The BMW X5 is a mid-size luxury crossover SUV designed for those who want to combine utility and performance together with superior style. The X5 was the first SUV model made by BMW back in 1999. Since then, the model has seen a variety of improvements and subtle design changes, all while keeping its luxurious style and high quality standards for every part that goes into it. Even the base model comes with many features that puts it above standard SUVs. Feedback from both individual owners and industry professionals about the BMW X5 has consistently stayed positive over the years. The most recent model is particularly attractive for anyone in search of a luxury vehicle with innovative features that still comes at a relatively decent price.

Is the BMW X5 the crossover SUV for you? Here is a quick overview of its strong points and potential drawbacks:

Pros

Unique and Beautiful Style For a SUV

While the attractiveness of a vehicle’s style in something mostly left to individual tastes, the BMW X5 is designed in a way that few people will dislike. Its has a wide stance and bold body project a strong image without the “boxy” design of other SUVs, which can sometimes make them look like a miniature version of a school bus.

Engine Options Combining Power With Fuel Efficiency

There are several engine options to choose from with the X5, with the most popular being the standard 3.0 L six-cylinder or the turbocharged diesel version. Both have enough muscle to ensure performance on any road, yet are quite fuel efficient. The gasoline engine has a combined city/highway gas mileage of 21 MPG, while the diesel version offers even better combined city/highway fuel economy at 25 MPG.

Very Good Towing Ability

While the X5 doesn’t look like your typical rugged “outdoors” vehicle, this doesn’t mean it can’t get the job done when you need to haul something heavy. It has a towing capacity of 6,000 LBS, which is enough to handle most campers, trailers and small boats. Whether you’re going camping with your family or on a fishing trip with coworkers, it can certainly help you bring your gear with you.

The Latest in Safety Technology Is There

When it comes to safety, this vehicle comes with plenty of standard features and an interesting selection of optional ones. The BMW Assist communications system, auto-dimming mirrors, self-drying brakes and adaptive xenon headlights all come standard. You can add various driving aids like a collision warning system, pedestrian detection, a heads-up display and advanced blind spot monitor to make your ride even safer.

Cons

Comes With a Higher Price Tag

While the BMW X5 isn’t the most expensive SUV out there, it’s not cheap either. The prices for the base model begin at just over $55,000. This is close to double what you would pay for an average SUV. If the model’s luxury is truly appealing to you, this may not be a huge issue. But if the price is a tight fit for your budget, you may want to look at a few other SUV models to see if a less pricy vehicle could meet your needs.

Another thing to consider is that luxury cars come with higher maintenance costs and the BMW X5 is no exception. Given BMW’s high quality standards for all of their vehicles, your X5 is very likely to stay in top shape for a long time if you take decent care of it. But if something goes wrong and parts need replacement, you certainly won’t find them by digging through the bargain bin at a no-name garage.

Comfort Doesn’t Fully Extend to Optional Third Row

An optional third row seating package is offered by BMW, increasing your passenger capacity to seven. It may seem practical at first, but the extra seating is rather cramped and uncomfortable for anyone bigger than an average elementary school student. Two adults can fit in there, but unless you’re giving a ride to a team of fighter pilots who actually enjoy spending hours on end in even more cramped seating, the chances of then finding a longer drive pleasant in the third row are close to zero.