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  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Eurobuyers and Circle BMW have the factory changer for @$400 and it's a dead easy DIY install. Still won't play MP3s, though.
  • The latest Rocky Mountain News auto review column reviewed the X5 during Denver's record-breaking snowfall. Reviewer Bud Wells seemed to be as pleased with it's snow performance as I was. I won't cut/paste the article -- the link MIGHT work...

    I thought the highlight of the review was Bud's comments regarding the X5 at the ice-driving course outside Vail; the SAME course the discussed in the recent Edmunds review on the Acura: "The X5 drove that course with less slipping and better handling and grip than any of the others. So much so that I suggested to one of the driving school directors that he should park the X5 to avoid direct comparisons with the host product."
  • kuruskurus Posts: 1
    Does any one have any knowledge or experience as to how does the 4.6is handle in snow or rain condition due to its 20 in tires. I am about to purchase one?. Thanks
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    The 20" Michelin Diamaris tires are amazing in the wet, but BMW explicitly warns that they are not designed for winter driving. BMW offers a special set of winter tires+wheels designed to fit over the 14" brake rotors of the 4.6is. I strongly suggest you purchase a set if you plan to do ANY winter driving.
  • chile96chile96 Posts: 330
    My fiancee just got her new 3er this past weekend and I, the SUV lover, find myself making excuses so that I have to drive it to work and she lugs my huge Yukon around(which BTW gets avg 11.5mpg). I have planned for my next vehicle to be the X5 but am now reconsidering for a 3er.

    My question is: Is the X5 sporty enough that it could satisfy my sports sedan desire and be my SUV at the same time? Anybody else with similar dilemmas/solutions? I am about 12-18 mos from making this purchase as these puppies are a pretty penny. I will enthusiastically save my pennies for a year if this could be my ultimate vehicle!
  • knockoffknockoff Posts: 72
    Try an Infiniti FX before you buy.
  • joatmonjoatmon Posts: 315
    Well, it depends. If you're comparing it to a 3 or 5 series with Sport Pack, probably not. If compared to another SUV, or driving Japanese or American iron, yeah, it's sporty.

    Coming from another BMW sedan to the X5, I notice the increased height. This sensation melts away after a few miles. But, the way the suspension works is all BMW.

    BTW, the added height is often welcome on the interstate when competing with 18 wheelers and monster SUVs.

    Sporty, yes, but still a S(U)AV.

  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Any chance of a power upgrade for the 3.0 for MY '04, or a bigger engine (3.2 maybe?).

    Or maybe the question to be asked should be if the 3.0 NEEDS more power?
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    According to Edmund's, the cargo area is ~ 16 cu ft. For comparison, a CR-V, which is considered a mini-ute, is listed at ~ 33 cu ft. The Infiniti FX, which is much criticized for a small cargo area, is at ~ 27. Heck, even a small wagon like the A4 Avant has ~ 27! And I believe these measurements includes the entire cargo area up to the roof. So if you measure only the area up to the top of the seatback, the X5 might only have ~ 10 - 11 cu ft. Compact cars have bigger trunks than that. Is there a misprint somewhere, or is the X5's cargo area really that small. It would seem too small to hold an average family's luggage and still be able to pull the tonneau cover over it.
  • joatmonjoatmon Posts: 315
    1. I don't believe the engines are being upgraded for 04. If they are, it's probably only the v8. The clue is that the new 5 series being released in May in Europe is going to have the same 2.5 and 3.0 as the 03s. The new v8 in the 5 series is upgraded to the 325 hp 4.4 from the 7 series.

    2. The X5 cargo area is small in comparison to other SUVs. The good news is that it is a rectangle allowing you to use all the space. The clam shell opening also allows you to more easily use all the space. Yeah, I'd like more room back there, but not at the expense of driver/passenger room and comfort. Or... a Yukon, Tahoe, etc. Yuch.

    I'm probably going to add a trailer hitch and use a "hitch haul" for those beach and mountain trips.

