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meredithmeredith Posts: 577
This topic is a continuation of Topic 2634....

BMW X5 - II. Please continue these discussions
here. Thanks!

Front Porch Philosopher
SUV, Pickups, & Aftermarket and Accessories Host


  • I have an order in for a BMW x5. I am getting the
    x5 to be able to go back and forth to work in the
    snow. Sometimes I have to travel 200 miles a day. I have read lots of stuff regarding the x5 with and without the sport package. Can anyone give some real world experiences with the x5 in the snow, with out the sports package and with the standard 18 H-rated all season tires.
  • depends on which X5 you are looking at. You refer to the standard 18" wheels so I'll assume that you are talking about the V8. If that is the case, than I would say STAY AWAY from the sport package if you are concerned with handling/driveability in the snow. 19" high performance sport tires are part of the sport package with the V8. Not really what you want to be on in the snow or ice. Standard wheel on the V8 are 18" all-season tires, much more desirable in the inclement weather.
    If you are talking about the 6 cylinder then either one(sport vs. non-sport) comes with all season tires.
  • drt5drt5 Posts: 1
    Is the standard sound system in the X-5 4.4 adaquate? Or is the expensive ($1200) premium sound system upgrade necessary for good sound?
  • I've owned 3 BMW's recently and I have to say that even though I love German engineering and design, I hate their ignorance of placing a good sounding standard stereo in their cars. My wife's 43,000 528i wagon has the standard sound system with 12 (?) speakers it sound HORRIBLE. It has no bass and sounds muddy. On my 323i, I opted for the in-dash CD and the BOSE sound system upgrade (total 1400.00 buck MORE) and it sounds pretty good. But my issue is why do I have to spend an additional 1400.00 to get good sound in a "premium" vehicle in the first place. The Japanese definitely understand the marketplace better in this regard and place good sound systems in their cars STANDARD (ie. Lexus). If you're BUYING your BMW, simply get the in-dash CD player and hold on the other upgrades and see how you like it. If you need to upgrade, then, goto an aftermarket stereo shop and upgrade there. IF you are LEASING, you'll probably want to make the decision upfront and listen to the two systems before you sign the papers. Good luck.
  • BMW has had an arrangement with HK for years for their "premium" sound systems, not Bose. Did they switch, and I missed it?
    I bought my E36 off the lot, and the premium sound was in place. I would consider it "adequate:" there's enough power, but its not very crisp. I have not done anything, but speaker upgrades would make a big difference.

    For the E53: we have the premium sound with DSP. The DSP is fun sometimes, but it can become annoying if you switch to news or other talk stuff.

    The premium package's major shortfall, to my ears, is in the lower bass. The 6" drivers in the back drop off and you lose the lower range.

    Going aftermarket will take a good hacker since BMW uses the i-bus for lots of data now, and you don't want to blow up anything. It is nice to have dashboard access so there's no need to resort to an aftermarket interface.

    Cbagshaw's suggestion about listening to the options before you buy is also my strong recommendation. if the dealer doesn't have the various configurations you want to check out, ask your salesperson for a current owner to contact & talk to them personally.
  • An interesting thing to consider when looking at the E46 3 series: The sedan's standard stereo is, in my opinion, 'mediocre'. However, the standard stereo in the coupe was designed with Harman Kardon engineers to complement the interior dimensions and placement of the speakers to maximize the efficiency of the overall package. In other words, the standard stereo on the coupe, of course IMHO, is just as good if not better than the HK upgrade in the sedan. It is a very good idea to listen to the different stereos before committing yourself, though. In the X5, and 5 series, I can Hardly tell a difference between the two. When the standard stereo is maxxed(sp?) out in power and sound, the premium sound goes a little bit louder with a little more clarity. For the true audiophiles out there, they *might* appreciate it. I would probably opt for aftermarket, as long as it's a true professional installing it, and besides, you should get more for your money. For the everyday Joe commuting back and forth to work who listens to AM talk radio, definitely not worth it.

    just my .02

  • jwsetjwset Posts: 1
    I'm thinking about getting a X5 3.0 but I'm woundering if it will have enought power to pull my 4000 pound boat up the boat ramp with no low range. In my current tow vehicle ('96 T-100 V6), I use 4 wheel low to save the clutch when starting on a steep hill. Has any owners used this vehicle to tow with? If so, any comments would be appreciated.
  • Looking at x5 4.4 w/ sport pkg...any experience out there w/ towing trialers or boats in non-snow climates?...Also, any views on best re-sale value exterior/interior colors? Thanks.
  • The X5 will tow up to 6000lbs easily.
  • Any X5ers out there?
  • Hello, I'd like to know how the X5's halogen lights compare with the optional xenon lights. I saw an X5 with xenon lights last night, and they seemed very good - wide spread and far-reaching. This is important to me because where I live there aren't lamp posts along the highway. Does anyone with halogen lights wish they had the xenon?

