The 2013 BMW X5 earns a below average Total Car Score for the Luxury SUVs & Crossovers segment.
The X5 was the first of BMW’s “sports activity vehicles,” and during its 14 years on the market it has gathered mostly strong, positive reviews. The combination of SUV practicality with taut handling and healthy powertrains is tough to beat, especially for those who need family transport but don’t want to give up any driving fun.
Several of the complaints lodged against the X5, in fact, reflect its sporting nature: Some critics found its suspension too harsh and choppy, while others bemoaned its mediocre fuel economy. We’re sure, though, that there’s a segment of buyers willing --and even happy -- to put up with those traits to get an ultimate driving machine with seats for up to seven. Be advised, though, that the X5’s third-row seat has been universally panned as too small for all but the littlest passengers.
There are few changes to BMW’s midrange crossover for 2013. The X5 went through a thorough freshening two years ago, and automotive industry watchers believe an all-new version may be available later this year. So BMW has simplified the X5 lineup by -- at least temporarily -- eliminating the diesel-powered xDrive35d and concentrating on just the gas-powered six- and eight-cylinder versions for this year. (Diesel intenders may still find a few of last year’s models on dealer lots, though.)
A new M Performance Package is available for the 2013 BMW X5 xDrive35i Sport Activity and 50i models that increases horsepower -- 15 more for the 35i, 40 for the 50i -- and also bumps up torque by 30 pound-feet in both engines.
The 2013 BMW X5 is a midsize crossover vehicle that seats up to seven passengers in three rows of seats. It’s available with a choice of two engines, full-time all-wheel drive, and in several trim levels. (The High-performance M variant X5 M is reviewed separately.)
Powering the xDrive35i models is a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 engine that produces 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. The xDrive50i models feature a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 that’s good for 400 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are joined to eight-speed automatic transmissions with Steptronic manual controls.
Standard equipment aboard the base xDrive35i includes 18-inch alloy wheels with run-flat tires, xenon adaptive headlights, foglights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, leatherette upholstery, powered driver and passenger seats, push-button start, Bluetooth connectivity, BMW’s iDrive on-board computer, and a 10-speaker, 205-watt audio system with iPod and USB adapters.
Stepping up to the xDrive35i Premium model adds 19-inch wheels, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a panoramic moonroof, automatic climate control, automatic tailgate and front and rear park distance control. The 35i Sport Activity model unlocks more performance from the engine by increasing its speed limiter, and it rolls on 20-inch alloys.
The V8-powered xDrive50i is equipped very much like the 35i Premium model, except that it’s fitted with 18-inch wheels.
Option packages and stand-alone options for the various X5 models make available accessories that include wheel and tire upgrades, sports seats, a head-up display, side-view camera, heated rear seats, a four-zone automatic climate control, premium audio systems, a backup camera, and active cruise control.
EPA fuel economy ratings for the X5 xDrive35i models are 16 mpg city, 23 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined; the V8-powered 50i models are rated at 14/20/16 mpg.
Properly equipped, the 2013 BMW X5 is rated to tow up to 6,000 pounds.
Total Car Score is not affiliated with, associated, authorized, or endorsed by, or in any way officially connected to any of the Expert Resources, nor does Total Car Score endorse any of the Expert Resources, or its affiliates.
Click here to see more.