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$15,042 - $18,984
$47,500 - $64,200

Pros & Cons

  • Athletic handling
  • Powerful engines
  • Diesel model's great fuel economy
  • Confusing iDrive system
  • Tiny available third row




Critics' Rating: 8.0
Performance: 8.5
Interior: 7.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.1
Safety: 9.7
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 BMW X5 Overview

Test drivers said the 2012 BMW X5 xDrive35i's turbocharged six-cylinder engine has plenty of power. Available engines include a twin-turbo V8 (xDrive 50i) that reviewers said delivers impressive acceleration, as well as a six-cylinder turbodiesel (xDrive35d). The performance-oriented X5 M features a more powerful twin-turbocharged V8. The X5 comes standard with all-wheel drive. Gas-powered models have an eight-speed automatic transmission that test drivers said shifts gears smoothly. The diesel X5 has a six-speed automatic. The base 2012 X5 gets an EPA-estimated 16/23 mpg city/highway, which is competitive with rivals’ estimates. Equipped with the diesel engine, the X5 achieves 19/26 mpg, which is superb for the class. Reviewers loved the BMW X5’s sporty handling and precise steering, and said it feels planted through turns. They also said it has well-weighted steering and a composed, comfortable ride.

Automotive writers said the 2012 BMW X5’s cabin is well-constructed with upscale materials, but a few found the design to be a bit bland compared with some rivals' more stylish cabins. The front seats are comfortable and supportive, reviewers said, but a few mentioned that the second-row seats are a bit too low and could use more legroom. The available third row is cramped, they added. The X5 has up to 75.2 cubic feet of trunk space, which is slightly low for the class. The 2012 X5 comes standard with leatherette seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable front seats, Bluetooth, a 12-speaker audio system, HD Radio, an auxiliary input and a USB port. Available features include a power tailgate, parking distance control, a panoramic moonroof, leather seats, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, navigation, rear- and sideview cameras, an air suspension, adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, a rear-seat entertainment system and satellite radio. Automotive writers said that the X5's iDrive infotainment interface, which uses a single knob to control most tech features, requires time to master and can be distracting.

Other SUVs to Consider

Reviewers praised the 2012 Lincoln MKX for its elegant cabin and ample rear legroom. The front-wheel drive MKX gets better fuel economy than the X5 and test drivers said it has a serene ride quality.

The automotive press agreed that the 2012 Porsche Cayenne is one of the sharpest-handling SUVs in the class. They said it has a luxurious cabin and noted that the back seat is very comfortable.

Compare the X5, MKX and Cayenne »

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