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View Full Version : I want to buy my wife an X5 4.6is or 4.8is. Any advice?



///MARINE
04-06-2009, 10:12 AM
I'm thinking of buying my wife a used X5. I would love any and all advice from people who have experienced these vehicles (X5s in general) or just want to add thier thoughts. I particularly thought about the "is" versions because they are essentially "M" versions of the X5 and as such should have a heartier, albeit pricier, drivetrain. This vehicle would replace her current E46 325i. Thank you in advance.

-Orlando

woodym3
04-06-2009, 10:31 AM
Orlando,
Other than towing, driving rutted dirt roads, or the beach on the Outer Banks, I've never understood why someone would rather drive an SUV than a real car. That being said, I did drive an X5 in the Oktoberfest night rally and was very impressed with it's uh, abilities.
Oh wait, that event was on rutted dirt roads.

Unless she's trying to blend in with all of the moms in my neighborhood, keep her in the E46.

1996 328ti
04-06-2009, 10:35 AM
How about the MX5?
Oh wait, that's a Miata.

How about the X5 M?

Edit: Nevermind, I reread the OP.

///MARINE
04-06-2009, 10:46 AM
Ironically,

She wants an X5 so she can fit me in it! I am 6'4" and she is 5'4". Our last two road road trips were over 800 miles. My E36s feel more spacious than her E46. Maybe its all the extra airbags and padding? She also thought about a 7 series but that might actually be LESS sporty than an X5 4.8is.

mcoupemindy
04-06-2009, 10:54 AM
Ironically,

She wants an X5 so she can fit me in it! I am 6'4" and she is 5'4". Our last two road road trips were over 800 miles. My E36s feel more spacious than her E46. Maybe its all the extra airbags and padding? She also thought about a 7 series but that might actually be LESS sporty than an X5 is.

No Way! I'd take a 7 over the X any time.

pseto
04-06-2009, 10:55 AM
the X5 is a great SUV and i've enjoyed it throughout the years. not sure if you've read about my transmission issue, but once you get past 70k miles, the tranny may become a problem. this also seems to be more of an issue with the V8 engine, but its also affected the 6 cylinders as well. also, become accustomed to no more than 15 mpg with a heavy foot, and 18 mpg if you're lucky

the 'is' versions are similar to M cars in terms of reliability/maintenence. the parts will be more expensive, harder to find, etc, but if you do some preventive maintenence, you should be fine.

some other items to look out for are missing pixels on the dash/cluster, valley pan leaks, expansion tank, window regulators, final stage resistors, and CV boots all seem to die prematurely. i've been a longtime member on x5world, and there's a ton of great info there.

woodym3
04-06-2009, 11:21 AM
Ironically,

She wants an X5 so she can fit me in it! I am 6'4" and she is 5'4". Our last two road road trips were over 800 miles. My E36s feel more spacious than her E46. Maybe its all the extra airbags and padding? She also thought about a 7 series but that might actually be LESS sporty than an X5 4.8is.

Road Trips? Take the M6!

///MARINE
04-06-2009, 11:46 AM
Road Trips? Take the M6!


Woody,

As our late, great, friend of the marque, Dan Erwin (R.I.P.) used to say: "When its Shark time, it is road trip time!" We do take the Shark to Sharkfest in North Carolina and we may even drive it to Octoberfest this year. The last few trips however, have involved snowy excursions to the likes of Chicago and New York, home of some pretty bad drivers (i.e. my siblings) and potholes that would make the craters on Jupiter's moons blush. Although the M6 is not a Concours Queen, it is in one piece and I will try to keep it that way by keeping her below the Mason-Dixon line.

///MARINE
04-06-2009, 12:09 PM
the X5 is a great SUV and i've enjoyed it throughout the years. not sure if you've read about my transmission issue, but once you get past 70k miles, the tranny may become a problem. this also seems to be more of an issue with the V8 engine, but its also affected the 6 cylinders as well. also, become accustomed to no more than 15 mpg with a heavy foot, and 18 mpg if you're lucky

the 'is' versions are similar to M cars in terms of reliability/maintenence. the parts will be more expensive, harder to find, etc, but if you do some preventive maintenence, you should be fine.

some other items to look out for are missing pixels on the dash/cluster, valley pan leaks, expansion tank, window regulators, final stage resistors, and CV boots all seem to die prematurely. i've been a longtime member on x5world, and there's a ton of great info there.


