2012 BMW X5 xDrive50i Review

Styling changes are subtle, but the new engine is not

2012 BMW X5 xDrive50i Review

If the phrase “a sophisticated SUV” still sounds like an oxymoron of mammoth-sized proportions, you absolutely must take a test drive in the 2012 BMW X5. Any concerns you may have that a fully-functional, off-road capable vehicle has the potential to challenge your sportiest intentions when paved roads turn twisty, is certain to disappear.

FAST FACTS

1. Updated in 2011 the X5 gains turbocharged engines and new badge designations, with the xDrive50i powered by a twin-turbo 4.4L V8 making 400-hp and 450 lb-ft of torque.

2. An 8-spped automatic transmission helps fuel economy improve one tick on the highway to 14/20-mpg.

3. X5 models start at $46,300 with the xDrive 50i from $58,900.

What separates the BMW X5 from other so called sporty SUVs is heritage, stance and power. Equipped with various superb engine choices, our current tester is in the xDrive50i. Getting completely comfortable behind the wheel doesn’t take long. Your only decision is whether to challenge the pavement or rock the dirt. Either way, it’s all good.  

SIGNIFICANT POWER MEETS ULTIMATE CAPABILITY

Performance comes in the form of a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine. It produces an astounding 400 horsepower between 5600-6400 rpm and 450 lb-ft of torque from 1750-4500 rpm.

Matched to an 8-speed Sport Automatic with Adaptive Transmission Control (ATC), the BMW xDrive50i accelerates from 0-60 mph in a mere 5.3 seconds. This puts it on par with some real sports cars. Top speed is electronically limited at 150 mph. Fuel consumption estimates indicate 14/20 mpg city/highway, with fuel tank capacity at 22.5 gallons.

2012 BMW X5 xDrive50i Review

Yes despite all this on-road power, even rugged terrain is no match for BMW’s xDrive, intelligent all-wheel-drive. It features a rear-wheel bias that allows for maximum handling and superior drive characteristics. When slippage does occur, the system responds in milliseconds shifting torque to where it is needed most. The result is seamless control at all four corners in all driving conditions.

DRIVEABILITY AND A COMFORTABLE RIDE

Ride quality is superb on the X5 xDrive50i as it features front double wishbone and a lightweight multi-link integral rear suspension. Engine-speed-sensitive power steering is light when traveling at low speeds, making parking lots and driveway maneuvers easy. As speed builds, steering becomes progressively more robust providing the excellent feel we have come to know as a signature of BMW.

2012 BMW X5 xDrive50i Review

Brakes are 4-wheel disc with ABS, Brake Fade Compensation, Dynamic Brake Control, Brake Drying and Brake Stand-by features. Wheel sizes are comparable at all four corners, 18-inch star spoke light alloy wrapped with 255/55 run-flat all-season tires.

Hill Descent Control employs sophisticated technology to manage the challenge of climbing back down the rugged mountain trail once you have reached the top. Xenon adaptive headlights automatically adjust for changes in topography. A fitted rear roof spoiler adds a touch of sportiness and aerodynamic efficiency and the rear wiper/washer provides intermittent capability. 

INSIDE OFFERS CLASSIC BMW THINKING

You expect a first rate interior with any BMW and the X5 xDrive50i delivers. Front seats provide 10-way power adjustment and heating plus 4-way lumbar fine-tuning. Nevada Leather is standard along with Dark Burl Walnut accents on the dash, door trim and accompanying touch points.

A 3-spoke tilt/telescope steering wheel directs your path down the road. It also allows for adjustment of the AM/FM stereo CD/MP3 player audio system with 10-speakers and thumb or finger phone activation when equipped with an appropriate phone and 3rd party service provider.  

2012 BMW X5 xDrive50i Review

A hard-drive based navigation system delivers clear voice commands and map images. Updates are available and we found our test vehicle to have the latest mapping changes as we encountered new roads and traffic jams enroute. The world outside is easily enjoyed thanks to a full-roof, double-pane panoramic roof. When it gets too hot, simply close the power sunshade and take a break.

Front and back seating areas feature dual cupholders and plenty of added storage. All seats are comfortable though a little on the stiff side as is common with BMW. Rear seats fold flat for added convenience. The rear storage area is fully carpeted and features a handy power opening/closing tailgate. In every way, this is a fine place to spend time while on the road.

THE VERDICT

The 2012 BMW X5 xDrive50i is not your typical back roads SUV. Renowned for building driving machines, the X5 and in particular the xDrive50i challenge you to take the road less traveled whether it is paved with asphalt or not. Whatever you have planned, a night on the town, or a moonlight crossing of the New Mexico desert, the X5 is your ticket to the stars.

