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NewNiceMrMe

BMW X5 50i M Sport - 1,500 mile review

39 posts in this topic

Well we've actually covered 1,650 miles in the X5 now, so this is a little late.

Overall the car is proving to be a quite outstanding package. It's pointless harping on for long about performance because the BMW figures are there for all to see, and it is best described as ridiculously quick for a car of its size - and very quick for a car of any size for that matter. 0-62mph in 5.5s feels as rapid as it sounds and the 50-70mph (and above) range is quite breath-taking. I can't keep up with the car in my 645. It just pulls into the distance and rather quickly.

Handling is a revelation. How a car like this can stick to the road like it does is beyond me, though it probably has a lot to do with the huge tyres and the traction system that has scoffed at everything I've thrown at it so far.

Levels of equipment, especially after MrsMe had ticked a lot of options, are excellent. The rear DVD and rear aircon system we specified have reaped dividends already. The DVD screen (single centre in this, not double in the headrests as in the Lexus) is very good indeed. Bright, crystal clear and the headphones work perfectly. Much to our surprise it is a much easier system to use than the RX's ever was and the DVD's are loaded below the screen instead of an under-seat loader that was a major inconvenience in the RX.

The steering feels precise and the turning circle is much better than the RX's. The ride is of course much, much harder than in the RX. The Lexus rode on a wave of feathers, where this will let you know you've gone through a pot hole without fail, although it isn't at a point where we're cursing it.

Reversing is aided by the rear camera system and a choice of options on-screen that we only discovered when DHA pointed out that he was sure the X's system came with configurable items - he was right. We've not read the manual yet so there are probably a lot more things to tinker with.

For me, coming from the 6, the biggest thing that stands out is iDrive. It is in another league to that in my car. iDrive in the 2011 X5 is very fast, much more intuitive and much more like the Audi systems than ever before. They've copied the good parts of the Audi interface and it has worked well. SatNav is a joy to use, the audio system is a breeze to use and BMW Assist is fantastic. Connecting to the internet via the BMW portal, checking the weather, all that crap that you don't really need - well it's just all rather cool and I've enjoyed playing about with the system.

Economy isn't a word we really considered and it is just as well. We're getting 19.1 mpg as it stands, whereas MrsMe hasn't done any of her long trips yet I still think we'll average 20mpg. I think 21 might be optimistic - but that's because the car tempts you to press the right pedal....and it is difficult to resist.

The noise of the engine and exhaust is addictive. It is louder than the 6, much louder, and it regularly attracts attention as it pulls away even at very low revs. When the twin-Turbo's kick in - the crescendo of noise is just fantastic. I love this side of the car. It's really got me rather hooked.

There's an interior design flaw in my view. If you're driving, and you reach out with your left arm to adjust, say, seat heating, or press one of the iDrive buttons, it often means you knock the gearstick from normal mode into Sport mode (i.e. manual shifting). I find that rather irritating, but it's not a big thing in the scheme of things.

The seats, in individual Champagne Merino, do mean they're very prone to jeans marking them and we're having to wipe them down every few days. They clean up very easily, but it is something we'll have to watch doesn't slip out of a routine because otherwise I can imagine they'll end up looking rather tarnished.

MrsMe now wishes she'd specified the panoramic sunroof. I've no idea why when you've got 4-zone aircon, but she misses the Lexus sunroof for some reason. She also wishes the privacy glass at the rear was darker. It isn't as dark as the tint was in the RX rear and rear-side windows and we may end up getting that changed. It's tinted, but in the RX you couldn't see through it from the outside - in this you can, easily.

That might seem like a minor detail, but if you left the luggage cover off the rear of the RX you still couldn't see any possessions/shopping in the back because of the tint, but in the X5 you can.

I'm really having to be picky here though. The car is immense in what it does, we love the look and feel of it and it is proving to be a quite epic machine so far.

The under-handle courtesy lights on the outside, the huge burble on start-up, the much improved speed of the auto-boot release, and the configurable settings of how high the boot lifts (yes, you can change that in iDrive to one of 3 settings), well, they're all just small things that just bring a smile to your face.

So far, so good.

Edited by MrMe

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Sounds incredible. And there is me worrying about the fuel economy of the 3.0tdi X6! Rofl.

