Road Test: 2004 BMW X5

More power, new six-speed auto-trans highlight the new 2004 BMW X5

Mark Williams
Feb 9, 2004
Photographers: The Manufacturer
It used to be the number of performance SUVs could be counted on three fingers, with the X5 4.6is and Mercedes-Benz's M and G-Class AMG models making up the entire segment. Now, Porsche, Volkswagen, Infiniti, and others are joining the party.

BMW's midlife update for the X5 is a good response: more horsepower, better fuel economy, six forward-gear ratios, smarter traction management, and some interesting load-carrying options.
Photo 2/2   |   112 0402 Roadtests 002z 2004 Bmw X5 Suv Engine
Although the engine is the same size as the previous 4.4-liter V-8, the new version includes updated variable cam timing and variable-length air-intake runners for better response. The obvious benefits are 25 more horsepower and an almost 15-percent improvement in EPA fuel economy numbers (from 14/18 to 16/22). The overall feel of the 4900-pound X5 is noticeably lighter than the previous setup.
Another significant upgrade is in the relatively transparent technology of the new AWD system. Utilizing an electronically controlled wet-clutch and several yaw, speed, and steering sensors, it has more intelligence, which helps it more accurately assess where the proper amounts of torque need to be applied. The system now (almost) seamlessly adjusts braking or power shutdown during understeer or oversteer situations.
The X5 will continue to be offered with the base 3.0-liter I-6 engine, backed by a six-speed manual or five-speed Steptronic automatic trans. The new six-speed automatic is standard on V-8 models. For those looking for more horsepower, a new high-output 4.8-liter Valvetronic V-8 will be out in late summer--packing close to 400 horsepower.

2015 BMW X5 Specifications

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Fair Market Price $51,068
MSRP $53,900
Editors' Overall Rating
Mileage 19 City / 27 Highway
Engine 3.0L I6
Horse Power 300 hp @ 5,800 rpm
Torque 300 ft lb of torque @ 1,300 rpm
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BMW X5

Fair Market Price
$51,068
Editors' Overall Rating
Basic Specifications
MSRP: $53,900
Mileage: 19 / 27
Engine: 3.0L I6
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