Based on a series of consumer reviews and test drives, as well as expert reviews conducted to rate safety, the 2012 BMW X5 has been ranked 7th of 16 mid-sized luxury SUVs. Noted by many of the reviewers was the "liveliness" of this family-friendly vehicle, but those same consumers also felt that its high price (the starting MSRP ranges from $47,500 to $64,200 depending on engine configuration) and undersized third row of seats were significant detractors.
The 2012 BMW X5 comes in three different trim levels. The xDrive50i comes with a twin-turbo 4.4-liter, 400-hp V-8 engine that pushes out 450 pounds-feet of torque, and is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The xDrive35i has a 300 hp turbocharged six-cylinder engine that makes 300 lb-ft of torque with a six-speed automatic transmission. The third trim level bring diesel into the picture with the xDrive35d, which has a twin-turbo six-cylinder engine that provides 265 hp and 425 lb-ft of torque with the six-speed automatic transmission. Both transmission options come with overdrive and an auto-manual option.
Across the line, standard powertrain features include all-wheel drive, and a brake energy regeneration system (on gasoline-fueled models) that captures the excess energy from braking or coasting. Also available is an upgraded adaptive suspension system.
As luxury SUVs go, the 2012 BMW X5 is surprisingly dressed down. Eighteen-inch alloy wheels are standard, while nineteen-inch wheels are an optional upgrade, as are twenty-inch wheels (which come with stronger bodywork as part of the M Sport package), and all the trims have automatic headlights, headed side mirrors and a power liftgate, while a panoramic moonroof is an optional upgrade.
Inside the X5, there's standard seating for five, with an optional third row that increases that number to seven, so long as the extra two people are pretty small. The dashboard has a wide screen over the central air vents, including navigation (and other) interfaces, all controlled by the latest version of iDrive, which now has shortcut keys surrounding its main controller knob. Speaking of controllers, there's now a console-mounted electronic shifter for the automatic transmission, as well.
Other standard features of the 2012 BMW X5 include automatic climate control, and iPod/USB adapter, a tilt/telescoping steering column (though making it power-adjustable requires an upgrade) and the ability to upgrade to a premium stereo system and wood trim.
The X5's safety accoutrements are about what you'd expect: a standard array of airbags, traction control, electronic stability, and a four-wheel antilock braking system.
Fuel economy ranges from 14-19mpg in the city to 20-26mpg on the open highway, depending on the engine.