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2014 BMW X5 x Drive 35d (Diesel) Review By John Heilig

2014 BMW X5 x Drive 35d

By John Heilig
The Auto Channel

Reviewed Model: 2014 BMW X5 x Drive 35d

SPECS: 2014 BMW X5 x Drive 35d

Engine: 3.0-liter diesel 6
Horsepower/Torque: 255 hp @ 4,000 rpm/413 lb.-ft. @ 1,500-3,000 rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Wheelbase: 115.5 in
Length x Width x Height: 193.2 x 76.3 x 69.4 in.
Tires: P255/50R19
Cargo: 23/66 cu. ft. (rear seats up/down)
Economy: 23 mpg city/31 mpg highway/21.9 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 22.4 gal.
Curb Weight: 2,234 lbs.
Sticker: $72,475 (includes $925 destination, $14,950 options)

The Bottom Line: It’s an SUV. It’s a BMW. It’s a diesel. That says it all about the BMW X5 35d.

There are certain things that are givens when you drive a BMW. One, the driving experience will usually be exhilarating. Two, the design will be conservative and more evolutionary from previous BMW models than revolutionary. Three, there will be a certain Teutonic design trait that will permeate all facets of the vehicle, no matter what the nationality of the head of design.

The BMW X5 35d (diesel) definitely fits the bill on all counts. From the iconic BMW “double kidney” grille back to the dual exhaust pipes, there’s no doubt this is a Bimmer.

Step inside the X5 and the instrument panel dominates a typical Teutonic interior. The round bezel instruments are central to a black dash with cream-colored seats. We found the Heads Up Display (HUD) to be very helpful in maintaining a sober road speed.

Ride quality is very good, as is to be expected from a BMW. Handling is also very good, even with the higher aspect ratio than in a standard BMW sedan.

Front seats are comfortable with good side support. These are needed with BMW handling. Second row seats offer only so-so leg and knee room when the front seats are pushed back. They’re okay if you move the front seats forward or de-recline the seat backs. There’s a flat floor so three passengers can ride there. We discovered that shifting between two drivers of different heights is relatively easy. Maybe it’s because my wife and I have become so accustomed to the change in our family car.

The second row seats fold easily if you want maximum carrying capacity, or if you want better access to the third row.

The third row has very tight leg and knee room, and the seat backs are best kept flat for increased storage. With the third row seats folded flat, there’s room for a couple of golf bags if they’re inserted diagonally.

Personally, I can’t see why manufacturers feel they have to put a third row in when there’s clearly not enough room to make sense.

The rear hatch is a unique “clamshell” design with a taller top half and a short bottom half. This works well when loading normal objects. When they get heavier, you simply pull a lever and you have a completely open rear hatch. With the half lower hatch it’s easier to load above it and it’s also a convenient place to “lean” objects against if you don’t want them to slide forward. Hoswever, if you want to load golf bags, the lower hatch does get in the way.

The X5 35d is a nice driver with very good ride quality. It has very good power when needed. The engine is so quiet it’s hard to tell that it’s a diesel. It’s a far cry from the earlier diesel-engined sedans to come across the pond. The X5 also has start/stop technology, so that the engine turns off when you’re stopped at a traffic light or stop sign. It should help with the around-town fuel economy, though.

I could not find many things to complain about with the 2014 BMW X5.but, the one thing I did find annoying was that the radio/audio system doesn’t turn off when you shut the engine off and open the door. You have to exit the car and lock the car before it turns off. This isn’t a major problem, but it is so unlike any other cars that you have to think about it.

2014 The Auto Page