Product Reviews
Take Action

Save Net Neutrality

Preserve an open internet where you can access websites without barriers. Make your voice heard by standing up for net neutrality.
Take Action
Why Do We Have Campaigns?
We're fighting to ensure you and your family can get a fair deal in the marketplace, especially on the choices that matter most: health care, privacy, automobiles, food, finances and more. Join our campaigns and together, we'll hold corporations and lawmakers accountable.

Adventures in BMW X5 buying

Getting our tester was a long haul but worth the trip.

Published: January 31, 2014 12:00 PM

Find Ratings

See Dealer Pricing

Sometimes the car-buying process takes only a few days, but this time it took a little longer. And, as it turns out, getting just the right BMW X5 required traveling serious extra miles and patience. Our adventure proves that you don’t have to settle.

It all started with the initial phone call to a nearby BMW dealer. Then the art of talking with a salesperson began, followed by the back-and-forth to find the closest configuration to what we wanted.

Just when I thought that perfect X5 configuration was mine, the salesperson announced that the particular car was a customer order and is already sold. Okay, but what happened to the other one you mentioned that you had that was similarly equipped? The reply, “We cannot sell it for we need to keep one X5 for demonstrations. However, I do have a build slot available at the factory and can have your car in four to six weeks.”

With this in mind, we reviewed our wish list for the car, dropped a few options, and called the dealer back. “Do you have or can you get an X5 with these options?” I asked. Again the answer was a no. It was made clear that the best way to get the car is to order one.

Well, I thought there has to be a dealer in Connecticut that can get me a car. After calls to every BMW dealer in the state, the response was the same: You need to order the car and we don’t want to give up our demos. Got the same reply from a dealer in Boston, Massachusetts.  

But I’m not one to be easily deterred, so I started looking in other states. After a few more Internet searches, I found a vehicle that matched our wish list… in Virginia. I held my breath and dialed the dealership. The salesperson confirmed that the car I located on the Internet was the same as the one on the lot. Great! Let’s make a deal. Of course, he was a little shocked to hear I was from Connecticut. But we agreed on a price and I made arrangements to pick up the car.

That Friday, I was up early ready to get to the airport and get the deal done, but the weather had other ideas. The morning snow signaled a rough start to a long day. The normal ride to the airport should have been 45 minutes; it took an hour and a half. Of course there where multiple delays.

Upon landing, a nice man in a BMW 7 Series was waiting to take me to the dealership. Ah, the benefits of buying from a prestige brand. The heated/massaging seat was a nice reprieve from the airplane seat. In 15 minutes, I was at the dealership finalizing the paper work. The salesperson walked me through the car and added a nice touch of preloading some music on the sound system’s hard drive for my drive back to Connecticut. Seeing that I was tired from my travels, and in need of a hotel, he set the navigation system to the closest one.

After a good night’s sleep I was ready to get back to Connecticut. But again the weather threw a monkey wrench. The drive home consisted of heavy rain and fog. However, with the help of the lane-departure warning system and a coddling cockpit, I made it back to Connecticut.

Indeed, we do go to great lengths to buy cars. The key lesson here is that you don’t have to settle. Sometimes there is no other choice than to order a car, but often with perseverance and a wider search net, you can find what you want.

Read our first drive review on the BMW X5.

Shawn Sinclair

Find Ratings

SUVs Ratings

View and compare all SUVs ratings.

E-mail Newsletters

FREE e-mail Newsletters! Choose from cars, safety, health, and more!
Already signed-up?
Manage your newsletters here too.

Cars News


Cars Build & Buy Car Buying Service
Save thousands off MSRP with upfront dealer pricing information and a transparent car buying experience.

See your savings


Mobile Get Ratings on the go and compare
while you shop

Learn more