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2009 BMW X5 xDrive35d photos

The X5 xDrive35d couples BMW's new clean diesel twin-turbo 3-liter six-cylinder engine with its premium SUV. The result is better fuel economy, but laggy performance, and we're not happy with the old iDrive implementation.

Wayne Cunningham
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham
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1 of 15 Corinne Schulze/CNET
BMW fits its X5 SUV with a diesel engine, using twin-turbo technology to try and prevent lag, somewhat unsuccessfully.
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2 of 15 Corinne Schulze/CNET
Although diesel-powered, the X5's body and chassis is the same as the gas-powered version.
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3 of 15 Corinne Schulze/CNET
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.
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4 of 15 Corinne Schulze/CNET
A luxury SUV, the X5 seats five comfortably, but also features performance characteristics, providing sport handling on the open road.
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5 of 15 Corinne Schulze/CNET
The X5 uses a complex exhaust system to clean up its diesel emissions, making it legal in all 50 U.S. states.
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6 of 15 Corinne Schulze/CNET
The rear hatch opens up clamshell style, with a small, lower gate that folds down.
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7 of 15 Corinne Schulze/CNET
The interior is made up of leather and soft plastics. Our car featured a panoramic sunroof and optional seats that proved very comfortable.
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8 of 15 Corinne Schulze/CNET
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.
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9 of 15 Corinne Schulze/CNET
For its diesel cars, BMW revived the instant-fuel gauge, a common feature on older models.
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10 of 15 Corinne Schulze/CNET
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.
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11 of 15 Corinne Schulze/CNET
Although not a serious off-roader, the X5 does have hill descent control.
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12 of 15 Corinne Schulze/CNET
With this old iDrive system, the DVD-based maps are plain and featureless.
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13 of 15 Corinne Schulze/CNET
The navigation system includes traffic information--a very useful feature--with active rerouting.
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14 of 15 Corinne Schulze/CNET
The CD player can read MP3 formatted music files. There is also very good iPod integration in the car.
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15 of 15 Corinne Schulze/CNET
BMW's Bluetooth phone integration is excellent, giving access to phone contact lists.

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