2009 BMW X5 Wins AutoPacific 2009 Ideal Vehicle Award


“BMW X5’s win of AutoPacific’s 2009 Ideal Vehicle Award shows that BMW understands what an American Luxury Crossover SUV buyer wants, and has delivered it. X5 owners rated the X5 best in class in five of fifteen categories and competitive in the remainder,” said George Peterson, president of AutoPacific, Inc. “In a product segment where buyers value image, luxury features, great ride and handling in an efficient package, X5 delivers the goods.” Top-rated X5 attributes include:
BMW_X5_IVA.jpg* Handling
* Ride
* Exterior size
* Cargo room

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BMW Updates Their First SUV: 2007 X5 Preview

BMW introduced its first SUV for the 2000 model year, and it is time for the model to be updated. The first formal public showing of the 2007 X5 is not until the Greater Los Angeles Auto show in November 2006, but BMW has released first pictures and pricing. VehicleVoice and AutoPacific correspondents are here to bring you the first look. While we haven’t yet seen the car in the tin, the first images lead us to expect it to look terrific on the road.


The second-generation X5 arrives in U.S. dealers just after the Los Angeles reveal. This new X5 is larger and features new-generation BMW six- and eight-cylinder engines, but retains proportions and the look of the first generation (click here and here for comparison images).
The extra 7.4 inches in overall length bring an optional third row to the model, as well as another4 inches in the cargo floor. The bigger size should make for a more usable vehicle, as the first-generation X5 didn’t offer much in the way of cargo space, and the third row will help it be competitive against other luxury SUVs. Whether a usable third-row or not, making the option available can help keep some buyers who may otherwise walk away, especially in today’s competitive environment.

Most third row seats are only comfortable for shorter adults and kids, but we give credit to BMW for actually saying that those seats are meant for adults no taller than five feet, six inches. We read far too many press releases claiming comfort for a wide range of adults in cramped third-row settings.

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BMW X5 Wins AutoPacific 2006 Ideal Vehicle Award for Luxury Sport Utility Vehicles:


06 BMW X-5 IVA.jpg

The ultimate driving machine, true to form, is the Ideal Luxury Sport Utility Vehicle. A 5-Series platform, injected with testosterone, stuffed with an all wheel drive system, and touted as a ‘jack of all trades’, may not need much fine-tuning. After battling it out with fifteen other entries the BMW X5 pulls ahead of its competition. The X5 provided owners with ideal passenger area and visibility.

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Crossovers… Media – Industry Forcing a Definition

We at VehicleVoice ( and the VehicleVoice Blog-o-Rama (http:/ often feel that we are fighting an uphill battle concerning the use of the word “Crossovers”. This is a term that has come to mean SUVs based on car platforms and mechanicals. That’s fine. However, it is industry jargon that has not been adopted by the public. The media, picking up on industry jargon is forcing the term where no-one needs it.
An SUV is an SUV or Its NOT
Based on our research, it’s simple. American vehicle buyers have categorized vehicles into several basic categories: cars and trucks further subdivided into luxury cars, mid-size cars, economy/compact cars, sports/sporty cars, pickup trucks, sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and vans/minivans.
The SUV category seems to be giving folks the most trouble. To a typical vehicle-buyer, an SUV is an SUV is an SUV. There are big ones and small ones, but an SUV is an SUV. Muddying the playing field, however, is the notion of a “crossover”. A Traditional SUV in this more complicated world is a truck-based SUV like Ford Explorer or Toyota Sequoia. A crossover SUV is an SUV based on a car platform, a “unit-body” platform. But people often forget that the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Liberty, Mitsubishi Montero are all based on unit-body platforms but are not car-based. Does this make them a crossover? NO!
TBlazer Blog.jpg
Chevrolet Trailblazer… a “real” Truck-Based SUV

Post-Modern SUV… Soft Roader… NOT Crossover

So, it’s pretty muddy. What crossovers need to be are at-a-glance SUVs. The basics of the SUV equation are well known so deviating is a risk. An SUV must have a basic two box bodystyle, relatively tall glass for good visibility, a relatively upright windshield that provides a stiff A-Pillar allowing easy ingress/egress, and a command seating position. At the same time interior roominess and the ability to carry cargo is very important. From our perspective, this most American of vehicle types is very easy to understand but easy for a foreign car company to get wrong.
Torrent Blog.jpg
Pontiac Torrent… Car-Based Post-Modern (Crossover) SUV
Let’s read on about how USA Today recently reacted to the issue of “crossovers”…

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2005 Volvo XC90 Top Luxury SUV Winning AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award


Volvo XC90 Wins AutoPacific 2005 Luxury Sport Utility Vehicle Satisfaction Award

AutoPacific VSA Blog.jpg

“The widely acclaimed Volvo XC90 car-based sport utility rates highest among Luxury Sport Utility Vehicles for 2005. XC90 owners rate their Luxury SUV strongly in the reputation of the Volvo brand, feeling safe while driving (no surprise there… it’s a Volvo!), front seat room, cargo capacity, interior materials, anticipated resale value, quietness and controls. These combine to deliver a very balanced product from a respected brand.”
The Infiniti QX56 was a close second to the Volvo. XC90 nosed out the QX56 due to its perceived superior safety attributes.

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