The BMW X5 E53 was a full ontheft, by all accounts. First and foremost it was a theft on the part of BMW who stole Land Rover technology because that’s the real reason they actually bought Land Rover for in 1994. The idea of an SUV from BMW had started back then, but the advent of the Mercedes ML W163 in 1997 aka the first modern SUV aka the proto-mobster car, certainly hastened the development and launch of the BMW X5 E53. Part Range Rover LR322, part BMW 5 Series E39, part wrong car, the BMW X5 E53 was an instant success for the Bavarian manufacturer.

This was the first theft. The second theft was of people’s eyes and wallets, people who bought it on a lease, card, or cash by people who prefer not to have a card so they can’t be traced by the Interpol. Others simply have stole…I mean “permanently borrowed” them from UK and the rest of Europe and brought them here. The BMW X5 E53 was not the official car of the 2008 crisis because the successor E70 took care of that, the BMW X5 E53 instead was one of the official aspirational chav cars. And it only came with big engines (smallest one is a 3 litre) so that meant that most owners tried to dodge the taxes and insurance through various methods. On a 5-series, be it E39 or E60, you could still get away with a 2.0 diesel, and you could still do videochat in order to afford a 2.5 diesel, but at 3 liters it’s too much of a stretch for many aspirational buyers. But atleast when you managed to buy one you could flash the peasants on the highway who refuse to move out of the way.


BMW X5 E53 rear side almostcarreviews

BMW X5 E53 Engines


  • 3.0 V6 M54 N/A of 231 horsepower  – Apart from an appetite for water pumps, coolant, oil and VANOS you shouldn’t have any issues with this engine. It was just the cheapest engine and people kind of ignored it so good luck finding one.
  • 4.4 V8 N62 of 286 and 320 horsepower – By far the worst V8 engines ever built by BMW, the M62 and N62 are here to complete the recipe of a car that is too big, too expensive to buy, too expensive to maintain, and too expensive to do anything really.
  • 4.6 V8 N62 of 340 horsepower  – Same junk, only bigger.
  • 4.8 V8 N62 of 360 horsepower  – Same garbage, even bigger. Good points for insanity. I think this engine was more environmentally friendly if it ran on sliced dolphin. But atleast the madness of a 360 horsepower proved to us that BMW was onto great things to come.


3.0d M57 of 184 and 231 horsepower  – It’s good that at least here we have the eternal M57, an engine that was pretty good in its day. Aside from the swirl flaps that have plagued BMW diesels, you shouldn’t get your blood pressure high because of this engine. If it’s been maintained. And that’s a really big “IF”. 


BMW X5 E53 interior almostcarreviews

BMW X5 E53 General Issues

  • I’ll say it again. The BMW X5 E53 was a victim of its own success. Most people who bought their X5 only had the money to buy it, but not to maintain it. So you’ll have to look for a decent model more than Joe Rogan looks for the truth. Just like Joe Rogan, you will have to look hard. Rock hard. Like Dwayne Johnson. Or me, when I see Sofia Boutella. Or Nicole Moudaber.
  • The automatic transmission was advertised with confetti and Robby Bubble as being “Sealed for life”, in other words, no oil changes and no maintainance needed at all because that transmission will last as long as the car. This is partly true, because the moment that automatic transmission fails, you can throw away the car too. However, even BMW has admitted that it’s recommended to change the oil every 60,000 km and flush out the gunk.
  • The airflow meter is another general issue for BMW engines these days. And it wouldn’t be an issue if it was just the air flow meter that needed to be changed, as much as the fact that you have to reprogram the ECU afterward. Or just live with it and be a man, you don’t need the air flow meter.
  • Pixelating infotainment demonstrates once again that the relationship between Germans and automotive electrics works as well as the concubinage between the bottom and poop. But at least it doesn’t just happen with BMW, isn’t that right Audi and your MMI system?
  • It’s a heavier car than the decision to give up smoking so get ready to change tires, brakes, and suspension parts often. And get used to fuel consumption that’s easily over 15 liters per hundred city kilometers even with the most economical diesel. Whether you’re buying new or used parts, prepare your account.
  • Looks like a truck, accelerates like a truck, and turns like a truck. Not an american truck, but more like an pompous garbage truck. Fortunately, BMW engineers have rectified this issue with the next generation, but before you buy an E53 I sincerely recommend you take a test drive at a higher speed.


BMW X5 E53 front almostcarreviews

BMW X5 E53 Verdict

This car started the douchebag trend. Stolen or bought mainly by “hustlers” and esteemed members of society, the BMW X5 E53 was and remains the official car of the people I don’t want to have anything to do with, ever. We have the first X5, the first ML, and the Range Rover Sport to thank for creating a new genre of music…I mean cars. If you’ve ever wondered what the first luxury tractor was, built for those who chose other paths in life, here’s the genesis.


What engines do you recommend? For petrol, I recommend the 360 horsepower 4.8 V8 because if you’re mad and brave enough to buy a petrol X5 E53, at least go all the way. Or you can buy the 231 horsepower 3.0d just like everyone else. And manual transmission.