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2016 BMW X5 Review

The 2016 BMW X5 places in the top half of the luxury midsize SUV class, in part because of its powerful engine lineup and spry handling. However, its above-average costs (including its purchase price and certain ownership expenses) keep it from ranking among the best in the class.

Pros & Cons

  • Spry handling
  • Muscular engines
  • Plush, supportive front seats
  • Rivals offer more standard features
  • More expensive to buy and own than the average luxury midsize SUV




Critics' Rating: 9.1
Performance: 9.2
Interior: 8.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 7.6
Safety: 9.7
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 BMW X5 Overview

Is the 2016 BMW X5 a Good Used SUV?

If you need a luxury midsize SUV that seats up to seven, but you still want to enjoy your time behind the wheel, consider the BMW X5. It has powerful engines, engaging driving dynamics, and comfortable seats in the first two rows. However, the X5 doesn't come as well-equipped as some competitors, and its optional third row is not a relaxing place for adults to ride.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our goal is to make shopping for your next car as easy as possible. You'll find everything you need to know about the BMW X5 in our comprehensive review. It combines concrete data (like fuel economy estimates, horsepower specs, and cargo space dimensions) with 23 professional BMW X5 reviews.

At U.S. News & World Report, we rank the Best Jobs, Best Hospitals, and Best Colleges to guide readers through some of life’s most complicated decisions. We've been ranking and reviewing the Best Cars since 2007, backed by a team with more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. To keep favoritism out of the picture, we maintain a separate advertising team and decline expensive gifts and trips from car companies.

How Much is the 2016 BMW X5?

The 2016 X5 has an average list price of $47,600. With six diverse trim levels available, there's a wide range in prices: Our sample of 300 listings on our site for the 2016 X5 include prices as low as $34,000 and as high as $80,500. The number of miles on a vehicle, its condition, and regional demand also affect used car pricing.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2016 BMW X5 Cost to Own?

For the 2016 X5, you'll pay about $6,800 a year for maintenance, repairs, insurance, and fuel. This figure is based on our prediction of select ownership costs over five years. If that's too steep for your budget, consider a similarly sized SUV with lower ownership costs. With the 2016 Volvo XC90, for example, those same expenses are only $5,500 a year. That's a savings of $6,500 over five years.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New X5?

Between the 2016 and 2018 X5, the older model is the better buy if you want to save money. Approximately $9,600 separates the price of the average 2016 X5 from the base MSRP of the 2018 X5. That said, a few improvements over the past couple years have elevated the X5 in our rankings, moving the 2018 model closer to the top of the list in comparison to where the 2016 X5 ranks. The 2018 X5 now comes standard with a rearview camera, and its infotainment interface is better than before. These do little to make up for the steep price increase, however.

Read about the new BMW X5 »

Move beyond German engineering, and you'll find other well-rounded new SUVs that start at about the same price as the average 2016 X5. These SUVs tend to lean more toward comfort than athletic performance, and all do well in our rankings. The 2018 Acura MDX ($44,200) – our pick for the 2018 Best Luxury 3-Row SUV for the Money – is nimble and smooth. Meanwhile, one of the swankiest interiors in the class belongs to the 2018 Volvo XC90 ($46,900). This 3-row SUV also comes with a generous amount of entertainment and safety features. If you only need two rows of seats, consider the 2018 Lexus RX ($43,270), which offers an appealing blend of quality and value. It was our 2018 Best Luxury 2-Row SUV for the Money.

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How Reliable Is the 2016 BMW X5?

The 2016 X5 has an average reliability rating, earning a three out of five from J.D. Power. A handful of rivals – the 2016 Lexus RX and 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE among them – are expected to be much more dependable.

Read more about X5 reliability »

2016 BMW X5 Recalls

Only one recall has been issued on the 2016 X5 (at the time of this writing), affecting only eight 2016 X5 xDrive40e vehicles. The recall relates to a ground cable that may become loose and needs to be retightened.

See more information on BMW X5 safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the BMW X5 Is Best?

The 2016 BMW X5 is part of a generation that began with the 2014 model year and includes the 2018 model year. Other than new trim levels joining the lineup – such as the X5 M – this SUV has undergone few major changes from 2014 to 2016. Unless you are interested in one of these special trims, consider saving money by shopping for a 2014 or 2015 model instead.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 X5 »

Which Used BMW X5 Model Is Right for Me?

The BMW X5 comes in six trims, starting with the rear-wheel-drive sDrive35i. All other trim levels (xDrive35i, xDrive35d, xDrive40e, xDrive50i, and X5 M) are all-wheel-drive SUVs. The other main difference between the models is the powertrain. Choices include a turbocharged six-cylinder engine, a turbodiesel, a plug-in hybrid, and a twin-turbo V8.

For most shoppers, we recommend the base six-cylinder (35i), as it has a nice amount of oomph but typically costs less than the other X5 models. Most of the lower trim levels come with standard features such as the iDrive infotainment system, a touchpad controller, a navigation system, and a panoramic moonroof. For an extra dose of opulence, look for an X5 that includes a Bang & Olufsen surround-sound system, a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system, or one of the various other high-end options available for the X5.

