The BMW X5: Riding in Style
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The BMW X5, first introduced in 1999, is the first SUV produced by BMW. It is a luxury crossover SUV described by BMW as an SAV or Sport Activity Vehicle in order to emphasize its surprising on-road capabilities regardless of its size. The SAVs of BMW were derived from the number-series models produced by the same company.
The X5 is an all-wheel drive vehicle branded as an X drive system, with models in manual and automatic transmission. It heralded the advent of crossovers that are underpinned by the unibody car platform, as against the previous body-on-frame model.
There are two generations of the BMW X5: the first generation E53 produced from 1999 to 2006 and the second generation E70 produced from 2007 to the present.
First generation E53
The E53 shared components with the BMW Land Rover model HSE, or the Range Rover. It had the Offroad Engine Management and Hill Descent systems. It also shared electronic and engine systems, navigation system, radio functions, TV and telecomm systems, and automotive computer system with the BMW E39. It can be bought in diesel, gas inline-6s and V8 engines.
The year 2003 saw the launching of X3, a smaller model also with all-wheel drive X drive system.
Second generation E70
The E70 was released in 2006 as a 2007 model. The first M model was publicized in 2009. The E70 has been significantly advanced compared to E53 in its iDrive system. In addition, it has a third row seating option and safety features such as the rear framing section, a unique feature built for protecting the third row passengers.
By 2008 onwards, the new nomenclature system of BMW was applied to its X5 vehicles. The X5 3.0d has been revised into the X5 xDrive35d, while model 4.8i has become xDrive48i.
The M model of BMW X5 is a vehicle made for high performance. It was first introduced to the public in the April 2009 NY Auto Show. It became available for sale in Sept 2009. It is the first to feature the M Power V8 Turbo, having 555 horsepower (or 414kW) and a 500 pound-foot (or 680 N-m) torque. It has an impressive handling due to its M Dynamic Performance Control feature.
The year 2009 also saw the availability of the xDrive35d diesel version. It was sold at the United States and Canada together with the BMW sedan model 335d.
The year 2005 saw cosmetic revisions for the X5, with new front bumpers and air intakes and other various minor changes. The X5 gasoline-powered models used to have a naturally aspirated engine, such as the N53 straight-6 and the N62 V8. These were replaced with turbo-charged engines such as the N55 single turbo straight-6 and the N63 twin-turbo V8s. These changes were mated with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The xDrive35d also received the same treatment in terms of external changes in form.