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Watch out luxury SUV owners: BMW's bigger, faster (but no heavier) new X5 has landed

26 Mar 2007

BY BMW'S own admission, it would have been "unwise" to radically change the styling of its top-selling luxury SUV and, for that reason alone, changes for the second-generation X5 run far more than skin-deep. Significantly stiffer and bigger in every direction - but hitting the scales at within 50kg of its predecessor - the new X5 gets a gruntier new alloy turbo-diesel (3.0d), a redesigned 4.8-litre V8 for the 4.8i and the latest magnesium-alloy Valvetronic petrol six in the entry-level 3.0si, which doesn't arrive until June. Combine that with the option of seven seats for the first time, brand-new suspension technology that makes it even better on-road and pricing that rises only for the low-volume V8 variant, and the new X5's appeal can only be wider.
Model release date: 1 April 2007 to 1 July 2010

Previous model


Released: November 2000
Ended: March 2007
Family Tree: X5

First launched Down Under in November 2000, BMW's original E53 X5 - and its "Sports Activity Vehicle" catch-cry - took the luxury SUV market by storm. It launched in 210kW/440Nm 4.4-litre V8 (4.4i) guise only, with the 170kW/300Nm 3.0-litre petrol six-engined 3.0i arriving in March 2001 and the 135kW/390Nm turbo-diesel 3.0d lobbing in March 2003. Cheaper-than-petrol pricing saw sales of the diesel skyrocket, while the flagship 4.6is (powered by a 255kW/480Nm 4.8-litre V8) joined the range in February 2002. In January 2004 the X5 received a new xDrive all-wheel drive system, plus a beefier 150kW/480Nm diesel, a more powerful (265kW/490Nm) V8 for the 4.6is and a 235kW V8 for the 4.4i. Five-speed autos were also replaced by six-speed ZF transmissions.

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