2008 BMW X5

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16 CITY / 22 HWY
Overall Quality
Overall Performance and Design
Predicted Reliability


What Changed for 2008:
  • Panoramic moonroof is standard on all models

  • Wood trim standard on X5 3.0si models

  • Chrome tail pipes added to X5 3.0si models

  • Automatic tailgate option added

  • Minor option package changes
The first-generation X5, introduced in 2000, redefined the premium sport utility segment. BMW called their first luxury SUV a \"Sport Activity Vehicle\" (SAV), a direct reference to its engineering design of premium handling, performance, efficiency, practicality and versatility over more traditional SUVs with their heavy off-road capabilities. The first-generation X5 carried up to 5 passengers in sophisticated luxury. It offered full-time all-wheel drive (AWD) and car-like handling. Completely redesigned in 2007, the second-generation 2008 BMW X5 offers consumers seating for up to 7 passengers and a choice of 6- or 8-cylinder powerplants in a performance-oriented midsize package.

Model Lineup
Two different X5 models are offered for 2008. The X5 3.0si SAV features a 6-cylinder powerplant and a full complement of power accessories as standard equipment. Automatic climate control, 10-way power front seats, a dual-pane panoramic moonroof and an AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system are standard. The 8-cylinder X5 4.8si SAV offers even more standard features, including self-leveling rear springs, upgraded leather upholstery and special distinguishing exterior trim.

Several option packages are available on both X5 models. The Premium package offers a universal garage door opener; auto-dimming mirrors; lumbar support; ambient lighting package; and BMW Assist with Bluetooth. The Sport package adds larger wheels and tires; a 3-spoke sport steering wheel; AdaptiveDrive Active Roll Stabilization and Electronic Damping Control; sport seats; and an Anthracite headliner. A Technology package includes a rearview camera; Park Distance Control; Voice Command; and a DVD-based Navigation system with real-time traffic information. Stand-alone options include Sirius satellite radio; HD radio; head-up display; third-row seating; and upgraded leather upholstery. Standard wheels are 18-inch aluminum alloy. Nineteen-inch wheels are optional on the 3.0si model, while the 4.8si model offers optional 20-inch wheels with performance tires.

The 2008 BMW X5 is offered with a choice of two different engines. The standard engine in the X5 3.0si SAV is a 3.0-liter, fuel-injected, 6-cylinder powerplant rated at 260 hp and 225 lb.-ft. of torque. EPA fuel economy ratings are 15 mpg city/21 mpg highway. The X5 4.8si SAV is powered by a 4.8-liter 8-cylinder powerplant rated at 350 hp and 350 lb.-ft. of torque. EPA fuel economy ratings are 14 mpg city/19 mpg highway. Both engines are mated to BMW's 6-speed Steptronic automatic transmission. Standard on all X5 models is BMW's xDrive, a full-time AWD system that electronically varies front/rear torque split and traction control to offer optimal traction and control under varied road conditions. The X5 features fully independent suspension engineered for driving dynamics and agility on paved roads. (The X5 is not designed for heavy off-road use, therefore it is not equipped with a transmission low range or locking differentials.) Disc brakes with anti-lock control are standard on all models.

BMW provides a 4-year/50,000-mile new-vehicle limited warranty and a 4-year/unlimited mileage membership in the BMW Assist Safety Plan with every 2008 X5. The BMW Maintenance Program includes all factory-recommended maintenance items for the first 4-year/50,000-mile period of ownership.

In addition to 3-point safety belts and active head restraints, BMW equips all 2008 X5 models with a driver and front passenger front air bag supplemental restraint system (SRS) with advanced technology dual-threshold and dual-stage deployment. A front- and rear-compartment Head Protection System (HPS) \"curtain air bag\" helps to protect outboard passengers from injury, while a rollover sensor deploys air bags in the event of a rollover. For additional protection, a battery safety terminal is designed to cut off electrical power in a severe collision. Standard active safety features in every BMW X5 include anti-lock brakes (ABS), dynamic stability control (DSC) with Brake Fade Compensation, Start-off Assistant, Brake Drying, Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Dynamic Brake Control, and Hill Descent Control (HDC). The 2007-08 BMW X5 has been crash tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). It received \"Good\" ratings for both the frontal offset test as well as the side-impact test-the highest ratings offered by the Institute. By achieving \"Good\" ratings in both tests and offering standard electronic stability control, the 2008 BMW X5 is listed by the IIHS as a \"Top Safety Pick\" for 2008.

One of the most common complaints about sport utility-type vehicles is that their raised center of gravity contributes to excessive body roll and lean in corners. In addition to being unnerving to the driver, this body roll upsets the vehicle's suspension reducing operator control. BMW has addressed this problem with an innovative technology called AdaptiveDrive. The system is a combination of active anti-roll stability and variable damper control. Utilizing special sensors, lateral and longitudinal acceleration, steering wheel position, road speed, and vehicle ride height are continuously monitored. If the system detects excessive body roll, sway motors on the anti-roll bars and electromagnetic valves on the dampers are engaged to actively adjust the suspension geometry. Handling dynamics are greatly improved, BMW claims, while all passengers benefit from a more comfortable ride.

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