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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.

More Power for 3.0si
For motive power, the updated X5 gets 260HP 3.0L DOHC 24v I6 and a 350HP 4.8L V8 engines, both mated to versions of BMW’s Steptronic six-speed automatic transmission. Whether you opt for the I6 or V8 determines which version of the transmission you’ll get as it is tailored to each. This transmission uses an electronic gear selector, which operates like that of the 7-Series where you push the button to put it in Park, though it is located in the center console rather than on the steering column.


Even with the increased size, the new X5 keeps its identity. The hood carries more muscular lines and the headlights take on a look in line with the current BMW range. The kidney grille stays more upright and taller than its sedan counterparts. The D-pillar is wider than the previous model and there is a nice chrome garnish around the side windows. Taillights are updated and the rear bumper smoothed out. Standard wheels are eighteen-inch units, though the Sport Package gets nineteen-inch wheels.

Many of the goodies that BMW has introduced of late that are also employed in the X5. Among them are Active Steering, a heads-up display, the latest xDrive AWD system, and Adaptive Drive (which comes with the Sport Package and uses sensors to control body roll and damping). The new Dynamic Stability Control that incorporates ABS, automatic stability control, dynamic stability control, hill descent control, dynamic and cornering brake control systems, and trailering stability control functions. The bi-xenon active headlights take it up a notch, as in the X5’s system the foglamps turn as well as the headlights. Dynamic cruise control is also offered, as well as satellite navigation and a rear-view park-assist camera. A four-zone climate control package is available, with separate settings for right and left rear-seat passengers as well as first row passengers.

As is typical with many model changeovers, the new X5 carries a slightly higher base price than the outgoing model. For this extra price, you get the aforementioned updated I6 and six forward gears instead of five, as well as more standard safety and convenience equipment.
Including destination charges, the X5 3.0si will launch with a sticker of $46,595 and the 4.8si starts at $55,195. There are several options packages being offered, though pricing for each has not been announced.
By comparison, as of this week Kelley Blue Book quotes a base price for the X5 3.0i at $43,195, also including destination. For 2006, there were three models available, but the 315HP 4.4L V8 is dropped with the 2007MY change. BMW has rearranged the lineup in such a way that the entry price for the 4.8L V8 is far lower than the 2006 4.8si’s $71,795 tag, but we suspect that a liberal pencil when checking options boxes will result in a 2007 X5 4.8si pricing out above the 2006 model.

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