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BMW X5 Diesel Reliability



  • Good idea. I am thinking that I would hedge my bets...both that I would like to run biodiesel and this is a new engine in the US so will lease it rather than buy it just in case there are issues. The only other route I would think about is waiting even longer for the X5 hybrid and lease that too since it is so new for BMW.

    I am getting excited to pull the trigger but just need to weigh the options and see if the prices will soften per the comments above in this thread.

    Thanks for your thoughts.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,971
    Edmunds now has an inventory gizmo so you can search local dealer inventory.

    To get there, drill down to the 2009 X5 and click on View Inventory.

    I see some on the lots in LA but none around SD yet.

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    I got the email from BMW of Encinitas. I do not see any on their new inventory list. I will call them and make sure they have one before I drive all the way up there. They sent me a lot of emails to come up and fill out an order form. I told them I would not be interested before test driving the vehicle. I am also somewhat picky about colors white or very light color and tan leather. $60k+ you should get what you want.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    I found it listed at $61,920. In ALpine White with beige interior. I better get up there and check it out.

    Brecht BMW of Escondido also has a white one at $52,525. Wonder what you get for $9000 more at BMW of Encinitas?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    Wonder what you get for $9000 more at BMW of Encinitas?

    Bigger smiles on the faces of the sales staff and management? ;)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • watkinstwatkinst Posts: 122
    The BMW cost for the diesel makes it a choice of just wanting a cool and different car. If your thinking cost savings like I am - BMW doesn't even make the list.

    I have a 94 landcruiser that does our long haul boat towing etc adventures- 14mpg sucks but we paid almost nothing for it 5 yrs ago. So it was a cheap hauler compared to the options being discussed.

    I'm now researching the MB Rclass given it has all the same under pinnings as the GL CDI only the R's are selling for half the price. The R is funky and not a SUV but assuming MB has corrected all the issues with their 7spd in the past say 4yrs the R could offer a very good value. Not sure what sort of weight or profile trailer your hauling but anything under 3500lbs and the R might be worth looking at. You get the same AWD - 7spd and engine as the ML only in a sleeker package that gets slightly better milege.

    My concerns are the same as everyone elses MB piss poor reliability record in what is mainly all the extra crap electrical stuff on their cars. The new 3L v6 diesels seem to have a good history though the 7spd automatic has a troubled history so far even though MB is putting it in virtually all their cars.

    My take on things is that there will be no American or Japanese light diesels arriving to our seriously hurting Auto market any time soon. Which MB is counting on and hedging their bets to be one of the top light diesel vehicle sources in the US. BMW makes a great diesel engine many say the best diesel engine but BMW's approach to the US market being a top end high priced car makes their diesels more of a novelty vs practical alternative.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    My only test drive was in a 2007 GL320 CDI. I was not thrilled with the 7 speed transmission. I don't know if it just takes getting used to or not. When I was exiting the Freeway it would not just coast to a stop. It would down shift and slow you down faster than I was used to. It had more than adequate acceleration. My wife did not like the looks of the R320 CDI or I would consider it in my quest for the perfect diesel SUV. I do want to test drive the X5 diesel. I prefer the inline 6 to the V6 MB design. I think there will be lots of room to negotiate as long as diesel stays much higher than gas. Friends that own the X5 say it is the best handling SUV on the planet. Even better than the Porsche. If the Cayenne was offered in a 6 cylinder diesel I would put it on the list also. The Audi is just too ugly for me to consider even with a diesel. Unless they completely change the body design.
  • I actually have the 2009 x5 35d. Just picked it up on Dec 08, 2008. First in the city to have the x5 diesel. I absolutely love driving this car. The power is unbelivable. Torgue is great at any speeds. Absolutely no delay with this turbo diesel. Love it.
    Had to fill it up already and the mileage is pretty good. On a 85 litre tank I got 600 km in the city. Apparently it is supposed to get even better as the car gets broken in.
    I ordered the x5 xdrive35d back in august 2008 and let me tell you it was worth the wait. I was a little scared to buy it without driving it first or hearing what the diesel sounds like. People dont even know it is a diesel until i tell them. Very quiet and very very powerful.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    Keep us posted on your mileage. It is exciting for sure. To have that kind of power with great mileage. Only possible with a diesel engine.
  • cjh29cjh29 Posts: 1
    Does anyone currently own this ? I am seriously considering buying the diesel X5 but wanted to talk to someone who owns the car and see what they have to say before making a final decision.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    I had a little time to kill this morning and stopped into BMW of San Diego. Unlike my last visit there in 2007, I was greeted as I came through the front door. I told the gentleman I would like to test the new X5 diesel. He asked to see my Driver's license and told me he would meet me out front. They had 3 in stock and the one we drove was base model. Sitting at idle the diesel sound is barely noticeable. Quieter than my 2005 Passat TDI. It does not take much throttle to get the beast rolling. I knew I was behind 425 ft lbs of torque and did not want to go crazy. I eased onto the roadway and headed for the freeway on ramp. About 1/4 throttle and you know this beauty will go. It is as smooth as my V8 Sequoia and about twice as fast. You get launched into traffic effortlessly. The one thing I did not notice is the transmission shifting up or down. It is much more seamless than the Mercedes 7 speed I tested. I gave it a bit of a kick to get out ahead of a crowd on the freeway when my salesman mentioned I was doing 85 MPH. I slowed back to 70 and realized just how easy it would be to get a ticket in that rocket. This was my first time to drive a BMW of any type. It is very positive steering and precise handling. I would love to take it on a cruise in the back country. The noise level is similar to the Sequoia. The seats are not as plush as the Sequoia. It is also noticeably smaller inside.

