BMW performed a major redesign on its biggest SUV, giving the body a more modern look, adding power, and upgrading the cabin with some decidedly futuristic details. Like many new SUVs, the 2007 BMW X5 also gets optional third-row seating, to maximize its people-carrier abilities. And, like other BMWs, it retains a strong performance character.
Retaining BMW's classic kidney grilles, the X5 also gets big air ducts below the molded bumper.
With the new X5, BMW smooths over some of the harder edges in the previous generation.
The X5 has a self-leveling suspension designed to deliver the same performance no matter how many people are in it.
The cargo area is sizable, easily able to handle the luggage for five people.
The optional third-row seats fold out of the floor of the cargo area.
The panoramic moonroof option puts a huge expanse of glass over the cabin.
The cabin materials in the X5 are very nice, with metal accents and a dashboard covering material that has a little bit of give.
The stereo is friendly to different music formats, reading WMA and MP3 CDs.
The standard CD display shows the track numbers in a radial display, making it easy to select tracks with the iDrive system.
Although our test X5 came with the base stereo, it still sounded pretty good.
The X5 includes an auxiliary input in the center console, so you can plug in your iPod, but keep it stowed away.
The rear-seat DVD entertainment option uses an interesting swivel screen.
Rear-seat passengers can watch movies, play music, or look at digital photos on a CD or a DVD.
BMW has excellent Bluetooth cell phone integration. This system copied over our cell phone address book and makes dialing number easy.
The climate controls are easily accessible on the center stack. This screen offers an interesting visualization, but is unnecessary.
The park distance option gives a graphical display of the car, showing how close objects are to the front and back.
The X5 handles exceedingly well for a large SUV. The steering uses variable ratios, which adjust how much steering wheel input is needed depending on the vehicle speed.
The X5's shifter has a unique, sculptured look. It's electronic, and just takes a flick forward to put the car in reverse, or a flick back to put it in drive.
The X5 gets a large 4.8-liter V-8 engine that puts out 350 horsepower. It makes a nice growl as it catapults the car forward.