Feature

New cars: 2011 BMW X5

What the critics say about the $46,675 BMW X5   

AutoWeek
The updated X5 is a genuine “go almost anywhere, do almost anything, people-hauling SUV.” While exterior changes are mostly cosmetic, “the big story is really under the hood.” BMW lets buyers choose from three new power plants, all with some form of turbocharging—the 3.0-liter, 300-hp base engine with a single twin-scroll turbocharger; the “stellar” 4.4-liter, 400-hp twin-turbo V8; and the 265-hp turbo-diesel.

Automobile
This X5 reflects the automaker’s performance-oriented DNA, coming across as “a sport-utility that doesn’t ignore the ‘sport.’” In addition to the new, turbo-boosted engines, technology upgrades include regenerative braking “to keep the battery charged,” driver-selectable suspension modes adopted from the M Sport line, and an Active Steering feature that helps in parking and handling. Still, the X5 isn’t the prettiest thing—the tall, heavy people-mover is “unlikely to make your neighbor’s head swivel.”

Popular Mechanics
The model’s look has changed only slightly for 2011, and the second-generation, feature-laden X5 remains “a fast, confidence-inspiring SUV.” Fuel economy is improved, thanks partly to a new elastic eight-speed transmission, and the eager and responsive handling gives the car “driving dynamics that belie its seven-seat practicality.”

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