    If I did not own the 2007 Sequoia I think this would be more enticing. What I would be giving up in plush comfort is made up for in performance and handling. I like the idea of heading cross country and not having to worry about refueling for 600+ miles. I think it would be easy to get 30 MPG out on the open road.
  • I spoke with the mechanic at our local BMW service center and he said you can run biodiesel but no more than 5% because the engines are not designed to handle any more concentration than that..... Beause I have never seen anything lower than 20% (B20) in the winter months I am assuming this is their way of discouraging any biodiesel usage. I still don't believe that you can't run it... I'll keep researching and if anyone has information I'd sure like to know. It is a deciding factor for me from an environmental standpoint... I'd like to run up to B80 if possible and I would consider looking at the Q7 or other diesel SUV if BMW can't handle it. Thanks for any information.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    I think both BMW & Mercedes say B5, because it is mandated in Germany. The issue is the quality of the biodiesel. Until it becomes mainstream there could be problems. I know in Hawaii the biodiesel producer got a special waver for using their biodiesel in Mercedes E320 CDI. I think the biodiesel producers need to be the ones to plead the case to the automakers. Right now the ULSD is so clean and the price cheap. That will keep the biodiesel producers on the back burner. I know a fellow I worked with ran B20 in his 2005 F250 all the time and loved the stuff. He is in So Dakota. Some states are mandating biodiesel mix. Keep us posted if you buy the X5 diesel.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,511
    I went to the car show in Dallas yesterday, and the X5 diesel they were showing didn't have a sunroof-have any of you seen an X5 (of any type) without a sunroof? I'd be very interested - I need all the headroom I can get.
  • I thought SR standard. You all know that the BMW was forced to use urea to reduce emissions. This tank is 4 gallons and should last 11000 miles. If you use more due to agressive driving you pay for an extra tank of this out of pocket even during Maint period. Next, if you do not replace the urea when empty, your BMW has been programmed (US EPA mandate) to shut off and not start. How do you like that for government intervention? Funny how crowded little Europe manages to run their diesels without the federal govts help and they are known as healty people.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,511
    You're right, SR is standard for US versions, salesman emailed to say the one I saw was a European version. Still made in SC.
  • Bashing the EPA (govt) is not fair in this case. Adding urea significantly reduces the emissions emitted by this auto. Which in turn helps the environment you and I share with others. Isn't this a small inconvenience for the greater good? You be the judge.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    Isn't this a small inconvenience for the greater good? You be the judge.

    I am not judging but it would seem to be more than just a small inconvenience if the point at which the shut off occurs leaves you stranded in Timbuktu. I would have opted for an obnoxious warning light when the urea runs out rather than a heavy handed shut down but that's just me. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • If it is any consolation, they prevent you from starting the car if urea runs out. Car already engaged can run on without any problem. :)
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    If it is any consolation ...

    Not much. I occasionally find myself stopping off in the wilderness to enjoy the scenery, take pictures, stretch my legs and so on - and I don't keep my engine running. Of course, that means having to restart it. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
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