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Ummmed and aaaghed over the panoramic sunroof too - did eventually decide to add it and have to say I'm very glad we did +++

superb piece of machinery, bearing in mind I've had audi for 16 years straight and nothing in between I am very very impressed so far :)

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Nice write up for a Great car, The 550i M Sport is in a word "Unbelievable" performance and economy wise.

I drive between 75/90 MPH all day and get 27.3MPG+ and the acceleration is on a par with my M3 in a straight line, totally mental.

I hope you have the 8 speed box it really is good.+++

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I hope you have the 8 speed box it really is good.+++

Eight speed box is very very good and is fitted to all the 30d, 40d and 50i x5's :D

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Ummmed and aaaghed over the panoramic sunroof too - did eventually decide to add it and have to say I'm very glad we did +++

superb piece of machinery, bearing in mind I've had audi for 16 years straight and nothing in between I am very very impressed so far :)

Our old X5 had this and, combined with the cream leather, made it a much brighter and nicer place to be. The non-pano + black leather models we looked at were cave-like in comparison.

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3,000 miles gone now, so an update.

However, I thought an update with a difference would be more fitting. We love the car, it goes like stink, it sounds great, yabber, yabber, yabber. All that is true, but I thought it might be more interesting to focus on the downsides - the things we don't like or think could be better.

So here goes.

Firstly, BMW really do need to address low speed take-off. It's virtually impossible to nudge forward in this thing without risking launching into the back of somebody else. However, and more to the point, let's imagine you have a little lip at the entrance of your garage - like we do. Now, you need to slowly roll over it. Well that's pretty much not going to happen. See, you have to press the throttle to the point it wants to GO. You batter up over the lip and then have to stomp on the brakes to stop you going through the rear wall and into the utility room. Maybe that's why they call it a Sports Utility Vehicle! :roflmao:

Next, I still think the design flaw of reaching to the park assist or iDrive buttons and knocking the gearstick into sport/manual mode is a bad one. It'll never do anything dangerous or cause you to have an accident, but it happens and its such a small point it's just a little annoying.

BMW Online - it's fab. It really is such a bloody clever thing to be able to get internet access from iDrive. But for christs sake, why such a restricted facility? There would be little stopping them giving you a full browser, but no, they don't do that. It's just petty and something that is excellent could be truly out of this world.

The individual Champagne Merino leather is gorgeous, but it's also a total pain in the arse. Or, should I say, your arse puts plenty of denim onto it. We have to clean it every week without fail and after a couple of days you can see the marks again, easily.

That said, none of the above are anything like as annoying as the lurch forward that the car gives when, after applying the park and handbrake, you press the Stop button. You would 'not' want to get within a centimetre of something in front of you - because the car moves forward 2-3cm. It's dangerous and apparently it is common.

For an expensive car with a lot of options on ours you'd think BMW could stretch to provide a better mechanism for the rear luggage cover. The powered boot is all well and good, but the bloody luggage cover is just tacky. It does roll forward or back with anything like a 'premium' feel and frankly it's a bit like the sunvisors in the 6 - i.e. it's something they've clearly just decided to trim quality and costs on.

The design of the boot plastic electric guards is poor too. There are two little plastic doors that are there for electrical access. Things we'd never need to use, that type of thing. Well I've managed to knock both of these feckers off so far. They're just poorly secured and come off with the slightest of nudges.

The rear armrest is crap. It feels and is trimmed in total quality, but as a piece of practical use it is bollocks. The Lexus had cup holders and a flippy-up storage bit. It was very useful for the youngest when in the back of the car. This just has two cup holders. No flippy up storage bit at all. It's not something we noticed when testing the car, but it was one of the first things we noticed when out and about in it. Just a bit pants really...

Finally, I wish they'd not bother fitting that stupid economy gauge to these cars. It looks out of date and is not befitting of a techno-fest of 2011 gadgetry with a monster twin turbocharged V8 under the bonnet. Why put one there? We know it automatically navigates to fuel stations all the time - we don't need reminding of it by watching the needle fly round to the right (bottom) every time we prod the throttle. It's very annoying.

But apart from all of that, it's wonderful. A masterpiece of an engine without doubt and handling that defies the type of vehicle. My god, it's a monster when you push it. It really is quite evil - and very, very, very addictive.... +++

Edited by MrMe

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You'll have to do a bit of left foot braking when parking in your garage!

