2009 BMW X5 Review


Looking for a Used X5 in your area?

CarGurus has 10,538 nationwide X5 listings starting at $2,799.


Not sure what you want?

Find the models that are right for you using the CarGurus Car Finder.



Avg. Price: $18,913
Avg. Price: $20,618
Avg. Price: $20,349

BMW X5 Experts

#1 Tom Demyan
Tom Demyan
Reputation 910
#2 Robert Charlson
Robert Charlson
Reputation 490
#3 Luke Merry
Luke Merry
Reputation 310
View All

Have you driven a 2009 BMW X5?

Rank this car!

Average User Score

4.55 stars

Based on 13 reviews

Top Notch Vehicle by igorbmwx5
 — In my lifetime, I've owned many different cars by many different manufacturers: Ford, Chevy, M-Benz, Honda, Jaguar, Cadillac. Two years ago my wife purchased her first BMW 328i. After I drove it one... Read More
Sport Mid Sized Suv by Josh
 — this BMW is a very luxurious piece of machinery. the acceleration is really quick, the engine is very nice, when you are right behind the vehicle and it drives off it has a pretty loud exhaust on ... Read More
X-drive by Ashley
 — the Bmw x5 xDrive 35d, is the latest Bmw x5 on the market. it has many new features compared to te previous Bmw x5... it is also equiped with the latest iDrive system. it had a twin turbo which take... Read More

2009 BMW X5 Review

The Good

Inclusion in the IIHS’s Top Safety Performers list couples with a car-like ride and a phenomenal engine to make 2009 a great year for BMW's X5.

The Bad

A logical paradox of a third row, an unnecessarily complex navigation system, and a too-harsh sport suspension are all options best avoided for the X5 in 2009.

The CarGurus View

The X5 is a competent, if expensive, entry into the midsize SUV market. Ditch its optional navigation system, third row, and sport suspension, as well as the sunroof if you’re taller than 6 feet, and you’ll have an incredibly versatile vehicle. Go for the V8 as well - its extra power is well worth the negligible loss of fuel efficiency.

At a Glance

Don’t be confused - the X5 has simply received new trim level designations for 2009, now referred to as the xDrive30i and xDrive48i, respectively. Seating up to seven and propelled by two engine options through BMW’s xDrive AWD system, the X5 is BMW’s larger of two midsize SUV entries.

First sold in 1999, the X5 was one of the first true “crossover” vehicles, with an SUV design atop a car platform, rather than a truck frame. With a 6,000-pound maximum towing capacity and a ride that feels more like a luxury sedan than a luxury SUV, the X5 does a competent job of serving two masters.


2009 BMW X5

The two trim levels of the X5, the xDrive30i and the xDrive48i, each sport a unique engine. For the xDrive30i, formerly the 3.0si, a 260-hp, 3.0-liter inline six moves things along with a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds. The xDrive48i receives a 4.8-liter V8 with 350 hp and a 6,000-pound maximum towing capacity. While both vehicles come with a six-speed automatic transmission, they don’t seem to suffer from the same chunkiness and reluctance that has plagued the X3’s automatic of late. Power is sufficient in most situations, excepting hauling and passing with the inline six, and some have complained of uneven throttle response with the V8.

EPA estimates are reported at 15/21 mpg for the 3.0-liter and 14/19 for the 4.8, a small sacrifice for the bigger engine's extra power and utility. Both engines require premium-grade fuel, according to BMW.

Ride & Handling

2009 BMW X5

In the X5's case, more is not necessarily better. With the standard suspension, the X5 offers a comfortable ride and is quite capable of handling some slightly aggressive driving with poise. With the sport suspension, that same poise is replaced by an aggression that takes most of the enjoyment of driving away. Suddenly, bumps and ripples you didn’t know were there reverberate through the larger 19-inch wheels and stiffer suspension. It’s not unmanageable, but it seems unnecessary, especially when the standard suspension is so capable, feeling much more like a car than an SUV.

