Should I get an X5 or a 525xi?

stephenabelsonstephenabelson Member Posts: 23
edited March 2014 in BMW
I am going back and forth, I honestly love both cars a lot. I think I am leaning towards the X5 because of sheer space and ability to put the seats down for a lot of space for moving stuff around. I also don't like I drive all that much.


  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    The answer to your question, of course, is that it depends on your needs and tastes. My preference would be the 525 xi but then I don't need a lot of space.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • anon3anon3 Member Posts: 147
    Maybe I can help. I bought the first 2007 X5 4.8i that my dealer sold, drove it for a year, and just traded it for a 2008 535xi wagon. I've been driving X5s since 2001 and thought I'd try something different. Mostly I just wanted to drive a new vehicle, but I also thought a sportier more fuel efficient vehicle would be a nice change.

    Having driven both, here is my entirely subjective comparison of the 5 series vs the X5. (When I say "subjective" I mean not only personal opinion, but how do the vehicles "feel" when you drive them and not just how do the numbers compare.)

    The X5 is roomier and more comfortable with a higher driving position, more leg room and more head room which makes the cabin feel much roomier. It is wider and has slightly more back seat space and significantly better rear cargo space. It is a new design and I find the interior to be slightly nicer than the 5 series, although it's the same basic components in both cars. Electronics, iDrive, stereo, etc are identical. The X5 has the advantage of sitting higher for better road view, but that means the center of gravity is higher and you pay a handling penalty in cornering. It also is a heavy vehicle, so the engine works much harder to move the vehicle and you are aware of the vehicle's mass when you drive it. Gas mileage is not great (lots of posts in these forums on that subject. I got an average of 15 mpg with the 4.8i in mixed driving.) The X5 is very quiet on the highway. I consider it to have the comfort and luxury of a 7 series with the convenience of an SUV with all wheel drive. The X5 also has much better interior storage spaces, more convenient cup holders, etc. So it's a little more friendly inside.

    The 5 series is quicker and handles better and is much lighter than the X5. Acceleration is more "effortless" because the engine is moving less vehicle mass. The 5 series corners better, which makes sense because it sits lower to the ground, but that also means that it can be a little harder to enter/exit because it sits lower. The interior feels smaller than the X5: less head room, less shoulder room, tighter back seat, less cargo room in the wagon or the trunk. Four adults in a five series is definitely a full house. A 5 series can be equipped with all wheel drive, so you can get winter performance if you want. The 5 series gets significantly better gas mileage.

    Bottom line in my opinion: X5 wins on comfort, convenience, and roominess. So if you need a more family friendly vehicle the X5 would be a better choice. The 5 series wins on performance, fuel economy, and sport sedan driving dynamics.

    Other than price considerations, it comes down to how you plan to use the vehicle and the type of driving experience that you want. Do you place greater value on roominess and convenience or sport sedan driving and fuel economy?
  • anon3anon3 Member Posts: 147
    After re-reading your and my posts, you probably would be happier with the X5 if you don't enjoy driving and if space is important. The advantage of the 5 series as a sport sedan probably wouldn't be worth the decrease in utility and interior space. The only real advantage that the 5 series would offer is better gas mileage.
  • jrynnjrynn Member Posts: 162
    If you don't drive much and only occasionally want to move things around, buy a sedan for comfort, performance, fuel economy & lower initial cost and rent an SUV/van/whatever on those rare occasions when you need a lot of hauling space.

    I'd RATHER have a BMW sedan for everyday driving when it's just me or just me and a couple of passengers. I have a BMW SUV, though, because at least once a week I need the space to load up a spouse, two kids, and two dogs at the same time.
  • anon3anon3 Member Posts: 147
    stephenabelson said in his post that he doesn't like to drive and he needs extra cargo space. Why would he want a sedan? He's not a driving enthusiast and places no value on the handling and performance advantages of the 5 series.

    The 5 series is not more comfortable than the X5, so that part of your advice doesn't make sense either.
  • jrynnjrynn Member Posts: 162
    Reread his post, anon3. Stephenabelson (SA) didn't say he "needs" more space, he said he was leaning toward the X5 because it has more space.

    If SA will rarely use it, there's not much (practical) point in having an SUV or station wagon given the tradeoffs. If SA regularly used the cargo space, say, because he has dogs, it would be a different story.

    In my experience, the 5 series' ride is more comfortable than the ride in an X5, just as the ride in a 3 series beats the ride in an X3. Evidently, you disagree. That's your prerogative.

    Frankly, if SA doesn't enjoy driving -- and the typo in his final sentence leaves it unclear whether he doesn't enjoy driving or simply doesn't drive a lot -- other car manufacturers make station wagons and SUVs that are "substitutes." What distinguishes them is that they don't deliver the same driving experience and generally cost a lot less. If SA really doesn't care about BMW handling/performance, he might want to widen his search and save some money.
  • anon3anon3 Member Posts: 147
    Ok. Stephenabelson is leaning towards the X5 because it has more space that he doesn't need. Your logic makes perfect sense.

    "Comfort" includes suspension settings, drive position, seat height/width, head/shoulder/leg room, cabin noise levels, etc. The (new) X5 beats the five series in those categories for comfort.

    Moving from the (new) 2007 4.8i to a 2008 535xi was absolutely a downgrade in those particular categories even though both are fully loaded with comfort amenities. If your comparison is based on driving the old X5, then it's easy to understand why you prefer the 5 series.
  • rangerwalkerrangerwalker Member Posts: 18
    I think the last sentence in the original post said he didn't like I-drive (not that he didn't like to drive).
  • cabluecablue Member Posts: 48
    I'm trying to decide between the sedan and suv, also. My last two cars have been the sedan, a 530 and a 550. These cars have both been so much fun to drive, although they make me quite tense driving them. They simply beg to be driven FAST! Too many people get in my way. Typically I'm a mellow person, but not when I'm driving! Too many tickets, unfortunately, too. :cry: I know I need a radar detector! I'm considering the X5 3.0 this time. I love the interior, the spaciousness, pano roof, versatility, etc.., also that it's something different this time. My problem with it is the mileage. I feel guilty choosing a vehicle that doesn't get better gas mileage. I've looked at the hybrid SUVs like the Lexus and the Highlander. They just don't do it for me. The Lexus also does not have a good safety rating for the rear-end collision, which I do like about the X5. It get the safest rating all around. What to do! :confuse:
  • bmlexusbmlexus Member Posts: 755
    The Lexus also does not have a good safety rating for the rear-end collision, which I do like about the X5. It get the safest rating all around. What to do!

    i say its the best SUV but my problem is the reason i am scare to get a x5 is cause i read some horrible post abt electronic problems software and engine and bmw always have reliability issues as far as driving is concern its the best drivers car IMO.

    but for me i am in no rush so i will probably waiting another year or 2 read more reviews and hope till then lexus brings a new SUV that would directly compete with the likes of x5 ML cayenne because reliability is a big concern to me but as a drivers car bmw makes better drivers cars then lexus but still for reliability my choice could possibly be lexus.
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