Thanks for the info Paul. The threat of early transmission death definetly gives me pause. I'm sorry you had to go through that. What did you decide to do about your X5?

pseto
04-06-2009, 12:41 PM
Thanks for the info Paul. The threat of early transmission death definetly gives me pause. I'm sorry you had to go through that. What did you decide to do about your X5?

i've found a few transmissions priced around $2-3k. i'm trying to find a place to put it in for a reasonable price AND that knows what they are doing.

Nick325xiT 5spd
04-06-2009, 12:52 PM
If your wife is happy with an E46 325, why on earth would you go to an X5 is? Get the 3.0 or the 4.4 - either is quite decent, without the absurd expense of 20" tires and an extra finicky drivetrain.

///MARINE
04-06-2009, 01:36 PM
If your wife is happy with an E46 325, why on earth would you go to an X5 is? Get the 3.0 or the 4.4 - either is quite decent, without the absurd expense of 20" tires and an extra finicky drivetrain.


From what I understand; the 3.0 gets the same gas mileage as the 4.4 in real world driving. I also understand that the 4.4 has all of the same maladies that 740i and 540i owners have been struggling with for over a decade. I was just trying to figure out if anyone knew if the "is" versions were built to a higher standard. The only three vehicles my wife currently has interest in are: the Range Rover, the E46 M3 convertible and the X5. She does love her E46 but she wants something bigger.

Nick325xiT 5spd
04-06-2009, 01:45 PM
From what I understand; the 3.0 gets the same gas mileage as the 4.4 in real world driving. I also understand that the 4.4 has all of the same maladies that 740i and 540i owners have been struggling with for over a decade. I was just trying to figure out if anyone knew if the "is" versions were built to a higher standard. The only three vehicles my wife currently has interest in are: the Range Rover, the E46 M3 convertible and the X5. She does love her E46 but she wants something bigger.
The "is" is built to the same standard - but with lots of extra parts.

I keeping eying the the late year 6-spd manual X5s... One of those would make for a nice beater.

pseto
04-06-2009, 01:54 PM
From what I understand; the 3.0 gets the same gas mileage as the 4.4 in real world driving. I also understand that the 4.4 has all of the same maladies that 740i and 540i owners have been struggling with for over a decade. I was just trying to figure out if anyone knew if the "is" versions were built to a higher standard. The only three vehicles my wife currently has interest in are: the Range Rover, the E46 M3 convertible and the X5. She does love her E46 but she wants something bigger.

mpg for both engines are about the same, so too me, it came down to which one felt better. IMO the 3.0 was severely underpowered for such a heavy vehicle.

as far as the 'is' version being of a higher standard...from what i remember, they had the same non-engine related problems as the 3.0 and 4.4.

the 4.6is was a pretty rare X5, so finding one that doesnt have a premium on it, would be hard IMO.

raymondalombardo
04-06-2009, 03:07 PM
Orlando-
A few thoughts here on top of the sound advice you have received:

1. Don't be afraid of the v-8s. The v-8s are reliable motors, aside from issues that it largely shares with the I-6s. For whatever reason, there's a lot of urban legend out there about these motors.

2. While the I-6 is a tad underpowered for the X5, if you are using the car for highway driving it is less of an issue. The big advantage of the I-6 is that you can find a manual transmission. They do come up for sale with some regularity, you just have to be willing to travel.

3. If you need AWD, well then you need it but a set of good winter tires might be cheaper. X series BMWs love to eat front half shafts, and this is an expensive job. Someone mentioned this, but I would price this job and then think about whether it is still worth it to you.

4. Finally, no one mentioned the water cooled alternators on the v-8s. These are fairly reliable, but very expensive if they head south. Needless to say, have any prospect checked out thoroughly.

