Roadshow Video Reviews
2010 BMW X5 MBMW's new hot rod SUV stretches the company's tech envelope.
>> The X5 the BMW's original SUV, or sport's activity vehicle as they like to insist. What better way to make that activity mumbo jumbo stick than with a hot M package like we've got. But we're C net, so we're here to check the tech. Unlike all other current generation X5's, the M version cannot be had with the optional third row seat. I guess BMW thinks the extra weight of a couple of kids back there would throw off your exit line as you power out of a decreasing radius corner in your SUV. As consolation, the M's do have a massive panoramic roof standard. They oughta at this price. Now, the X5 M, as you might imagine, is blessed with the usual current load of BMW technology most of it. Not every toy is in here. They've gotta save some goodies for the top equipped 7 series. They've done a really nice job on the usual wide screen there, but notice this, as I zoom out a lot, it eventually clicks to a satellite view. That's something new on this car we haven't seen before. Unfortunately, it doesn't let you stay in a detail satellite view. I'd like to see, you know, a Google maps view of satellite data all the way down. And of course we have traffic information on this rig cleanly displayed both as a list on the left, and as you click through it, it jumps to a mini map on the right. I like that. And notice the contouring on the map also shows you, as least here in hilly San Francisco, when you're going to go up and over a hill or some other kind of a terrain feature. What I don't like is I just pushed the voice button. It wants me to say something. I have no idea what because it accepts many commands, and I'm getting no prompts on the screen to help me along. >> Please repeat. >> No. Let's go to our audio sources. This is interesting. We've got our CD slot right up here which, of course, will take MP3 disks as well. But this will also this screen bring you a look at this hidden six disc DVD changer but no rear seat entertainment system on this car. External devices connect here on the console and now because this vehicle has an upgraded audio system we have an aux and a USB here. The aux jack also goes to a BMW pigtail that will let you hook up an iPod or an iPhone. Surround sound on our off, synthetic surround, there is no 5 or 7.1 in this car. Bluetooth handsfree for calling is stock on an X5 M; Bluetooth A2DP stereo streaming not available at all. As you may have seen already, we do have HD radio on this thing as well as the usual AM/FM satellite. You've got a headup display available on this car either a la cart or as part of a package. BMW has always done a really good one, very bright height adjustable. You can really get it where you want it. And you can have these buckets of information so you get navigation, check messages, speed you're going, all of that. Here's your M Drive menu for the vehicle. This is an M Drive thing that is so cool. You can change up the settings of what is happening when you're in the M mode. Your dynamics control can be normal, sport, or make no change under M. Stability control, again, same thing. There's an aggressive M stability control which a lot of drivers like, one gearbox on this guy which is a little bit of a downer. It's a six speed M sport automatic. It's a good automatic. It's got this goofball shifter that BMW does a lot of lately� all electronic. You're not moving any linkage down shift up shift. Unfortunately, they're on the wheels. They're flying all over the place. You never know where to go find them half the time. So here's our rear view camera in standard mode. Looking back, you got some distance. You've got where the wheels or the rims are. You can see we're parking the curb a little bit. The new icon on the upper left we haven't seen in a BMW before. This gives you a three quarter around view so except for the very dead front vehicle, I'm able to see all the way around the sides and the rear in pretty good visual clarity. And as you can see, I've also got park distance sensors as well to give me an ultrasonic look at what I'm about to crunch into. Of course, the engine's a big part of the story on an M, and this is a big engine -- 4.4liter V8 with two twinscroll turbos, 555 horsepower out of this mill. But here's where the story starts to come unraveled. Come here. This little decal back here less emissions more driving pleasure. What are you kidding me? More driving pleasure in [inaudible] fill this thing up. It I'm not mistaken 12/17 MPG that's awful. Global warming score two out of ten. This thing's a glacier killer. In spite of this powertrain's massive output, the vehicle doesn't put a fist in your back as sharply as the numbers might suggest. Now, part of that is 5400 pounds on the hoof; part of it is turbo lag a little not a lot; and part is running all of that through an automatic transmission. Okay. An X5 M is gonna run you 86 2 and a whole lot of gas money. To get all the rest of the tech toys, though, your gotta go for the premium sound package, executive USB iPod thingy, the six disc in the glove box, and premium sound. 1800 for driver assistance that will include the headup display, rear view camera, and that all around camera; skip the rear seat entertainment system. I think it's a dog.