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BMW X5 Diesel Reliability



  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    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: 31,178
    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: 7,899
    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: 7,899
    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: 10,059
    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: 10,059
    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
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    Hello, Triple A, I am at the top of Pike's Peak and my car won't start. Can I get a tow back to town? I have test driven and liked the X5 diesel a lot. The Urea is the deal killer for me. If I don't find some other diesel SUV, I will opt for a year old used ML320 CDI that does not use Urea. Urea injection is not a good system. There are better ways to cut NoX. It is really just CARB trying to keep diesel cars out of CA. The Non urea system was approved by the EPA.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    The Non urea system was approved by the EPA.

    I'm happy with anything that won't get me stranded. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    I can live with flashing check engine lights on the dash. Not allowing a vehicle to start is unacceptable. It was all part of the deal to get CARB on board with diesels.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Flashing lights I could handle but I'd be a bit perturbed if the powers that be opted for chimes. :mad:

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • You're kidding right?
    Being stranded at the top of Pike's Peak is like being 'stranded' at the National Monument on the 4th of July... For one, you can't enter but from HWY-24 outside Manitou and the US Forest Service checks your brakes and advises on fuel levels and a tow to Winslow BMW in C-Springs is about $80.00. B, you’re never alone up there (if you drove). Um Nr. drei, why would you drive when it's only a ten mile hike or $15.00USD on the cog railway?

    I would venture a bet that running your blue empty would set you back much more tan $80.00 anyway.

    I am not countering a Gov Intervention argument here, but are you seriously comparing the ML320 to the X5 or just whining??? BMW's blue is newer, but seriously... the ML320:X5?????? Really???? Have you driven both? I suppose if all you care about is the recycled dinosaurs you’re putting in the tank, I could understand. But being that the Western station on HWY-24 is selling Diesel at $3.28/gal right now and is the lowest in all of Teller County, what’s your point? Especially when it comes to the X5 mileage vs. the ML320?

    I happened to have just bought an X5D in Germany (US Standard - taking it back to Colorado in 2yrs) and don't really see your point here.... The diesel blows the 4.8 away when rolling and the ML320 is not a comparison to the X5 (x3 maybe but there no X3d)

    Just wanted to weigh in a bit - but really more wanted to understand the comparison.
    You went with the ML320 over the X5 based on this alone?
    No offense…
  • zoey4zoey4 Posts: 5
    I own a 2004 mdx with 90000 miles on it. we are starting to have small problems with it and thought it might be a good time to start looking. I fell in love with the X5 and am very interested in the diesel. I am a bit put off on the price tag, I have priced it out using my american express auto buying to about 63K (premium pkg, tech pkg, sport pkg, ipod, satelite, 3rd row and rear climate, comfort access) would like to add the tire insurace so this gets very pricey, can get top of the line mdx for about 45K. is the X5 worth it?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    is the X5 worth it?

    Ultimately, only you can decide that. For myself, I would see $63K - $45K = $18K and ask what would I like to do with that $18K. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • trabd123trabd123 Posts: 42
    63k is very high. The quote I received last week for similar features was around 54k.

    Which X5 model are you mentioning here? Is it x3.0 or x4.8 or 35d (diesel)?

    I read on the MDX discussion site that Acura (Honda) is not producing any additional MDX cars this year (very low inventory) so the price now is around 49k with only tech package. In addition to the bad attitude of the Acura dealers sales persons, they are turning down deals for $200 or $300 difference.
  • zoey4zoey4 Posts: 5
    i am buying not leasing, the bmw quote was for diesel with tech, premium,and sport package, 3rd row and rear climate and comfort access. if i could get it for 54 i would probably do it. Acura has been very nice and they have been aggressively calling me.
  • zoey4zoey4 Posts: 5
    MSRP $61,975 You save
    off MSRP
    Invoice $57,302
    USAA Price Adjustment $498 above invoice

    USAA Member Price $57,800

    Color Exterior: Alpine White
    Interior: Tobacco

    Options •3RD ROW SEAT (4UB)
    •HEAD-UP DISPLAY (610)
  • zoey4zoey4 Posts: 5
    MSRP $49,650 You save
    off MSRP
    Invoice $45,175
    Price Adjustment $0 above invoice

    Your Cardmember Price $45,175

    Color Exterior: Aspen White Pearl
    Interior: Parchment
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    Just wanted to weigh in a bit - but really more wanted to understand the comparison.
    You went with the ML320 over the X5 based on this alone?
    No offense…

    I have driven both. And performance wise the X5D is a clear winner. Comfort wise the ML320 CDI is the winner. The back seats of the ML are far more comfortable than the X5. The reason I would buy the used ML320 CDI is to get away from the Urea injection system. The X5 has a slight advantage in looks. I am not fond of either one. I like the looks of the Touareg/Cayenne better. The Touareg V6 TDI has a much higher tow rating than the X5 or ML. The Touareg also has a larger payload. Add to that I have dealt with the VW dealer and like them. The 7 passenger is a joke in the X5 so it really does not count for anything. The X3 is a mini SUV compared to the others I am looking at. San Diego Diesel is less than Regular and far less than Premium needed for the gas guzzlers. I have a gas guzzler SUV now that I will keep if I do not buy a diesel SUV.

    Life is a compromise.
  • palmharborpalmharbor Posts: 26
    Two weeks ago I traded my 2006 Mercedes Benz ML500 for a 2009 BMW X5 diesel with the Premium Package, the Sport Package, Third Row Seats, heated front seats, and Satellite radio. After 500 miles I am getting just over 20 mpg around town, but haven't had it out on the road yet.

    I have started a journal about the good, the bad, and the ugly of this vehicle, and am comparing features with my ML500.

    So far, more good than bad, but the iDrive is certainly hard to learn.
  • anon3anon3 Posts: 147
    When you bought/leased the 2009 X5 Diesel, were you aware of the $1,800 tax credit? That certainly will help off-set the fuel costs.

    For comparison purposes, one of my previous X5's was a 4.8i V-8. Around town, that vehicle got about 16 mpg in pure city driving. Combined highway/city driving mpg was about 19 mpg. So 20 mpg driving around town is a significant improvement over the V-8.
  • Does anyone have any concerns/bad events with the diesels in cold weather? I ask this because I am interested in them but will be moving up to Green bay in November. Thanks
  • My family have had diesels up in Syracuse for years. None of the post-Y2K diesels really had any trouble with them starting or running due to cold weather.

    When I test-drove a 335d it was in single-digit weather. Ran like a champ.

    By comparison, my Subaru with its turbo petrol engine was running like garbage that day.

    I've owned both turbo gas/diesel and have found the diesels actually to be less finicky due to weather (or at least less noticable). Sure their peak torque will be down due to weather sometimes, but its still more torque than you can shake a stick at, so whatever performance loss is imperceptible, IMO.

    The old International and Cummins (pre-1990) were hard to start without ether injection. That was the real down-side. Haven't had any problems in the last decade.
  • Every so often, and not when I am doing anything in particular, I will hear four loud beeps, but the vehicle runs fine and there are no warning lights. Any ideas?
  • Is it possible that there is no way to lock either the glove compartment or the center console in a 2009 BMW X5? I can't find an obvious lock, and the owners manual is silent. :(
  • An update - After several emails with my salesman, we discovered that the hour reminder was set in the iDrive window where time can be changed. :)
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