BMW fits its X5 SUV with a diesel engine, using twin-turbo technology to try and prevent lag, somewhat unsuccessfully.
Although diesel-powered, the X5's body and chassis is the same as the gas-powered version.
The 3-liter twin-turbo diesel engine has six cylinders inline and generates 265 horsepower. Torque is up at 425 pound-feet, giving the X5 a lot of twist.
A luxury SUV, the X5 seats five comfortably, but also features performance characteristics, providing sport handling on the open road.
The X5 uses a complex exhaust system to clean up its diesel emissions, making it legal in all 50 U.S. states.
The rear hatch opens up clamshell style, with a small, lower gate that folds down.
The interior is made up of leather and soft plastics. Our car featured a panoramic sunroof and optional seats that proved very comfortable.
Among the steering wheel buttons are ones emblazoned with a diamond or a star. These can be programmed to perform different functions from the car's iDrive controller.
For its diesel cars, BMW revived the instant-fuel gauge, a common feature on older models.
The five-speed automatic has some good sport characteristics, and this car has a unique hill-hold feature that also lets you take your foot off the brake in normal stops.
Although not a serious off-roader, the X5 does have hill descent control.
With this old iDrive system, the DVD-based maps are plain and featureless.
The navigation system includes traffic information--a very useful feature--with active rerouting.
The CD player can read MP3 formatted music files. There is also very good iPod integration in the car.
BMW's Bluetooth phone integration is excellent, giving access to phone contact lists.