$8,137 - $8,170

2009 BMW X5 Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2009 BMW X5 was new.


Interior: 8.1

With loads of high-tech and comfort features, the interior of the X5 is the perfect complement to its BMW heritage and performance capabilities. 

  • "You can always count on a BMW interior to be a perfect mix between luxury and sport, and the new X5 does not disappoint." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The interior is superbly finished ... there's a nice-sized glove box and deep storage well in the center console." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "The only sour notes in the interior are the controversial nature of the iDrive system interface and the small size of the third-row seat, which makes it impractical for use by adults." -- Edmunds


All reviewers agreed that the front seats of the BMW X5 are comfortable, although the available third row is noticeably cramped. Accessing that last row can be even more of a problem.

  • "Second-row occupants have decent headroom, but legroom is unexceptional in 5-passenger versions. The 2nd-row seat reclines on all X5s but slides fore and aft only in 7-seat models, which can increase 2nd-row legroom. The cramped 3rd row suits kids only, and even they won't have much knee space unless the 2nd-row seat is fully forward. Entry and exit to 3rd-row seat requires contortions." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Moved to its rearmost position, the second row is a roomy place for adults. Other than its tad-too-firm cushion, center-seat comfort is decent and there's no floor hump to crowd the middle passenger's legs." -- Cars.com
  • "Those requiring an adult-friendly third row should look elsewhere, i.e., at the Land Rover LR3 and the Mercedes-Benz GL450." -- Motor Trend

Interior Features

Reviewers said the X5's standard interior features are luxurious. Though iDrive, BMW's disliked climate and entertainment control system, is standard on the X5, many reviewers wished it wasn't. The iDrive control, located in the front seat central console, drove reviewers crazy.

  • "Frequently used audio and climate controls are thankfully separate from the iDrive system, but those adjustments governed by iDrive require a long look from the road. The optional navigation system demands frustrating interaction with complex controls and cryptic markings." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Speaking of annoying, many of the features of the X5 are controlled via the dreaded iDrive controller in the center console. But BMW has gone to great lengths to improve the interface since the original version prompted an auto-press pile-on, and I found it quite intuitive to use -- once I got the hang of it. My only real gripe is the voluminous information that is accessed by the system." -- MSN


Cargo space in the far rear is tight with the second- and third-row seats up. When the third-row seat is up, there is only 7.1 cubic feet of cargo space. With the third row folded, the X5 has 18.5 cubic feet of cargo space. When the second- and third-row seats are folded, there is 61.8 feet of cargo space.

  • "High liftover means the tailgate must be dropped to load even moderately sized items. Interior storage is nothing special, and with the optional DVD system, a lowered screen prevents the ‘bomb bay' console lid -- which some testers found inconvenient--from being opened." -- Consumer Guide

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