Quick, agile and well-appointed, this iteration of the BMW X5 was available with either gasoline or diesel powerplants, so we tested one of each. Base models were updated with a turbocharged six-cylinder engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. This brought improved acceleration and fuel economy. The X5 is sporty to drive, with capable braking and handling. But a stiff and choppy ride counts against it.
Alerts
There are 14 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Consumer Reports’ Annual Owner Satisfaction Survey can improve the chances of finding a compatible car match. How? Our survey data reveals whether, all things considered, owners would buy the same car again. The answer to that question is what determines our owner-satisfaction rating, which is a powerful piece of intel because it predicts how well a particular model will satisfy other owners.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Owner Satisfaction with:

Driving Experience

Includes acceleration and handling

What Owners Say

"GOOD: Handling is excellent; acceleration on demand is quick and strong (V6, 300HP, AWD)."

Anonymous, LA (2012 BMW X5)

"acceleration is great, handling is like a car not an SUV"

Anonymous, MI (2012 BMW X5)

"It is a 3 liter desiel and that has strong acceleration and handles very well for an SUV. I believe it's the best engine for this vehicle"

Darrel J., AZ (2012 BMW X5)

"No other vehicles can match its handling in severe snow, ice or rain ."

Anonymous, OR (2012 BMW X5)

"It is the best handling and accelerating SUV I have ever driven."

John S., CA (2012 BMW X5)

"My X5 is diesel powered with a sports package. It handles very well and has good acceleration for such a large heavy vehicle. The fuel mileage is good, especially around town where is averages about 21 mpg"

Darrel J., AZ (2012 BMW X5)

"Extremely fast and responsive. Handling is superb."

Anonymous, AZ (2012 BMW X5)

"Car instantly responds when called upon to accelerate to pass or merge."

Anonymous, CT (2012 BMW X5)

"Very solid"

Kevin R., CA (2012 BMW X5)

"It accelerates quickly but it could be smoother. I find it slightly jerky. I also find the brakes a bit too touchy."

Anonymous, BC (2012 BMW X5)

"Accelerates well for a large vehicle. We have the diesel engine to there is plenty of torque."

Anonymous, CA (2012 BMW X5)

"Excellent acceleration. It has a turbo V6 that feels like a V8. The ride and handling feels like a smaller sports car and not like an SUV."

Anonymous, CA (2012 BMW X5)

"Great handling and ride once we replaced the run flats with non-run flats. Very comfortable for long trips, though it needs more insulation as it is not particularly quiet and rain on the roof is very loud compared to any other car I've owned."

Anonymous, RI (2012 BMW X5)

"Good handling and acceleration ride a little harsh otherwise very good."

John G., CA (2012 BMW X5)

"Quick for a large SUV. Handles curves very well and takes turns like a small 'lower' sports car."

Randolph S., NJ (2012 BMW X5)

"midlevel acceleration and mountain road handling"

Anonymous, CA (2012 BMW X5)

"excellent acceleration while car remains under control. very good cornering on curvy roads. accelerates up steep hills w little hesitation."

Anonymous, VA (2012 BMW X5)

"powerful engine with great sound, very comfortable ride. very reliable engine."

Erick M., CA (2012 BMW X5)

"Driving/handling performance"

Anonymous, GA (2012 BMW X5)

"It's a diesel. Enough said."

Andrew S., CA (2012 BMW X5)

"Drives great and less tiring on a trip."

Barbara W., NJ (2012 BMW X5)

"So much horsepower... very responsive"

Anonymous, CA (2012 BMW X5)

"Great diesel SUV"

DAVID S., CA (2012 BMW X5)

"Of all the vehicles I have driven this continues to amaze me in driving performance and handeling"

Anonymous, BC (2012 BMW X5)

"Navigation system out of date and expensive to update"

ANTHONY E., CA (2012 BMW X5)

"Blows the doors off of my old Lexus RX330. Much better handling too."

WILBUR T., MD (2012 BMW X5)

"Diesel has effortless acceleration."

WILLIAM T., AL (2012 BMW X5)

"handles like a sports car. Diesel engine has great fuel economy."

MARK C., MA (2012 BMW X5)

"The X5 has great acceleration and handling. I can maneuver easily in and out of traffic. Getting on the freeway is easy. It feels like it hugs for road for its size."

Anonymous, CA (2012 BMW X5)

"Acceleration is simply outstanding, better than virtually any vehicle, including sports cars. Handling is stunning considering the mass of this thing."

Anonymous, VA (2012 BMW X5)

"Incredible power, acceleration, performance."

J D., SC (2012 BMW X5)

"stiff suspension, but this was expected and is appreciated for my sprite driving style. Turbo-lag is a bit annoying."

ROBERT S., PA (2012 BMW X5)

"Very good handling, very strong accelration. I purchased this car because of it's sporty feel and handling. Very good braking as well."

Anonymous, MI (2012 BMW X5)

Comfort

Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"Very comfortable seats for long drives. Good side support and many areas that can be adjusted for just the right fit."

Anonymous, MN (2012 BMW X5)

"The X5's seats are the most comfortable and adjustable of any car I've ever owned. I am tall and really like the adjustable leg rest."

