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.
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Retaining BMW's classic kidney grilles, the X5 also gets big air ducts below the molded bumper.
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With the new X5, BMW smooths over some of the harder edges in the previous generation.
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The X5 has a self-leveling suspension designed to deliver the same performance no matter how many people are in it.
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The cargo area is sizable, easily able to handle the luggage for five people.
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The optional third-row seats fold out of the floor of the cargo area.
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The panoramic moonroof option puts a huge expanse of glass over the cabin.
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The cabin materials in the X5 are very nice, with metal accents and a dashboard covering material that has a little bit of give.
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The stereo is friendly to different music formats, reading WMA and MP3 CDs.
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The standard CD display shows the track numbers in a radial display, making it easy to select tracks with the iDrive system.
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Although our test X5 came with the base stereo, it still sounded pretty good.
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The X5 includes an auxiliary input in the center console, so you can plug in your iPod, but keep it stowed away.
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The rear-seat DVD entertainment option uses an interesting swivel screen.
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Rear-seat passengers can watch movies, play music, or look at digital photos on a CD or a DVD.
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BMW has excellent Bluetooth cell phone integration. This system copied over our cell phone address book and makes dialing number easy.
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The climate controls are easily accessible on the center stack. This screen offers an interesting visualization, but is unnecessary.
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The park distance option gives a graphical display of the car, showing how close objects are to the front and back.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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