Related Reading
2011 Porsche Cayenne S Review – First Drive
2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class Review
2010 Land Rover Range Rover Sport: First Drive
2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Review: First Drive
2009 Infiniti FX50 Review
2010 Lexus RX350 Review
2010 Acura MDX Review

« Back
SWEEPSTAKES – OFFICIAL RULES, TERMS AND CONDITIONS

AutoGuide.com’s Monthly Overlay Newsletter Signup – By subscribing to our email newsletter, Entrants are eligible to win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (value of $100.00 USD). One (1) winner will be chosen every month at random and contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. *Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards ("GCs") cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at Amazon.com or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see www.amazon.com/gc-legal. GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.

1. NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS SWEEPSTAKES. AGE/RESIDENCY RESTRICTIONS, VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

2. PRIZE: One (1) Winner will be randomly selected every month to each receive: one (1) $100.00 Amazon.com Gift Card (the “Prize Supplier”). Total approximate retail value of all prizes is approximately $100.00 USD. Prizes are not transferable and no cash or prize substitution is allowed. Prize package is awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

3. ELIGIBILITY: From the time of entry through the final date of prize fulfillment, each contest entrant and selected entrant must be a permanent lawful citizen and resident residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia or in Canada, and be twenty one (21) years of age or older. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, IN ALL FOREIGN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES OR CANADA AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Employees, officers, directors, agents and representatives, of the Sponsor and the Prize Supplier and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, promotion partners and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of this Sweepstakes, and the immediate family members (e.g., spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, in-law, daughter and son, regardless of where they live) and persons living in the same household (whether or not related) of such individuals are not eligible to participate or win. Only one selected entrant per household. All decisions of the Sponsor with respect to this sweepstakes are final. The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification from the Sweepstakes.

4. ENTER BY INTERNET: You may enter this sweepstakes via the Internet by logging onto AutoGuide.com and subscribing to our email newsletter via the pop-up overlay.

5. SELECTION OF WINNER: One (1) Entrant will be selected by random selection who have subscribed to our email newsletter. The winner may be announced publicly on AutoGuide.com and will be contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. The winner will be required to provide a mailing address (that is not a P.O. box) to receive the prize which will be shipped free of charge.

6. ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning a prize are determined by the total number of eligible entries received.

7. RESTRICTIONS: The prize package consists of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card with an approximate value of $100.00 USD. If prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor or Prize Supplier, no substitute prize will be awarded due to the unique nature of the prize. Sponsor and Prize Supplier shall not be liable to the winner or any person claiming through winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, utility failure, internet failure, terrorist acts, threatened terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor's or Prize Supplier's control (collectively, "Force Majeure Event"). Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitutions or any act or omissions whatsoever by the performers/events, other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same.

8. CONDITIONS: By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and that Sponsor has the irrevocable right to use in perpetuity entrants' names, user names, likenesses, photographs, voices, home mailing address, biographical and prize information, and entry materials, without notice to entrants and without compensation or obligation, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world, in any manner whatsoever, to advertise and promote Sponsor, its products and services, the Sweepstakes, and for any other purpose except where prohibited by law. Entrant waives the right to assert as a cost of winning a prize any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to redeem said prize and any liability which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize. Sponsor is not responsible for fraudulent calls or emails made to entrants not by the Sponsor. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of damage by computer viruses, worms or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical limitations or failures, any Force Majeure Event or any other cause which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt, compromise, undermine or otherwise affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, viability or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend all or any part of the Sweepstakes, and to select a winner from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor up until the time of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension, as applicable. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that (i) tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operations of this Sweepstakes in any manner, (ii) violates the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or (iii) acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK CIVIL AND/OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND/OR DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Any expenses and receipt and use of the prize and federal, state and local taxes and fees applicable in connection with the prize awarded are the sole responsibility of the winner. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued in the name of the winner for the actual value of the prize received. This Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws of the United States. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor, Prize Supplier, and their respective officers, directors, parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, employees, representatives and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for (i) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by a prize resulting from acceptance, possession or usage of the prize, or (ii) printing, distribution or production errors. Sponsor or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain such errors without liability at its or their sole discretion.

9. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this contest is VerticalScope Inc. (the owner and operator of AutoGuide.com), 111 Peter Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and automatically be entered to win.
*Restrictions apply. See offer for details

Get Breaking Automotive News, Reviews and Video in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked