Premium midsize SUV; Built in USA
  • 4-door wagon
  • longitudinal front-engine/4-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $7,000 – $20,800*

2000 BMW X5 4.4i

2000 BMW X5

BMW X5 interior

2002 BMW X5 3.0i

2002 BMW X5 4.6is

  • Acceleration
  • Build quality
  • Cargo room
  • Exterior finish
  • Interior materials
  • Fuel economy
  • Navigation-system controls

All told, the X5 is the sporty “driving machine” of SUVs, but not a serious off-roader. It’s short on cargo space and costlier than rivals of similar size, power, and equipment. An RX 300 or MDX could be a better economic choice, partly because the BMW retains its value so well, making secondhand prices hefty.


BMW’s all-wheel-drive midsize sport utility vehicle debuted in winter of 1999-2000 as the V8-powered X5 4.4i, with a manually shiftable five-speed automatic transmission. A lower-priced six-cylinder 3.0i edition arrived in spring 2000 with a standard five-speed manual transmission and optional four-speed automatic.

Both models have been built in South Carolina, on an exclusive unibodied platform. All X5s came with standard permanently engaged four-wheel drive, traction control, an antiskid system, all-disc antilock braking, and a tailgate with separate lift glass.

Lacking low-range gearing, the four-wheel-drive system is not intended for severe off-road use. Instead, it automatically brakes individual wheels to limit slippage in low-grip conditions. A standard hill descent control feature limits speed to 6 mph down steep slopes.

Standard equipment included a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel, 70/30 split folding rear seat, and front side-impact airbags. BMW’s head-protecting tubular airbags deploy from above front door windows in a side impact. Rear lower-body side airbags were optional.

Included on the 4.4i and optional for the 3.0i were a load-leveling suspension, 18-inch wheels and tires, leather upholstery, and wood interior trim.

An available Sport Package consisted of black exterior trim, a sport suspension and, for the 4.4i, 19-inch tires. Either model could have an optional navigation system with dashboard-mounted video screen. Rivals include the Acura MDX, Lexus RX 300, and Mercedes-Benz M-Class.

Yearly Updates

2001 X5
No change was evident on 2001 models.
2002 X5
A high-performance 4.6is model debuted for 2002, packing a 340-horsepower V8 engine. This gave BMW a strong contender against the Mercedes-Benz ML 500/ML55 AMG. In addition to aero body add-ons, the new model got 20-inch wheels and a special sportier interior.
Option packages got some content revisions this year. The Premium group now included rain-sensing wipers, automatic climate control (for the 3.0i), and a sunroof for both the 3.0i and 4.4i. The 4.4i edition could also be equipped with a new Rear Climate Package, including privacy glass and rear window shades. Options included rear torso side-impact airbags.
2003 X5
X5 sees no change for ’03 as a revised model appeared in ’04.
2004 X5
The new X5 saw revamped styling, a new 6-speed manual transmission option, and a 315 hp V8 versus last year’s 290 hp in ’04.
2005 X5
Some optional features become standard for 2005 on BMW’s American-built SUV. Newly standard for 4.4i is front and rear obstacle detection, which is optional on 3.0i. Xenon headlights, standard on V8s and optional on the 3.0i, are now steering linked.
2006 X5
No significant changes for 2006 X5.


longitudinal front-engine/4-wheel drive

When the X5 first went on sale, only a 4.4-liter V8 engine and five-speed automatic transmission were offered. A 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine, with five-speed manual shift standard and automatic optional, became available in spring 2000. A high-performance, 340-horsepower 4.6-liter V8 went into the 4.6is edition, introduced for 2002. Added in ’04 was a 6-speed manual transmission an an increase in horsepower from 290 hp to 315 hp on the 4.4-liter V8.

dohc I6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.0/181
Engine HP 225
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 214
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
5-speed automatic
6-speed manual
dohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.4/268
Engine HP 315
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 324
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic



dohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.6/281
Engine HP 340
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 350
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic


Road Test

Performance is a strong point. With its V8, the X5 4.4i can accelerate to 60 mph in 7 seconds, smoothly and quietly. A manual-shift 3.0i feels almost as strong. Even an automatic six-cylinder model hits 60 in 8.2 seconds and its transmission provides swift shifts. The manual gearbox yields smooth gear changes but requires a firm hand and careful clutch coordination.

Despite 2.5-ton heft, hard “panic” stops are short and fairly level. Though pleasantly calm overall, the V8’s exhaust noise can become wearing.

With the absorbent base suspension, ride comfort and handling rank closer to the smaller, carlike Lexus RX 300 than to the trucklike Mercedes M-Class. An optional Sport Package tightens handling, but its low-profile 19-inch performance tires induce more jiggle and thump on rough surfaces. Some passengers won’t like the Sport edition when it rolls through harsh urban pavement. Tight, fast turns produce some body lean and a 4.4i with the Sport Package has poor grip in snow.

