It would be good for my health to be careful what I write about BMW X5 E70. A fabulous car in the sense of how expensive and unreliable a car can be, which is still the preferred chariot of people who have chosen other paths in life. BMW X5 E70, a more pompous delivery car. In the sense that it delivers mobsters and their weapons, wherever needed, in no time.
I’ve said it and I’ll say it again: Back in 2008, just before the crisis, people were throwing a lot of money out the window. Usually out the window of a Cayenne, Touareg, Q7, Range Rover, or BMW X5 E70. These were the official crisis cars of 2008, and the X5 definitely didn’t give up. We’re in the automotive stratosphere and right in the backyard of the automotive equivalent of the Solihul psychiatric hospital in Birmingham. The Porsche Cayenne came with a 550 horsepower 4.8 V8 Twin-Turbo, the Audi Q7 came with the fabulous 6.0 V12 TDI with 1 billion Nm of torque and the X5 came with a 555 horsepower 4.4 V8 Twin-Turbo in the form of the BMW X5M.
You don’t have to be Simon Cowell to realize that these cars were the first victims of the 2008 crisis, only that the BMW X5 E70 and Touareg 7L somehow and somewhat survived. The Touareg because it had a 2.5 engine, and the X5 because it’s BMW. Plus the old generation M57 diesel was pretty strudy and did its job until around 2009 and was a pretty popular engine on the 5 Series and 7 Series as well, meaning you could always find parts at the breakers. Because since the typical BMW X5 E70 owner makes a living from breaking anyway, usually people, businesses, and accounts, why wouldn’t the car make a living with parts from breakers? BMW X5 E70 – the official car of people who have chosen other paths in life.
BMW X5 E70 Engines
- 3.0 N52 and N54 V6 of 272 and 306 horsepower – Whether you ride the N52 before 2009 or the N55 after 2009, you’ll mainly ride the platform. VANOS issues, water pump, turbos, oil pan, oil and antifreeze leaks, thermostat, and so on.
- 4.4 N62 V8 of 407 and 555 horsepower – We’re in the fun era of BMW, and this engine was probably their most disastrous engine of that era. I’d write what its issues are, but it’s easier to write the whole engine. The only way to postpone the inevitable and repair estimates that cost as much as an average studio apartment is to change the oil at 5,000 miles, using only genuine BMW oil. I repeat, you can only delay the inevitable.
- 3.0d M57 of 235 and 286 horsepower – The old M57 is still dragging its feet and the 5000 ton BMW X5 E70 until retirement in 2009. A simple, old engine, known only for its swirl valve issues, and was the most reliable engine on this generation of X5. The 286 version however has a twin-turbo system and the small turbo tends to fail.
- 3.0d N57 Twin-Turbo or Tri-Turbo of 245, 306, and 381 horsepower – 2009 comes with the retirement of the ancient M57 and the arrival of the intensely-hated N57 with 2 or 3 turbos because why not. They’d put even more turbo in, but you’d never hear the gangsta music afterward. Issues with the turbos, particle filter, and the famous timing chain which is located at the back of the engine, like the N47’s on the 3 Series. That means changing the timing requires taking the engine out and most likely you’ll be singing “Always look on the bright side of life” when you’ll be reading the invoice.
BMW X5 E70 General Issues
- I’ll start with the big one. The BMW X5 E70 was a car that was very rarely bought for under 100,000 euros new. This means that a car that cost 100.000 euros new will have the maintainance costs of a 100.000 euro car. Sure, it may be relatively cheap to buy, but when it comes to maintenance, you better be awake.
- The automatic gearbox was marketed as “Sealed for life” and needing no oil change. Sure, typical BMW X5 E70 owners wouldn’t want any oil changes either, but it is recommended to change the oil in the gearbox every 60,000 kms.
- Then you have another big issue with the BMW X5 and that is that it chuggs down on fuel. But that’s not an X5-specific issue because any car in this class will eat fuel, tires, brakes, and suspension parts. What is specific to this generation of X5 is that the tires have really odd and specific sizes and appropriate costs, and if you have done goofed and got a flat, there is quite a high chance of not finding tires for your car at the regular tires shops. Furthermore, the tires have to be identical or the transfer case will explode. And on BMWs, the transfer box does explode.
- BMW after 2005 didn’t get good at electronics and in the case of BMW X5 E70 – idrive, reverse camera and all that is cable and button. So test all the buttons before buying.
- The rear air supension airbags are a more sensible thing than afternoon tea, so put aside a couple of thousand euros. That is 1000 euros for one side and 1000 euros for the other side.
- The CV axles are another weak spot for the X5 E70 and you will get clicky clicky in the parking lot, quite fast quite and quite expensive.
BMW X5 E70 Verdict
The second generation X5 remains the most memorable car in BMW’s tractor family. Ironically, their second most memorable car is the X6, which is built on the X5 platform. A car that will always remind us of the 2008 crisis as well as who is the law in our town. And on that note, I hope the gentlemen reading this article have appreciated the toilet humor of AlmostCars and don’t pay a visit at my house. I esteem and respect you.
What engines do you recommend? I usually recommend a petrol and a diesel, but in the case of the BMW X5 E70, the only engine worth buying is the 3.0d M57 that was put in until 2009. That’s really reliable.