BMW
X5
2013
Go
Justin Cupler
Automotive Editor - December 5, 2012

Expert Rating

4.5 (Excellent)
MPG
16 City / 23 Highway

Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

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4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

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2013 BMW X5 OVERVIEW

BMW took a huge risk in 2000, as it chose to dip its proverbial toes into the SUV pool by releasing the X5. This model afforded customers an alternative to big and bulky SUVs that were simply wrapped in a nice tuxedo, like the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator. The X5 combined SUV performance with the refinement that BMW buyers expected. This tradition carries on as the X5 journeys into the 2013 model year.

In 2013, the BMW X5 line comes in five trim levels and they are: xDrive35i, xDrive35i Premium, xDrive35d, xDrive35i Sport Activity and xDrive50i. The entire X5 range comes with all-wheel drive, so buyers never have to worry about getting out of the driveway in bad weather, but the trim levels do change in terms of what’s under the hood and what kind of creature comforts they include.

The xDrive35i starts out the range, featuring a six-cylinder engine, a 6.4-second sprint to 60 mph and basic features expected of a Bimmer. The xDrive35i Premium ads in a few extra goodies inside and outside, but has the same engine and acceleration time as the base model. The xDrive35d adds in a fuel-sipping diesel engine and sees it 60 mph sprint increase to 6.9-seconds. The xDrive35i Sport Activity regains the gasoline-powered six-cylinder engine and 6.4-second sprint to 60 mph. The xDrive35i Sport Activity also adds in some aesthetic features to make it sportier, as well as a few extra comfort items. Finally, the xDrive50i comes in featuring a V-8 engine that gets the X5 to 60 mph in only 5.3 seconds.

In the SUV world, the competition is plentiful. A main competitor of the X5’s is the 2013 Audi Q7, which lacks the top-end punch of the X5, but its lower-end models are more than competitive. Following up the Q7 is the 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class, which has the range of engines needed to compete, but gets very pricey when approaching the AMG model. Finally, the Jeep Grand Cherokee comes in as a lesser priced alternative. While the Grand Cherokee SRT8 has the performance to match the xDrive50i, it does, however, lack the refinement of the X5.

The X5 finds itself in a pool of competitors looking to drive X5 buyers to their showrooms, so BMW has to come out swinging to keep customers in its showroom.

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