Nathan J., TN (2012 BMW X5)

"They are actually the best ever and friends who have other high end luxury SUVs agree after they have the chance to ride with me."

Anonymous, OR (2012 BMW X5)

"Irratic noise of the A/C even though it doesn't cool well and the automatic mode doesn't work well at all. Very frustrating to manually adjust all the time. Plus once in a while, a loud fan noise comes out and we must turn down to get rid of it."

Anonymous, TX (2012 BMW X5)

"GOOD: This vehicle has FULLY adjustable seats and settings allowing you to literally wrap the seats around you (like a glove) giving ultimate comfort. BAD: Exterior noise and smells could be reduced more. My previous Lexus did a much better job of this."

Anonymous, LA (2012 BMW X5)

"The seats are extremely comfortable. You can drive long distances or be stuck in LA traffic and still be comfortable without back pain or leg pain..."

Anonymous, CA (2012 BMW X5)

"The seats are best I ever experienced. It is like sitting in your best chair/recliner in your home."

Anonymous, FL (2012 BMW X5)

"Seats are excellent... handling outstanding... house level inside good use some improving... live heating by purrr, but don't want to hear it over my music"

Tarita K., PA (2012 BMW X5)

"Very solid car"

Kevin R., CA (2012 BMW X5)

"Seats are great for long rides. Responds like a sports car for handling curves and accident avoidance."

Randolph S., NJ (2012 BMW X5)

"Great ride quality and comfortable seats for longer trips."

Anonymous, CA (2012 BMW X5)

"the seats are large and can be adjusted to make them comfortable for almost anyone"

Darrel J., AZ (2012 BMW X5)

"Very comfortable and high quality."

Anonymous, AZ (2012 BMW X5)

"AT MY AGE (78) I would like a little softer ride. I love the diesel power"

Anonymous, ON (2012 BMW X5)

"Lots of positions/ways to adjust the seats, well insulated for sound,"

Anonymous, CA (2012 BMW X5)

"Climate control is not good. Must manually adjust temperature for driver and passenger separately. Adjustment is between warm and cool. If I forget to adjust this the automatic temperature control does not have the necessary authority."

ROGER M., MI (2012 BMW X5)

"+++highly adjustable and supportive seats, ++comfort access soft closing doors, stiff suspension, but this was expected and appreciated for spirited handling."

ROBERT S., PA (2012 BMW X5)

"Climate control doesn't work well for Texas heat and the 4-zone acts like one in the front and must be manually overridden for comfort since the fan doesn't adjust as expected when the set temperature is changed."

Anonymous, TX (2012 BMW X5)

"Seats are very comfortable."

RICHARD C., FL (2012 BMW X5)

"Seats not adjustable enough"

THOMAS C., WA (2012 BMW X5)

"The seats wrap around you when the engine starts which I find very comfortable. The x5 handles extremely well and even better in the winter snow and ice conditions."

Anonymous, OR (2012 BMW X5)

"Great seats, quiet secure ride. Plenty of power."

WILBUR T., MD (2012 BMW X5)

"Climate control system very complicated. Other cars i just set the temp and the car does the rest of the work."

WILLIAM W., MD (2012 BMW X5)

"Air conditioning could be a lot colder, not sufficient for the car"

Anonymous, BC (2012 BMW X5)

Value

Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?

What Owners Say

"Depreciated rather quickly"

Robert S., MI (2012 BMW X5)

"5 factory recalls; after BMW Warranty ran out value of car, in dollars, plummeted; out of pocket repairs over 18 months was $4000. If I had gone for BMW dealer repairs would have been $2500 more! Never buy a BMW."

Edward L., SC (2012 BMW X5)

"Great performance. Just fill it with gas and go."

BASIL R., PA (2012 BMW X5)

"Maintenance is not expensive or as often as less luxurious brands. Fuel economy is great for the size and weight of the vehicle."

Anonymous, BC (2012 BMW X5)

"Bad - repeated drivetrain issues the dealer said they fixed but would reappear in a couple of weeks"

THOMAS C., WA (2012 BMW X5)

"Car purchased virtually fully loaded. Wanted a diesel and at the time of purchase BMW was offering various incentives. We saved roughly $6k off the sticker price."

LAWRENCE R., OR (2012 BMW X5)

Styling

How it looks inside and out

What Owners Say

"Ride and styling is my favorite. Reliability is bad. After 59k miles, it has leakage in engine component. Water pump has to be replaced. Transmission is getting jerky. The worst is maintenance/repair cost is very high."

Anonymous, MD (2012 BMW X5)

"Timeless styling. While the style has been updated I still think the 2012 styling is the best."

LAWRENCE R., OR (2012 BMW X5)

Would you buy this car again?

2012 vehicles
Acura MDX
BMW X3
BMW X5
Buick Enclave
Cadillac SRX
Lexus RX
Percentage of owners who would definitely purchase that same vehicle again. Owner-satisfaction Ratings are determined by the percentage of those who answered "definitely yes" to the question asked by the Consumer Reports Annual Auto Survey "Considering all factors (price, performance, reliability, comfort, enjoyment, etc.), would you get this car if you had to do it all over again?". If we don’t have sufficient data, a similar model might be used to form the owner-satisfaction score.
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