1.17.2010

BMW X5 xDrive35d Review



Diesel rules. Just not here in the USA. But BMW's working to change that.

A great way to make the case for diesel's economy and lower emissions is to put it in an SUV.

The X5 xDrive35d (that's the name, folks) is one of the new generation of clean diesels...odorless, largely noiseless, with good performance from a V6 making 265 horsepower and tons of torque.

The EPA says 26 miles per gallon on the highway...which is five mpg better than the X5 3.0 6-cylinder gasoline engine...rated at 260 horsepower. And the price premium to step up to the diesel is less than $4,000. But that does put the base price a shade above $50,000...which seems to be a major psychological price point in the new reality.


I had the tester for a week and a half and it was flawless...a great drive...and the diesel engine is a great match for the x5's size and weight...that strong, linear power delivery imparting an extra sense of solidity to the vehicle. And there's the knowledge that diesel engines are routinely capable of 250,000, 500,000 and more miles in a lifetime.

Apart from large, mainly 3/4 ton and 1 ton American trucks, it's the Germans who are carrying the flag on diesel. They're not wrong.

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