    Hope this helps,

  • If you want to play the HP game you can always supercharge a 3.0 -- that'll take you to 330 HP (cost is 5 grand). Personally I don't see that as a necessity; the 3.0i X5 easily exceeds every posted speed limit. Cargo: think of it as either a really cramped SUV or a really generous car trunk :-) I put enough stuff back there for a family of four for a week a couple summer's back.

    Other SUVs may have more space but be sure to check the weight; I've seen people stacking heavy bags of dirt into the back of a large cargo SUV to the point where I thought the springs were gonna snap. If you're moving boxes of feathers no problem...boxes of gold bars, different story.

    The X5's strengths are its ride height, luxury interior, handling, all weather on-road performance, braking, passing acceleration and styling (not in that order). It's not a sports car, pickup truck or minivan. Hope this helps.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    My concern with the cargo space though is that it may not even qualify as a "really generous car trunk". The thing to remember is that the useable part of the cargo space, in many situations, is the part that can be covered with the tonneau cover. When I'm travelling, I sure don't want to leave all my luggage and stuff in plain view when I'm parked outside a restaurant, or at some sightseeing stop. If the entire cargo area of the X is only 16 cu ft, then I would estimate the "covered" part to be no more than 11 cu ft or so. Would your experience bear that out?
  • I measured the dimensions under my cargo cover as 29.5" (L), 49" (W) and 18" (D)...or 15 cu. ft. Again, that's the space UNDER the cover. When I traveled everything fit under the cover. BTW, all that space is useable as there are no wheel wells or anything of that sort.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519 that's interesting. I had never thought of actually measuring it myself. So I went out and ran a tape measure in my Accord trunk, and I came up with approximately 54" x 44" x 19" give or take an inch or so in each direction. Would that not come up to approx. 26 cu. ft.? But the Accord is listed at 14 cu. ft. Now I'm wondering what's the official method of measurement?
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,931
    Our Editors' Review has been updated, but the link to interior space doesn't say how it's calculated.

    Steve, Host
  • I can't vouch for any measurements other than the ones I've taken personally. Mine stack up with what BMW puts out (though I'm a bit more conservative).

    Car & Driver counts the number of cases of beer that a vehicle can tote in it's cargo area. Not a bad idea; prevents a manufacturer from inflating claims with "ping pong balls" or other filler. IIRC the X5 hauls 11 or 12 cases behind the 2nd row. In short, don't expect it to outperform the Accord. Therefore if the Accord is too small...
  • jeffersjeffers Posts: 1
    I had scratched the X5 off my shopping list thinking the cargo space was inadequate for hauling ski & snowboard gear for four on a long weekend. But no other vehicle matched the X5 for ample front seat space (love those big footwells), handling precision and overall sportiness. So I rented an X5 for the day, took it home and stuffed all the usual baggage in the back to see if it would fit. It did - although admittedly not by much (the cubbies inside the rear fender wells help.) If you have three children and/or travel with very large loads frequently, the X5 probably won't work. But before committing yourself to driving something clumsier, take an X5 back to the garage and do your own luggage test. I'm sure glad I did.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,101
    Thanks for the vote of confidence on the X5s cargo space. I'm going to try to convince my father (at the NY Auto show this weekend) to lease an X5 when the lease is up on his '01 QX4 next March. Cargo space (with the seats down) is a huge priority (along with driving dynamics) as my father carries 2 Great Danes to and from work with him every day. Front head/leg room is also tops on the list as he is 6'3" (with a bad back and must sit straight up) and barely fits into his QX4.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • mml7mml7 Posts: 55
    Consumer Reports recently published a table that contains measurements of the the "usable cargo capacity" of various cars.

    They don't specify how they calculate this number, but from personal experience with some of the cars on the list, it seems about right. Of note, they measure the usable cargo capacity of the X5 to be 35.5cu ft and the MDX at 42.0cu ft. _id=21999&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=21135&bmUID=1050751357777

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