  • cbagshaw, 'premium' stereo is a subjective term. It can be the audiophile type of high-end like Mark Levison, Krell, Audio Reasearch... For that, probably only the new Lexus LS430 has it. Other premium stereo brands like HK, Alpine.. are also good, but 'less premium' than Mark Levison and its likes. BTW, you'll need a quiet car first and BMW is definitely qualified for that.
  • I will have my new X in a few days and will let you know what I think of the Xenons. When I test drove it they were definitely brighter but it might take some getting used to in dealing with the clearly defined bright vs. dark that those lights provide....for they are VERY bright!!

    I wasn't going to get them until I discovered that they project that much farther down the road than regular lights and also provide a good line of sight for the right shoulder, too.

    I won't know if I like them til I actually have them and am using them for a bit. I will let everyone know. I really wrestled with getting them vs. not getting them.
  • arod2arod2 Posts: 10
    I ordered an X5 3.0 for my wife about 3 was ago. I/I of the comments on this board and from personal listening, I did not get the premium sound system. I figured that for $1,200 I would do it myself. Has anyone out there replaced their speakers? Did you also replace the amplifier? I want to leave all the major components like changer & tuner factory. I'm a little concerned about using a car stereo store to install this stuff, but they will no doubt be better at it than me. Just curious to know what other people are doing on this matter. BOW the standard sound system sounds like the radio I had in 7th grade.
  • dpb54dpb54 Posts: 6
    I own a 528, and also have had an X5 for about 7 months. For those of you considering buying one, I think you should wait a couple of years as there are numerous problems with the vehicle. These include stalling, wind noise, seat belt malfunction, gas guage and fuel sender not working, doors not opening from the inside while within the car, and doors/hatches not closing properly. Many people have posted notes about a multitude of problems. Some get fixed. Some don't. For example the dealer and BMW - USA aren't willing to deal with the wind noise. Also, they only will attempt to fix something they can duplicate. So when you're locked in the car and can't open the door they don't take it seriously unless they can repeat the problem when they have the car.
  • I should be receiving my Alpine White 3.0i with black leatherette interior, climate and activity packages, automatic, moonroof, power lumbar support, and in-dash CD player. CAN'T WAIT!
  • arod2arod2 Posts: 10
    Our X5 delivery will be delayed until February. Apparently the January build schedule is booked. This Burger King production process is killing me. Anyway, ours will be Silver/Tan, Premium Pkg, Climate, Activity, Self-Dimming Mirrors, CD Changer, Xenon headlights. I ordered the std stereo but plan to upgrade it myself. (see Do-it-yourself msg above) Eight weeks will seem like two months :)
  • sel2sel2 Posts: 2
    Looking at X5 for my wife. Does all wheel drive scrub tires and reduce tire mileage? My wife likes to listen to book tapes, but doesn't want the 6-CD changer. Any way to get a single CD and tape-player combo in dash? I've heard you only get one/maybe two sets of brake pads used before requiring rotor change. Sounds expensive. Any concerns with maintenance costs? Anyone like the heated steering wheel option for cold climates? I'm also considering RX300, MDX.
  • I recently ordered an X5 3.0i. Delivery is for end of Jan.It is silver with black interior. I test drove the Lexus ES300 and Accura MDX. The X5 was the best driving and riding . Plus it looks fantastic.
    I didn't get the sports package beacuse of the reported harsh ride Any comments or experience?
    This is my first BMW and SUV [SAV?] so I'm excited about getting my hands on it.
    Hopfully I'll be spared the glitches some people have reported. I'll write back after I start driving.
    This site was very halpful to me during my research so thanks to everyone who posted messages and the urls.
  • which is great for X5 questions is

    There are answers there about your stereo upgrade questions and I think someone really got detailed as to what and how he did it.