See 2016 BMW X5 trims and specs »

What Does BMW's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

The BMW Certified CPO program is available on vehicles no older than five years with between 300 and 60,000 miles on the odometer. The program covers buyers for one year with unlimited mileage after the four-year/50,000-mile new-vehicle limited warranty has expired. This warranty can be renewed for a fee, but there is a maximum of five years of coverage. Each BMW must pass a road test and a 196-point inspection before earning CPO status. Additional benefits like towing and 24-hour roadside assistance may be available. This CPO coverage can be transferred to subsequent owners, but some restrictions may apply, so read the BMW warranty page carefully.

BMW has one of the less-attractive CPO programs among luxury car manufacturers, according to our research. You’ll get better warranties from Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and Jaguar.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the X5?

In two Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests (moderate overlap front and side impact), the 2016 BMW X5 received the top score of Good. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted five crash tests on the X5, giving it an overall score of five out five. In the individual NHTSA tests, the X5 received five stars in the frontal and side crash tests and four stars in the rollover test.

Most 2016 luxury midsize SUVs come with a standard rearview camera, but the X5 does not. However, it has standard front and rear parking sensors. Many safety features are available, including a rearview camera, a night-vision camera with pedestrian detection, a 360-degree camera system, a head-up display, parallel park assist, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, and forward collision warning with automatic braking.

See X5 safety scores »

2016 BMW X5 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 BMW X5 or 2016 BMW X3?

The 2016 BMW X3 is, for the most part, a smaller and less expensive version of the X5. If you have little need for the X5's available third row, the X3 may be the better SUV for you. The X3's base engine doesn't offer as much highway passing power as the X5's does, but there are two additional engines available for the X3 that have plenty of muscle. The X3 has spacious seats for a luxury compact SUV, and it earns better fuel economy estimates than the X5. Additionally, the X3, like the X5, offers an excellent balance of agility and ride comfort.

Which Is Better: 2016 BMW X5 or 2016 Porsche Cayenne?

The 2016 Porsche Cayenne has arguably the best driving dynamics in the class, so if you're serious about optimum performance (and willing to spend to get it), the Cayenne should top your shopping list. It has multiple powertrain options, including a diesel and a hybrid, and each delivers potent acceleration. On winding roads, the Cayenne handles like a sports car while maintaining ride comfort. Its five seats are exceptionally comfortable.

Which Is Better: 2016 BMW X5 or 2016 Volvo XC90?

If comfort, practicality, and technology mean more to you than athletic performance, the 2016 Volvo XC90 is the superior SUV. It has an upscale cabin with outstanding seating space and comfort in the first two rows and adult-friendly room in the available third row. The XC90 has nearly 20 more cubic feet of cargo space than the X5. The XC90 also has one of the most intuitive, smartphonelike infotainment systems in the class. Additionally, the XC90 has a stronger base engine than the X5, as well as more standard features, including a rearview camera.

Compare the X5, X3, and XC90 »

2016 X5 Performance

How Does the 2016 BMW X5 Drive?

The BMW X5 has sharp driving dynamics and maintains its composure around corners, especially with the available Dynamic Damper Control adaptive suspension. Additionally, its ride remains comfortable for long trips.

Powering the base 2016 BMW X5 sDrive35i is a 300-horsepower, turbocharged six-cylinder engine that delivers robust acceleration. There are four additional powertrains available, including two V8s, a diesel, and a hybrid. The strongest engine belongs to the performance-tuned X5 M, which has a potent 567-horsepower, twin-turbocharged V8. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard in all models.

Does the 2016 BMW X5 Get Good Gas Mileage?

The X5 is slightly more fuel-efficient than other midsize SUVs. It gets an EPA-estimated 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.

2016 BMW X5 Towing Capacity

The X5 has a 5,952-pound maximum tow rating.

Read more about X5 performance »

2016 X5 Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 X5 Seat?

The BMW X5 comes standard with seats for five, and the available third row adds two additional seats. The first two rows of seats are exceptionally comfortable and supportive, but the third row is best for small children only.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 BMW X5?

There are complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors in the rear outboard seats and one upper tether in the rear middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the X5's LATCH system as Marginal, the second-lowest rating, for ease of use.

2016 BMW X5 Features

The X5 comes with a panoramic moonroof and an easy-to-use iDrive infotainment system with Bluetooth, navigation, and a large, 10.2-inch display. Many features are available, including a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system, a Harman Kardon or Bang & Olufsen surround-sound audio system, and a plethora of safety features.

See 2016 BMW X5 specs »

Read more about X5 interior »

2016 BMW X5 Dimensions

BMW X5 Cargo Space

With a maximum of 66 cubic feet, the X5 has modest cargo space compared to its rivals.

BMW X5 Length and Weight

From end to end, the X5 stretches just over 16 feet. The X5 sDrive35i has a 4,680-pound curb weight and a 6,070-pound gross vehicle weight.

Where Was the 2016 BMW X5 Built?

BMW built the 2016 X5 at its plant in South Carolina, along with the X3 and X6.

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