuel consumption. Basically, there is a deep-cycle glass mat battery that is programmed to be able to disengage the alternator, this charges the battery while coasting or actually braking, in most cases.

Options and Pricing


First and foremost, there are some new options that need to be shown, because they are very important to the growth of the X5. You can now option your X5 with, Active Cruise Control with Stop and Go, which means the vehicle will actually make a full stop for you and start moving again so long as you have it set to active cruise control. Other new options are, Lane Departure Warning, Active Steering, Head-Up Display, along with side view and top view cameras that you can see on your iDrive navigation screen as you’re reversing your car. It may seem gimmicky, but I’ve used this technology while driving the ActiveHybrid X6 in a parking garage in Los Angeles, and it works brilliantly.

There are now three distinct flavors that you can choose your X5 xDrive35i in. You can opt for the standard “Essential” 35i, or go for the “Premium” or “Sport Activity” models.


Taken straight from BMW’s Press Release:

The essential X5 xDrive35i has an MSRP of $46,675 including Destination & Handling, and includes a popular profile of standard equipment often specified by X5 customers, including BMW’s Xenon Adaptive headlights, Rain Sensor with automatic headlight control, HD Radio, automatic climate control, foglights, 18” light alloy wheels, cruise control, and anti-theft alarm system. A Convenience Package is optional and adds the large panoramic moonroof, auto-dimming mirrors, Dark Burl Walnut, Bamboo, or Light Poplar wood interior trim, BMW Ambiance Lighting, and BMW Assist with Bluetooth. Stand alone options include rear side window shades, Navigation system with Real Time Traffic Information and Voice Command, satellite radio with 1-year subscription, and an iPod / USB adapter interface.

The X5 xDrive35i Premium has an MSRP of $52,475 including Destination & Handling and includes a boosted profile of standard equipment, such as 19” light alloy wheels, roof rails and panoramic moonroof, power adjustable steering column, iPod / USB adapter interface, and privacy glass. Best of all, it includes standard Nevada Leather. In addition, buyers of the Premium model may choose up to four packages, including the Active Ventilated Seat Package, Convenience Package, Cold Weather Package, and Technology Package. Each package includes a raft of focused features that enhance comfort and convenience, allowing buyers to better customize the X5 to personal taste. Third Row seating, which enables the X5 to accommodate up to 7 passengers, also becomes available on this model.

The X5 xDrive35i Sport Activity has an MSRP of $54,975 including Destination & Handling and includes even more standard equipment than the Premium model, such as 20” light alloy wheels, sport seats, Shadowline exterior trim, and Anthracite headliner. In addition to the packages available on the Premium model, customers may add the popular M Sport Package to the X5 xDrive35i Sport Activity model. The M Sport Package includes 20” wheels with performance tires, the Adaptive Drive system, aluminum roof rails, M door sill plates, M driver footrest, M steering wheel, M aerodynamic enhancements, and increased top speed limiter (150 mph).

The X5 xDrive50i is yours for an MSRP of $59,275, including destination and handling.

Read about 2010 BMW X5 on Twitter