    Can't wait to hear from you guys after you got yours. Oh, by the way, there seems to be some question as to changing the options on the BMW so I would not do that right away (like auto locking, day running lights, etc.) Not sure if it is THE reason for some of the problems occurring but why chance it.
  • AWD or 4WD vehicles tend to go trough tires somewhat faster than 2WD autos, but you are getting something additional for your dollars. Better traction in lousy conditions. You can either get an in-dash CD or an in dash tape but not both together.
    BMW's come standard with 3 yr/36000 free maintenence programs. If you feel that the cost will hit you during the 4th year you can upgrade. If you are leasing, it will be time to turn it in. So far no real problems with our X5 therefore we are not worried about future maintenence costs.
  • Xenons are much brighter than the halogens but they have a definite cutoff point between the bright and darkness of the road. On roads without streetlights, this can be alarming especially if there are deer that cross the road just at the end of your sight range. Halogens have a more gradual cutoff and allows your eyes to adjust eaiser to the darkness past the limits of the lights.
  • I would like some advice quickly. I want an X5 4.4 right away, but the only one available does not have the Navigation system. How important is it? I also would have to get silver (I think I would prefer black or green)

    Is it worth waiting and paying the $2K for the NAV? Also I got offered $500 off. Is this a good deal?
  • BMW's NAV system sucks. It's one of the poorer ones I have seen (Acura's is the best). I wouldn't waste the cash on it. That said, I have read messages from those that have it and like it. (There is no English readings everything is in metric, there are menus and sub menus galore, unless you're in a larger populated area you're going to be kind of left out in the cold. I don't think it's worth it but that's my opinion.

    If you're getting any discount on the 4.4 you have a great deal. I have not heard of a single discounted 4.4 yet. The 3.0's are being discounted in some locations throughout the all depends on where you are...but the 4.4's are selling at MSRP everywhere.
  • Anyone own the NAV or not own it, and have any comments. Like how it looks in the dash with or without. I am getting Silver on Black. Prem, weather, heated wheel, I live near Philadelphia.

    Can I get a changer even though I have the in dash CD? If you go for aftermarket improvement on the basic sound system, what do you replace? I would imagine that you would not want to change the in-dash layout.
  • I have a blue X5 3.0i. Now that I have it driving is fun and I will anywhere just to drive it. I got Xenon on my X5 and I love it. It lights up the road better than any halogen. But the auto leveling on the car makes it so there is a line of bright light and then just pitch black. But this only seems to bother me when there are no street lamps and in that case I just turn on my high beams and it is like the sun is out. So I suggest to all of you who are considering xenon, GET THEM you will hate yourself if you don't. And about the NAV system. I didn't get one in my X5 because of the price and I herd that BMWs NAV systems were not that great. Also it looked confusing because you have to run almost everything on that little screen too. But I think if you are bad with directions and have an extra 2grand to spend, go for it.
  • If you spent $50,000+ on a car and want to get out of spending $200-$400 for labor at a stereo shop, you should think about it some more. Replacing speakers in a BMW is relatively easy, but if you are not 100% sure of how to take apart the doors for example what are you really saving? Take it somewhere where they do this for a living, ask all the questions you want before setting up an appointment so you are comfortable. If you get stuck or mess something up YOU are SOL. At least having somebody who does this for a living will be accountable is something goes wrong (even 6 months after) and hopefully there will be less of a chance that something would go wrong. I was a certified installed and had my own shop for a few years in a past life and I used to see this all the time. I DO think that there is a better way of spending $1200 than the factory system. Saving $300 on a $50,000+ car by doing it your self is not the way to do it. Hope it works out for you, have a great holiday season.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    The sharp light cutoff is due to the design of the HID lights and has nothing to do with the autoleveling system. Sit in an Acura 3.2TL, a MB E-class and you'll notice the same thing. However, BMW's is especially sharp since the company uses projectors instead of the more conventional reflector design.

    Drew Townhall co-host
    Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories conferences
  • I just got my X5 4.4 and I love it!!! My wife said it looks like a mini-van but she is just jealous.

    4.4 silver/black
    no-sport 18" wheels
    heated everything
    cargo floor
    shades, sun visors
    activity pkg

    I traded my Lexus GS430 in for it, and the comfort is night and day.

    The standard seats with no lumbar adjustment blow away the nexus seats with Lumbar. The cockpit has much more room and better ergonomics. I am also surprised how fast it is and how great it handles. Not a 540, but still better than most other cars on the road.

    No wind noise at all, no stalling, no speaker Mickey-mouse. The stock stereo is acceptable. Not sure the premium is worth it. Owned it in my 540 but bit is different in the X5. Best to go after market here.

    Drove it in the snowstorm last night. Went up hills on unplowed roads and it did great. If you went around a curve aggressively, the DSC lit up and you could hear everything churning.

    I love this truck
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