Dynamic Diesel? 2009 BMW X5 xDrive 35d @ the Track
2009 BMW X5 xDrive 35d Track Test: http://blogs.edmunds.com/straightline/2009/08/il-track-tested-2009-bmw-x5-xdrive-35d.html?tid=edmunds.il.home.photopanel..2.*
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The clumsily named BMW X5 xDrive35d is a pricey but torque-rich beast of a sport-ute that puts the company's twin-turbo oil-burning six to use as a family hauler as opposed to the 335d sport sedan.
M SUV? 2010 BMW X5 M @ the Track
2010 BMW X5 M Full Test
After driving the 2010 BMW X5 M, there were numerous subtitles for this story bouncing around in our head. Because it was only a handful of years ago, when BMW introduced the 2004 X5 4.8is, that it said, "There will never be an M version of the X5," we were tempted to write, "Never Say Never."
One blast down the drag strip in this 555-horsepower breadbox in Monte Carlo Blue had us shouting, "12-second SUV!" If we believed the rumor (and we don't) that one of the primary reasons for the X5 M's existence is to satisfy the conspicuously well-funded market among the mobsters in Russia, then we could've run with "From Russia With Love."
Finally, one serene drive home on L.A.'s notoriously poorly constructed freeways where we discovered this X5 M's ride was far better than that of our long-term 2008 BMW X5 4.8i almost compelled us to put down, "Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde."
2008 Detroit Auto Show: 2009 BMW X5 xDrive35d by Inside Line
If the idea of a diesel-powered sedan like the new BMW 335d is too hard to swallow, maybe the 2009 BMW X5 diesel will make more sense to you. After all, it weighs 2.5 tons, so it could use a little extra engine torque. And it's a truck, sort of, so you won't look nearly as silly when you pull up to a pump at Big John's 24-hour Truck Spa on your next road trip.
Then again, the real draw of diesel engines is the fact that you don't have to stop for fuel as often, and the 2009 BMW X5 xDrive35d (as it's so clumsily named) delivers on this promise, at least according to its preliminary mileage estimates. At 19 mpg city and 25 mpg highway, the diesel X5 easily tops the standard X5 3.0si with its 3.0-liter inline-6 gasoline engine rated at 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway.
Dyno BMW: 2008 BMW 135i @ the Dyno
MORE BMW @ INSIDELINE.COM:
When the BMW 1 Series first looked like it would be brought to the U.S. from its successful home in the European market, we had visions of a return to the BMW 2002, the car that really invented the BMW brand in America back in the late 1960s. It would be a return to form, an expression of the true BMW spirit. You know, something small, light, nimble and affordable. We even dared to dream of a reborn BMW 2002 tii.
But then the specifications hit our desk with a thump. It turned out the BMW 1 Series would be heavier than we expected, not to mention more expensive. Fortunately it would be more powerful, too. It became clear to us that the 1 Series was not so much a continuation of the beloved 2002, but rather a rebirth of the 3 Series.
If you haven't noticed, the BMW 3 Series has, well, expanded. Those who hit the upper-middle-class running in the go-go 1980s bought a far different 3 Series from the one we enjoy today. It was small, light, nimble and affordable. It was a gateway car, an introduction to the brand — a broker's first BMW, you could say. BMW hoped as its new customers climbed the corporate ladder, they would steadily upgrade their BMW to suit. Have a family, buy a 5 Series; make partner, buy an M6. Retirement imminent? You, sir, need a 7 Series.
But then the BMW 3 Series became a mass-market success and soon it acquired a mass-market identity, morphing into a vehicle that is all things for all people. It's a coupe, sedan, convertible, wagon and even a sport-utility if you count the X3, and there are gasoline engines, diesel engines, four-cylinders, a twin-turbo inline-6 and now even a V8. Once you're behind the wheel of a BMW 3 Series, there's very little need to move up.
Which brings us back to our newest long-term test car, a 2008 BMW 135i. When you compare the specifications, the 1 Series is not so different from the 3 Series: a fraction shorter, a fraction lighter and really only a fraction less expensive. It's smooth, sophisticated and as carefully optioned with consumer-friendly convenience features as a 3 Series.
If we wanted a 1 Series more like a BMW 2002 tii — something in the spirit of cheap and cheerful, only with terrific speed — it was clear we would have to build our own.