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OK here may be your answer to your "take-offs".Steps...

1) hit start button once to turn on power (Don't start the engine)

2) then press the accelerator down to the floor for 5 sec

3) then hit start button once to turn off power

4) then remove foot from accelerator

5) then waite for 2 minutes

4) then start the engine like normal and try it out!

Let me know if it cures your problem J

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Before I try that - what exactly is it meant to do? I know your engine is the same as the one in the X, but I'm intrigued and want to know what the possible end result is before trying it (and any other implications it has). +++

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No implications it just "resets" the "response" others have used it and it works a treat, cuts out the jerky /and or sluggishness. Throttle response is back to "re-learn" as well from memory.

If you have the 8 speed box it should do the trick.+++

PS) NO ill effects'

Edited by Golfer

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Hmm, interesting. It is the 8 speed box too. I'll give it a try tonight. +++

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:grin: It will NOT do any damage either way, Don;t let the wife do it though+++

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When you say press the Start button once, do you mean with the ignition off or on?

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Sorry was out, anyway, unlock the car and get in, press the start button once, this brings on the ignition and map ect proceed as per instructions.IE: number 2/

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Right just found out this procedure is a "Reset Only" and this problem "May" return however there is a software fix for the X5 and all F10 and it should be out now or soon, BMW global have the information if the UK BMW dealerships cry "there is not".

No link as yet sorry.

However this reset may well cure it for you.+++

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BMW Online - it's fab. It really is such a bloody clever thing to be able to get internet access from iDrive. But for christs sake, why such a restricted facility? There would be little stopping them giving you a full browser, but no, they don't do that. It's just petty and something that is excellent could be truly out of this world.

I believe there is a new £95 option called "internet" that does just that

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It's not new, we have it. I can bring up Google and do a search and all that gubbins, but the point is that it is restricted (highly) due to the limitations of the browser.

Furthermore you can't tether it to a 3G connection. The cars come with a built in SIM so you connect at 56.6k - and as we all know sites are rather slow when you do that. That's almost certainly why they've restricted the browser too.

What I don't understand is:

1. Why not offer a 3G internet tethering facility?

2. If not doing the above, offer people a 3G or WiFi Hotpsot contract with the car - I reckon a good few people would take it up

3. Why not team up with Google and throw in a proper browser and OS - the possibilities would be endless then

I just think that they (and others) are missing a trick.

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I guess it depends on your definition of new, it appeared on the options list a couple of weeks after I ordered my car, so late March I guess +++

On point 2, take a look at BMW ConnectedDrive: BMW Car Hotspot not sure if you can get this in the uk yet?

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I don't quite understand that because 'Internet' has been an option going way back to 2008 but it changed to a different version for post-September 2010 build cars - yet I'll be honest and say I don't know what changed in it. It could even be that the variant you're referring to is yet another 'Internet'. Jesus, they make things easy....

I've never seen that ConnectedDrive Hotspot thing before. That's quite interesting.+++

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Does the WiFi in the BMW only work by tethering another mobile device or can you actually slip in a SIM card somewhere in the dash to make the car a proper 3G hotspot. The SIM card option is available on the Audi A7, just curious to find out how this works on the BMW.

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Yes I think this is another new version, not sure what it offers over the previous versions, but a collegue who ordered a 1 series at the same time as me with this option isn't massively impressed as it still uses the in-car SIM and can only use EDGE not 3G.

I haven't added it to the Z4 as you can only use it when stationary so I would just use my iphone instead.

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Does the WiFi in the BMW only work by tethering another mobile device or can you actually slip in a SIM card somewhere in the dash to make the car a proper 3G hotspot. The SIM card option is available on the Audi A7, just curious to find out how this works on the BMW.

From Paris: BMW to offer new WiFi hotspot with wireless phone

"A data-enabled SIM card is either placed directly into the BMW Car Hotspot or fitted in a mobile phone with SIM Access Profile (SAP) which is integrated into the vehicle via the snap-in adapter."

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Did you try to reset the trans/throttle?.

I think this only resets the "learning" profiles in the 'box. It's handy if the car feel sluggish and you swap between two different styles of driver a lot.

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