Personally, if I were in your shoes, and were looking for a long distance tourer, I would find an e61 530XiT manual wagon. The e60, weird styling aside, is a pretty good car. And the N52 is a reliable motor, as compared to the N54. The half shaft issue is still there as always, but the rest of the car is better. We've looked at X5s several times, and each time I've been turned off by the fact that they don't seem to hold up that well. Maybe it's just me.

Hth, and good luck.

Raymond Lombardo

///MARINE
04-06-2009, 03:15 PM
Orlando-
A few thoughts here on top of the sound advice you have received:

1. Don't be afraid of the v-8s. The 4.4l is a reliable motor, and the issues that it has it largely shares with the I-6s. For whatever reason, there's a lot of urban legend out there about these motors.

2. While the I-6 is a tad underpowered for the X5, if you are using the car for highway driving it is less of an issue. The big advantage of the I-6 is that you can find a manual transmission. They do come up for sale with some regularity, you just have to be willing to travel.

3. If you need AWD, well then you need it but a set of good winter tires might be cheaper. X series BMWs love to eat front half shafts, and this is an expensive job. Someone mentioned this, but I would price this job and then think about whether it is still worth it to you.

4. Finally, no one mentioned the water cooled alternators on the v-8s. These are fairly reliable, but very expensive if they head south. Needless to say, have any prospect checked out thoroughly.

Personally, if I were in your shoes, and were looking for a long distance tourer, I would find an e61 530XiT manual wagon. The e60, weird styling aside, is a pretty good car. And the N52 is a reliable motor, as compared to the N54. The half shaft issue is still there as always, but the rest of the car is better. We've looked at X5s several times, and each time I've been turned off by the fact that they don't seem to hold up that well. Maybe it's just me.

Hth, and good luck.

Raymond Lombardo



Thanks Raymond! The insight you and other members have provided has been very helpful.

John in VA
04-06-2009, 06:25 PM
What about the X3 with the sport package and M-badges? Raine M. has one - very nice ride!

330cic0539
04-06-2009, 08:13 PM
If you want a larger car with more room why not a 5 series wagon? We have one and it handles great and certainly gets better gas mileage. Another bonus is there is more storage room than in the X5. If you have the concern of all wheel drive you can opt for that as well. My neighbor currrently has a X5 with transmission and drivetrain issues that she can not afford to fix so the it sits in the garage until she can afford to fix it. She has about 90,000 miles. Hope the input helps!

Scott

///MARINE
04-07-2009, 02:01 PM
What about the X3 with the sport package and M-badges? Raine M. has one - very nice ride!


The X3 is simply too small. The 5 series wagon is unnecessary for our lifestyle (no pets, no kids). I have the Ford Expedition for winter trips, Lowe's runs and carrying wheels and engines. In all honesty, this thread has served to illustrate to me exactly how much we probably do not need an X5 in the garage. I wish BMW made an X8 so that I could get rid of my Ford and have an all BMW collection. Alas, it is not to be...

pseto
04-07-2009, 02:04 PM
actually, in terms of cabin space, the X3 and the X5 is pretty identical depending on what MY you're comparing

John in VA
04-07-2009, 06:53 PM
Start saving for the funky new 5er-based hatchback GT!

http://www.motorauthority.com/content/thumbs/2/0/2009_bmw_5_series_gt_concept_006-0213-950x650.jpg
http://www.motorauthority.com/content/thumbs/2/0/2009_bmw_5_series_gt_concept_038-0213-950x650.jpg

///MARINE
04-08-2009, 06:58 AM
Start saving for the funky new 5er-based hatchback GT!

http://www.motorauthority.com/content/thumbs/2/0/2009_bmw_5_series_gt_concept_006-0213-950x650.jpg
http://www.motorauthority.com/content/thumbs/2/0/2009_bmw_5_series_gt_concept_038-0213-950x650.jpg


BMW AG has lost it's mind. The X6 is in no way a "Coupe" and the automobile in this illustration (550i GT) is certainly not a "Grand Tourer". Although, I admit they are both pretty cool looking and packed with technology that defies physics.

A grand tourer (GT) is a high-performance luxury automobile designed for long-distance driving. The most common format is a two-door coupe with either a two-seat or a 2+2 arrangement.

