When it comes to athleticism and performance in the luxury crossover SUV market, there's just no beating the 2010 BMW X5. True, it may not rank as high when it comes to utility and there's no question it's pricey, but when it comes to handling, there's none better.
While performance is the name of its game, the 2010 X5 also boasts especially comfortable front seats, luxurious surroundings and a long list of features. A versatile choice of three engines, top-of-the-line materials and a powerful and fuel efficient turbodiesel model further add to the appeal.
Trims, Standard Features And Options:
The 2010 BMW X5 is a midsize luxury SUV offered in three trims: xDrive30i, xDrive35d and xDrive48i. The "xDrive" refers to all-wheel-drive, while the number refers to engine size.
Standard features on the already very well-equipped X5 xDrive30i include a panoramic sunroof, 10-way power front seats, driver memory functions, vinyl "leatherette" upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, 18 inch alloy wheels, rain-sensing wipers, automatic adaptive xenon headlights, a power tilt/telescoping steering column, the iDrive electronics interface, wood interior trim accents and a 12-speaker audio system with a CD player, HD Radio and an auxiliary audio jack.
While the xDrive48i adds leather upholstery, other standard features for the xDrive35d and xDrive48i are identical with the above. The difference in the models is primarily their different engines (see below).
There are a host of optional packages for all trims. The Premium package adds BMW Assist telematics with Bluetooth, a power liftgate, auto-dimming mirrors and leather upholstery for the xDrive30i and xDrive35d. The Sport Activity package adds sport seats, a sport steering wheel, 19 inch wheels and a dark exterior trim, while the M Sport package adds to the Sport Activity package with an adaptive suspension, a higher top-speed limiter, a sportier steering wheel, body-colored M exterior parts and aluminum roof rails.
The available Premium Sound package adds a 16-speaker surround-sound audio system and a 6-disc CD changer, while the Technology package adds a hard-drive-based navigation system with voice activation and real-time traffic, parking sensors, digital music storage and a back-up camera with a top view.
There's also a Rear Climate package that includes four-zone automatic climate control, manual rear side sunshades and rear privacy glass. The Cold Weather package adds a heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats and a ski bag for the rear center pass-through, while the Active Ventilated Seat package adds ventilated and multi-adjustable front "comfort" seating.
There are available stand-alone options as well including keyless entry and ignition, a rear entertainment system, upgraded leather upholstery, running boards, active steering, roof rails, a head-up display, a third-row seat, an iPod adapter, satellite radio and 20 inch wheels can be added to the xDrive48i equipped with the Sport package.
Engines, Powertrain And Gas Mileage:
All 2010 X5 models are all-wheel drive and come with a 6-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control. When properly equipped, an X5 has a towing capacity of 6,000 pounds.
The 2010 BMW X5 offers a choice of three different engines. Under the hood of the X5 xDrive30i is a 3.0 liter inline-6 that's good for 260 horsepower and 225 pound-feet of torque. Its EPA-estimated gas mileage rating is 15 mpg city and 21 mpg on the highway.
Powering the xDrive35d is a turbodiesel inline-6 that delivers 265 horsepower and and a prodigious 425 lb-ft of torque. Its clean-diesel technology allows it to be sold in all 50 states and its fuel economy rating comes in at an impressive 19 mpg city and 26 highway, even while able to match the xDrive48i's acceleration.
The X5 xDrive48i is equipped with a 4.8 liter V8 engine that produces a robust 350 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. The EPA estimates its gas mileage performance at 14 mpg city and 19 mpg highway.
Standard safety features for all 2010 X5s include antilock brakes (ABS), brake drying and standby features, stability control, a rollover sensor, front side airbags and front and second-row side curtain airbags.
The 2010 X5 also performed solidly in government crash tests, scoring perfect five star ratings for front and rear side-impact protection. The X5 also received five stars for frontal-impact driver protection and four stars for frontal-impact passenger protection.
The X5's cabin is attractive, elegantly designed and well-built with high-quality materials. The front seats are comfortable, supportive and versatile enough to accommodate many body types. In addition, the newest iDrive system is much improved and easier to operate, eliminating a previous weakness.
However, there are some issues in the rear area. The rear seats are mounted quite low, creating potential comfort problems for taller passengers who may be forced to raise their knees higher than usual. In addition, the optional third row makes things even tighter and is basically children-only. Cargo space, however, is adequate, proving 75 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded.
Clearly, the 2010 BMW X5 is at its best on the road, whether carving up back, twisty roads or cruising down the highway. It simply possesses the finest road manners in its class. While some rivals may offer additional SUV-like interior versatility and off-road abilities, the X5 shines with BMW's well-renowned and exemplary handling prowess.
The diesel is particularly impressive due to its massive low-end torque, quick acceleration and better fuel efficiency. And all models are well-insulated from wind and road noise. All this said, potential buyers should be aware that in exchange for superior road manners, the X5's firmer suspension may mean that some find it less ideal than the "soft and cushie" rides provided by some of the other luxury SUVs.
How To Get The Lowest Price:
Best Negotiating Tactic: Well, there's definitely a 'best way' when it comes to new car buying. If you want to get the best bottomline, out-the-door price you need to know exactly who to talk to at the dealership, how to make the contact and how to make this person eager to quickly drop prices as low as possible to get your sale.
Those of you in the market for a used car may want to check out this article about how to buy a used car at the lowest price. It details a super effective buying method, one that often beats down prices to wholesale levels.
And somewhat related to this, here's another excellent method that identifies Price-Distressed Cars Right On Dealer Lots. These are vehicles they are so desperate to unload they would welcome your wholesale offer.
In addition, you can also try a Public Auto Auction in your own geographic area. While there can be a lot of junk vehicles at these auctions, there are often absolute gems sprinkled in as well. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them in your own area.
2010 BMW X5:
xDrive30i, AWD: list price: $47,600, invoice price: $43,790
xDrive35d, AWD: list price: $51,300, invoice price: $47,195
xDrive48i, AWD: list price: $56,300, invoice price: $51,795