Going anywhere and doing anything is the promise most Sport Utility Vehicles and Crossovers hang their hats on. The 2012 BMW X5 is one of the few vehicles that can actually deliver on those promises, and to further denote the way it stands out from the crowd BMW calls the X5 a Sport Activity Vehicle. With seating for up to seven and riding atop a finely tuned chassis, the X5 supports your lifestyle, whether you’re going through rain, sleet, snow, mud or unpaved roads all in BWM luxury.
BMW gives buyers five different X5 configurations to choose from. All sport powertrains that are the envy of the industry and suspensions that ride with uncanny smoothness without sacrificing performance in turns.
It all starts with the X5 xDrive 35i (MSRP $47,200) which features a 3.0 liter TwinPower turbocharged inline six cylinder that’s efficient and powerful. There may be 300 hp on tap for a quick zero-60 time of 6.4 seconds, but the EPA fuel economy is still a stellar 23 mpg highway thanks to a combination of eight-speed automatic transmission with Adaptive Transmission Control, Brake Energy Regeneration and sophisticated engine management that includes direct fuel injection and Double-VANOS variable valve timing. xDrive intelligent all wheel drive makes sure the power goes where it’s needed most, whether that’s coming out of a tight corner under power or climbing a wintry hill. All X5s are equipped with run-flat tires, too, so they’ll never leave you stranded because of a flat.
The X5 xDrive 35i Premium (MSRP $54,800) builds on the stellar foundation of the X5 xDrive 35i by adding as standard equipment features like a third row seat, Dynamic Cruise Control and Nevada Leather upholstery set off by Dark Burl Walnut wood trim. Also standard is the latest generation of the iDrive system with an on-board computer and BMW ConnectedDrive which integrates the BMW interface to your iPhone and allows specially-created BMW apps to function right through the vehicle’s LCD and iDrive controller.
The X5 xDrive35i Sport Activity (MSRP $57,300) adds BMW Motorsport features to act as seven-seat sports car of the standard X5 range (fire-breathing X5 M aside.) The BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive system is already rear-biased, so handling demeanor is undoubtedly sporty, and the Sport Activity model adds aerodynamic enhancements and bumps the top speed limit to 150 mph. M-division detailing separates the X5 xDrive 35i Sport Activity from its brethren, and there’s still seven seats and thoughtful touches to keep everyone as happy as the driver as this X5 carves up a canyon road.
Drivers looking for maximum fuel economy will find what they’re looking for in the X5 xDrive 35d MSRP $51,800.) The engine is still a silken 3.0 liter inline six with TwinPower Turbo technology, but in the X5 xDrive35d it burns diesel instead of gasoline. The fuel change gives drivers 265 hp and a massive 425 lb/ft of torque while boosting highway fuel economy to 26mpg. BMW’s clean diesel technology has moved the compression-ignition engine into a new realm of performance. Acceleration is strong with all that torque on hand, running to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds, and emissions are kept in check. Drivers who love driving their BMW will love the X5 xDrive35d because it can go 585 miles between fuel stops. That’s a lot of uninterrupted driving pleasure, and it’s all supported by the X5’s core greatness like the xDrive system and luxurious, well-thought-out interior.
When only a V8 will do, there’s the X5 xDrive50i (MSRP $63,800) with 400 hp and 450 lb/ft of torque on tap from its 4.4 liter TwinPower turbo V8. Loaded to the hilt with Xenon Adaptive Headlights with auto leveling, a panoramic moonroof, iDrive navigation and entertainment interface and an available rear entertainment system, this full-boat X5 delivers performance, comfort and even efficiency. BMW Active Steering adjusts the steering ratio for supreme maneuverability and responsiveness at all speeds, and the engine’s broad spread of torque delivery puts power underfoot at all times. It’s not just about thrust, either. The eight-speed transmission and high-precision direct injection balance efficiency, emissions and performance with mastery.
In the luxury activity vehicle class, there are many vehicles that claim to be capable of anything you can throw at them. The 2012 BMW X5 is one of the few that can actually deliver on those claims.