A coupe is a 2-door automobile often seating only two persons ; also: one with a tight-spaced rear seat.

A lot has changed since I learned to drive, using my brother's 1977 BMW 320i. Don't get me wrong; the X6 (and all modern BMWs) are extremely capable vehicles, and as a Roundel writer recently stated: "BMW engineers could make a Bus lap the Nurburgring in 10 minutes." That being said, I am a purist at heart (even if I did start a thread about buying an SUV).

O.k. that is the end of my short, unprovoked rant. Which of course, is aimed in no way at you John!

///MARINE
04-08-2009, 07:23 AM
actually, in terms of cabin space, the X3 and the X5 is pretty identical depending on what MY you're comparing

That may be true but I just don't see us getting an X3. We have always preferred the look of the X5.

pseto
04-08-2009, 07:37 AM
That may be true but I just don't see us getting an X3. We have always preferred the look of the X5.

me too :)

raymondalombardo
04-08-2009, 02:45 PM
BMW AG has lost it's mind. The X6 is in no way a "Coupe" and the automobile in this illustration (550i GT) is certainly not a "Grand Tourer". Although, I admit they are both pretty cool looking and packed with technology that defies physics.

A grand tourer (GT) is a high-performance luxury automobile designed for long-distance driving. The most common format is a two-door coupe with either a two-seat or a 2+2 arrangement.

A coupe is a 2-door automobile often seating only two persons ; also: one with a tight-spaced rear seat.

A lot has changed since I learned to drive, using my brother's 1977 BMW 320i. Don't get me wrong; the X6 (and all modern BMWs) are extremely capable vehicles, and as a Roundel writer recently stated: "BMW engineers could make a Bus lap the Nurburgring in 10 minutes." That being said, I am a purist at heart (even if I did start a thread about buying an SUV).

O.k. that is the end of my short, unprovoked rant. Which of course, is aimed in no way at you John!

Well said!


Also, for whatever reason, also count me in the "not an X3 fan" group. For whatever reason, it always looked awkward to me. Also to chickish for a guy. Not PC, I know, but it does.

R-

///MARINE
04-09-2009, 02:55 PM
In attempt to decide the fate of my wife's E46 I have been driving it all week (she is out of town). I planned to surprise her by picking her up in her new X5. I've only driven it (her E46) a few times previously, but after driving it all week my view has changed. I have ordered a stay of education for her little Henna Red prized possesion. It is actually a pretty nice little car. I have found a seat adjustment setting that fits my frame and I've learned to deal with it's quirks. We really don't need an X5 after all. Woody can now rejoice that the car gods have for now defeated the SAV gods! now it is time to find some OEM ZHP wheels for this thing. Thanks again for all the help gentlemen.

mduhovich
04-11-2009, 03:08 PM
In attempt to decide the fate of my wife's E46 I have been driving it all week (she is out of town). I planned to surprise her by picking her up in her new X5. I've only driven it (her E46) a few times previously, but after driving it all week my view has changed. I have ordered a stay of education for her little Henna Red prized possesion. It is actually a pretty nice little car. I have found a seat adjustment setting that fits my frame and I've learned to deal with it's quirks. We really don't need an X5 after all. Woody can now rejoice that the car gods have for now defeated the SAV gods! now it is time to find some OEM ZHP wheels for this thing. Thanks again for all the help gentlemen.

Good choice! :)
Just a little bit info from myself. I had 2 x5, one was 4.4 sport, the other one (current) is 3.0 stick. 4.4 was bought right after 740il. Someone mentioned that he would prefer 7series to x5. It is really a difficult choice. My husband had much more problems with 7series. Also, even though it's the same engine, due to the fact that x5's final gear ratio is lower, it better takes off of the line. It has better torque. That's being said 7series has better high speed acceleration. BTW, x5 4.4 had worse gas mileage, 7-10 m/g. So, after having 740 and x5 my husband got himself, x5 3.0 stick (he sacrificed the engine size to the stick). I, personally have e46 and planning to have her for x more years. I think my husband does not have a choice either since our family is growing, now we have 1 child and 2 huge dogs. He was also looking at x6, but in my opinion it looks like something korean.. infinity fx35 something?