Last Drive: 2012 BMW X5 xDrive35d Homage and Review

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I reset the on-board computer when I set out with the X5, and was shocked by the final figures it reported. P1030362Despite über-aggressive city driving, and inadvertently finding myself crossing in front of a country club’s tee box (thanks, by the way, to the golfers at the Knollwood Country Club who let me play through, although I would suggest posting a sign before a public road becomes a cart path) , I averaged 20.2 mpg (11.6 l/100 km). That’s more than the EPA city estimate of 19 mpg (12.4 l/100 km), and a gigantic improvement over the 17 (13.8) I typically get in my 2011 3 Series back in Florida.


The X5 was good to us. Once the teething problem with the windshield-wipers on a drive to Maine was rectified, the X5 never saw the repair shop but for scheduled maintenance, which is included in the price of the car.  At roughly 9,500 miles (15,000 kilometers), we took the car in for service to replenish the AdBlue DEF P1030353(Diesel Exhaust Fluid), at which time, the workshop performed two mandatory services, one to replace outdated alternator bolts and the other to reprogram and code the CAS (Car Access System) unit.  More recently, as the X5 approached the 17,000-mile (27,359-kilometer) mark, the X5 visited the workshop once again for its first year anniversary oil service.

We were more than satisfied with the solidity and how the South Carolina-built X5 held up, and more than one of us has been tempted to justify keeping it.


I am generally fondest of BMWs at the end of the model’s lifecycle and the outgoing X5 is no exception. In particular, 2012 and 2013 X5 diesels are written, in pen, on my short list of cars that I wouldn’t just recommend to my friends and family, but actually spend real money on. It can do it all – carry a load of stuff, see over traffic, tow a trailer, and then impress a date or a client later the same evening, so rather than goodbye, I will remain optimistic, and, as the Austrians say, tell our X5 auf Wiederschauen.


2012 BMW X5 xDrive35d
Base price/price-as-tested $56,700/$69,495
Drivetrain Front engine, all-wheel drive
Engine 3.0 liter Inline 6
Horsepower/Torque (pound-feet) 265/455
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Curb weight (lbs) 5,192
Wheelbase (inches) 115.5
Length x width x height (inches) 191.1 x 76.1 x 69.9
0-60 mph (seconds) 6.9
Fuel economy (mpg) (city/highway) 19/26


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