Fuel economy is marginal. We averaged barely 14 mpg with a V8 model, not much more with an automatic six cylinder, and 17.6 mpg with a manual-shift 3.0i. All engines demand premium fuel.

The stylish, handsomely furnished cabin offers good room for four adults, with plenty of front head/leg room on firm, supportive seats. Rear head room is generous, but leg space tight if front seats are positioned fully aft. A lofty floor height impedes entry/exit and cargo hauling. Load length is limited behind the back seat. Rear headrests slightly impede visibility.

Instruments and controls are pure BMW–handy and precise, except for a confusing audio/trip computer/phone setup.


Model Tested: 2001 BMW X5 4.4i

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 7
Fuel Economy - 3
Ride Quality - 3
Steering/Handling - 6
Quietness - 4


Controls/Materials - 4
Room/Comfort Front - 8
Room/Comfort Rear - 5
Cargo Room - 7


Value - 2

Total: 49


4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
111.0 183.7 73.7 67.2
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
54.4 24.3 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.9 38.5 39.3 35.4
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: N/A


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Front Passenger Injury - N/A

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Alarm system
Description: Some hoods do not contact the alarm switch enough, causing false alarms. The company was replacing the switches on an as-needed basis. (2001)
Dashboard lights
Description: The CHECK OIL light may come on when the engine is turned off despite the dipstick reading full requiring the control module to be reprogrammed. (2000)
Fuel gauge
Description: The fuel gauge may not read full despite a full tank on models built prior to Aug. 2000, requiring replacement of the sending unit. (2000-01)
Audio system
Description: Alternator whine on certain radios after a cell phone is installed requires a filtering condenser; a weak battery causes a delay in the audio and display on vehicles that also have the navigation system; and lack of power to the antenna amp causes no AM reception and poor FM reception. (2000)
Steering problems
Description: Steering-wheel vibrations on early production models with automatic transmission and 3.0L engine can be corrected with a countermeasure vibration damper. (2001)
Transmission leak
Description: The manual transmission may leak from the drain plug requiring installation of a countermeasure plug. (2000)
Vehicle noise
Description: Early production models made a clicking noise when the windows were opened and closed while those built after May 2000 do not because a plastic coated regulator was used. It can be retrofitted into earlier models. (2000)
Description: Water leaking into the A-pillar corrodes a connector for the power locks, windows, and mirrors rendering them inoperative, requiring replacement connectors and sealing the leak. (2000)

Recall History

Description: In rough road conditions, the collar on the steering rack may loosen and separate from the rack, causing loss of steering capability.
Description: One of the steel-mesh oil lines may chafe a brake line, causing the brake line to rust through and leak.
Description: Due to disruption in electrical current, the vehicle may switch from “Park” or “Neutral” to the emergency program and the ability to maintain speed in traffic will be diminished.
Description: The brake-pedal arm could detach from the bracket, rendering brakes ineffective.
Description: Some vehicles may have faulty safetybelt buckles. Dealer will inspect and replace affected parts.
Description: Some vehicles may have faulty brake-line retaining clips, resulting in loss of brake fluid. Dealer will insect and replace affected parts.
Description: Front-seat seatbelt anchorages may not have been properly secured.
Description: A tie rod may disconnect from the steering gear box, causing noise from the steering linkage and misalignment.
Description: Loss of steering capability may result from a disconnected spindle.
Description: The bolts that fasten the pulley to the pump could loosen and cause the pulley to throw off the drive belt. Power-steering assist, water pump, and alternator functions may be lost.
Description: Brake-pedal travel may be reduced due to relative movement between the pedal and booster, adversely affecting braking performance.
Description: The cooling-fan motor may fail, overloading the circuitry of the fan-control unit and possibly overheating the engine.
Description: On some vehicles, the distance between brake line and the steering shaft joint is too short, resulting in a reduction of front brake performance. Dealer will inspect and replace affected parts.
Description: Insufficiently tightened engine-support bolts may lead to a loss of vehicle control. Dealer will tighten all affected bolts.
Description: On certain V8 models, engine stalling may occur after short period of operation; engine may be unable to restart.
Description: Engine stalling could occur due to incorrectly attached fuel line on certain vehicles, even though fuel gauge indicates that gasoline is present in tank.
Description: When certain vehicles with 3.0-liter V6 engine and manual transmission are moving slowly in first gear, with gas pedal held in constant position and clutch pedal in partially depressed position, vehicle could accelerate unexpectedly.
Description: On certain SUVs, front left brake hose on certain SUVs could become damaged by rubbing against wheel well, possibly resulting in loss of brake fluid.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.

Share this: