An in-depth look at the BMW X5 4.8is, the original high-performance luxury sport utility. Courtesy of Midwest Auto Collection. Presented by Chris Moran.
The 2005 BMW X5 4.8is is one of those vehicles. It rolls on 20s, has a bored-out V8 and a stiffened suspension holding it all up. On paper it's yet another argument that Americans will buy anything with a BMW badge on it, but on the road it's more fun than any SUV has a right to be.
Displacing the Competition
BMW borrowed a page from the Big Three school of high performance by upping the power of the X5 through increased displacement. The bump from 4.4 to 4.8 liters delivers 40 more horsepower and 26 additional pound-feet of torque for totals of 355 and 350, respectively. BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system works with a recalibrated six-speed automatic and a final drive ratio that's actually taller (3.9 vs. 4.1) than in the 4.4i to get the power to the ground.
Throttle tip-in is ultraquick, with the slightest nudge of the pedal resulting in a thump from the Exhaust and a not-so-subtle leap forward. Lay into it a little harder and the 4.8 smoothes out and slows up as wind resistance and gravity begin to take their toll on the tall 2.5-ton vehicle.
Its 0-to-60-mph time of 7 seconds and quarter-mile pass of 15.3 seconds make it one fast SUV, but both numbers are slower than those of any serious sport sedan in this BMW's $70K price range.
Convincing Us One Corner at a Time
Getting an SUV to go fast in a straight line is easy. Controlling one around a fast corner is the hard part. The standard X5 is good in this regard, but the 4.8is is better thanks to a sport-tuned air suspension; monster Michelin Diamari tires, sized 275/40 up front and 315/35 in back; and speed-sensitive variable assist steering (the standard system varies according to engine speed).
With all four wheels getting power, ripping through turns requires nothing more than pitching it in, allowing it to take a set and then hammering the throttle down to pull it around. The steering is as precise as that of any BMW sedan, body roll is moderate and the massive tires cling like a high school girlfriend.
The X5 4.8is clocked 62.3 mph through the slalom, a slightly higher speed than the Mercedes-Benz CLS500 sedan we ran the same day. The brakes are touchy, but the big 14-inch rotors stopped the 4.8 from 60 in just 116.1 feet, shorter than the CLS by a foot.
Looking and Feeling the Part
SUVs are purposeful, but rarely pretty. The X5 looks athletic and the 4.8is more so. In addition to big wheels and tires that give it a tough stance, the 4.8 gets titanium-colored grille work, shadowline window trim, extended side sills and a revised rear fascia highlighted by a pair of shadow chrome Exhaust tips.
The 4.8is not only looks better, it feels and sounds better, too. Standard upgrades to the interior include eight-way sport seats, a nearly full-length sunroof and a thicker three-spoke steering wheel. There's no iDrive to make things complicated, and the cabin design has the simplicity that made 20th-century BMWs feel just right.
The Alcantara-trimmed seats hold you in snugly without reminding you of every double cheeseburger you downed in the last six months. And speaking of meaty, the extra-thick steering wheel does as much to make the 4.8 feel sporty as any other upgrade on the spec chart. Cargo space is still meager, the CD changer is hard to get to and there's no third-row seat, but if those things are really that important to you, this is not your SUV.
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2004 BMW X5 4.8is Start Up, Exhaust, In Depth Tour, and Short Test Drive
In this video I give a full in depth tour of a 2004 BMW X5 4.8is. I take
viewers on a close look through the interior and exterior of this suv while
showing details, over viewing of features, and noting unique styling cues
to the vehicle itself. I also show the engine and the details of it, start
it up and see how it sounds under acceleration. I also take it for a brief
test drive and show how it is on the road. A thorough tour/review of this
suv designed to give others a greater overall appreciation of the vehicle.
BTW there are many other features of the X5 I was not able to show such,
this vehicle is loaded, I will give you the best overview that I can in the
time I have.
If you want to know more info about this X5, check out their website here
2006 BMW X5 4.8is - eDirect Motors
One of the best performance SUV's ever made, this 4.8is will turn heads.
It is also a blast to drive. Check out much more info and pics right at