Steering which is pleasantly neutral and responsive at speed becomes shockingly laborious at parking-lot velocities. The Active Steering helps, but still has received criticism for being inconsistent in application. The brakes, however, receive no such complaints, with good grip and a firm pedal feel.

Cabin & Comfort

2009 BMW X5

The X5’s interior is an odd mix of right and wrong. There’s plenty of room up front for both heads and legs, but some have found it difficult to enter and exit due to too-small door openings. The optional sunroof intrudes on some drivers’ headspace, and the DVD entertainment system was placed in the most inconvenient of areas, right in the way of your right elbow. The iDrive system thankfully avoids absorbing audio or climate controls, but still complicates everything it does govern, as does the navigation system.  

A generally high-quality build has been marred by test vehicles with numerous squeaks and rattles. A curious choice was made with regard to the second seat, which can be adjusted forward and back only in models with the optional third row.  This means that X5s without the third row will find legroom in the second row elusive. However, the third row has been found unsuitable for any passengers other than children, and only then with the second row pushed fully forward. Frustrating, to say the least. Also, the third row takes up most of the rear cargo room, unless folded flat, which brings overall cargo volume to 75.2 cubic feet.

A Premium Package adds leather, a front-seat lumbar adjustment, BMW Assist, Bluetooth, a universal garage door opener, a powered liftgate, roof rails, and more, while the Sport Package adds sport seats and steering wheel, a black headliner and shadowline trim, Active Roll Stabilization Suspension, and run-flat tires on unique 19-inch alloy wheels.


2009 BMW X5

All X5s come standard with dual front and front-side airbags as well as first- and second-row curtain side airbags with rollover deployment. Additional safety features include four-wheel antilock disc brakes with brake assist and antiskid, hill descent control, a tire-pressure monitor, and daytime running lights.

Additionally, the 2009 X5 made IIHS’s list of 2009 Midsize SUV Top Safety Performers.

What Owners Think

Complaints about the 2009 X5 include awkward door and liftgate openings, a too-harsh sport suspension, complicated navigation system, and, of course, the ever-present iDrive complaints. Still, owners are quite impressed with both engines, the standard suspension and overall comfort, although there seems to be quite a bit of disagreement over which seats are most comfortable, the standard or the sport.


A CarGurus contributor since 2008, Michael started his career writing about cars with the SCCA - winning awards during his time as editor of Top End magazine. Since then, his journalistic travels have taken him from NY to Boston to CA, completing a cross-country tour on a restored vintage Suzuki. While his preference is for fine German automobiles - and the extra leg room they so often afford - his first automobile memories center around impromptu Mustang vs. Corvette races down the local highway, in the backseat of his father's latest acquisition.

What's your take on the 2009 BMW X5?

People researching a 2009 BMW X5 contacted a dealer about

2009 BMW X5, Front Left Quarter View, exterior, manufacturer
40% of the time
BMW 5 Series
6% of the time
Infiniti G35
5% of the time
BMW 3 Series
5% of the time
Looking for a Used X5 in your area?
CarGurus has 10,538 nationwide X5 listings starting at $2,799.

BMW X5 Questions


Engine Shut Off After Low Oil Pressure Light Came On

i have 09 X5 3.0 and message on the dash is said low oil pressure and I put oil in it then it said oil level ok, but after driving few miles message came back and car turned off. what just happend?

18 views with 1 answer (last answer 4 weeks ago)

Looking At A Bmw X5 2009 Asking Price Of 38125 Tech Pkg, Prem Pkg,45000 Mi...

77 views with 1 answer (last answer 3 years ago)

Difference Between The 48i And The 30i In The X 5 Bmw Series

1,948 views with 3 answers (last answer 3 years ago)

Bmw X5 , Engine Does Not Start Each Time I Have The Car Washed

Each time I have the car washed , when I try to switch it on , battery is dead ... Changed battery , have it washed without the keys in the ignition , do not know what to do or how to solve it , any...

292 views with 1 answer (last answer 2 years ago)
Gary Combs

Syncronizing Computer When Changing Battery

outside of changing out the battery is there any resets or synchronizing of electronic stuff afterwards?

2,669 views with 4 answers (last answer about a year ago)