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7.7

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.8
Performance: 8.4
Interior: 7.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 7.5
Safety: 9.4
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2011 BMW X5 Review

The 2011 BMW X5 offers sporty performance, but other than that, most of its rivals are a better choice.

Pros & Cons

  • Great handling
  • Good safety scores
  • Above-average fuel economy from diesel model
  • Very quick M model
  • Poor fuel economy in non-diesel models
  • Tiny third-row seats

2011 BMW X5 Overview

The 2011 BMW X5 is the only choice available for BMW loyalists who need seating for up to seven. It offers the well-made interior, fantastic handling and distinctive looks common to every BMW. It even has good safety ratings and offers a fast, sport-tuned M trim and a fuel-efficient diesel model, in addition to standard all-wheel drive and plenty of cargo space. Otherwise, its standard features list is fairly short, including features like leatherette seats, dynamic cruise control and a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat. Depending on the trim, you’ll find features like leather seats, wood trim, four-zone climate control and Bluetooth.

Overall, however, most reviewers preferred other luxury midsize SUVs. There are a few significant reasons why the X5 ranks near the bottom of its class. Its third row is cramped and barely suitable for children. Only the diesel model gets good fuel economy, while the base X5’s gas mileage is just average, and both V8-powered trims are gas guzzlers at best. BMWs notoriously offer few standard features, and the X5 is no different. 

See the full list of 2011 BMW X5 specs »

Other Cars to Consider

If you want an SUV with a prestigious luxury badge, three rows of seats and good performance, consider the 2011 Mercedes-Benz M-Class. It also offers a powerful and efficient diesel engine. The M-Class also offers more off-road capability than the X5 and its AMG trim is comparable to the high-performance X5 M.

You should also consider the 2011 Lexus GX, which is far more capable off-road than either the M-Class or the X5. The GX isn’t nearly as pleasant to drive on-road as many of its rivals, and it doesn’t offer either a diesel-powered or performance-oriented trim like the X5 or the M-Class, but test drivers appreciated it for its great combination of practicality, day-to-day usability and off-road brawn.

Compare the X5 to the M-Class and GX »

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