23 Best & Worst BMW X5 Years (With Facts & Stats)

The BMW X5 is a luxury midsize SUV that was first introduced for the 2000 model year.

It comes in a wide range of gutsy powertrains and offers high-spec interior finishes and impressive performance.

In this article, we examine its best and worst years…

2023 BMW X5

Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The BMW X5 Are:

The best BMW X5 model years are 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2014, 2005, 2004, 2003, and 2002. The worst model years of the X5 are 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2001, and 2000. This is based on reviews, NHTSA statistics, problems, and consumer feedback.

What Are The Best Years For The BMW X5?

2023 and 2022 BMW X5

The 2023 and 2022 BMW X5 models are the most refined editions of the nameplate and they definitely do not disappoint.

These models are essentially the same with no major differences between them.

Whether you opt for the V8 or six-cylinder engine, the X5 offers strong performance and responsive handling.

2022 saw the introduction of a Climate Comfort package that includes heated seats, steering wheel, armrests, and quad-zone automatic climate control.

Fog lights were discontinued as was wireless charging, although new paint colors were added.

2023 BMW X5:

  • Edmunds: 4.8 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 80 / 100

2022 BMW X5:

  • Edmunds: 4.3 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 80 / 100

2022 X5, Edmunds review:

“I like the responsiveness and quick acceleration of the in-line 6 Cylinder Twin Turbo. This is a fun SUV to drive with a lot of horsepower (You know you’re in a BMW). It handles well for an SUV with very little trouble in the turns. The technology is great but takes a little time to learn”

2021 BMW X5

For the 2021 X5, the plug-in hybrid xDrive45e was launched replacing the xDrive50i variant. 

It possesses a 3-liter inline-six and an electric motor providing up to 30 miles of electric-only driving range.

The X5 40i models received a 48-volt mild-hybrid system.

The 2021 X5 won Kelley Blue Books “Best Buy Award”.

  • Edmunds: 4.0 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 79 / 100

2021 X5, Edmunds review:

“The X5 45e is an outstanding compromise between the convenience, efficiency and joy of an everyday electric car and the traditional performance and range of a BMW inline 6. Pretty much all electric most days, and the integration of electric and gas is excellent – almost imperceptible when gas engine kicks in. BMW iDrive and driving assistant tech is excellent. Fit and finish outstanding…”

2020 BMW X5

The 2020 BMW X5 is another solid choice from a car line that has been dubbed “the Godfather of premium crossovers”.

For 2020 a new V8-driven M50i variant was added to the lineup, these feature wireless phone charging and a Wi-Fi hotspot as standard.

The base level model was the rear-drive sDrive40i which comes with an impressive turbocharged six-cylinder.

  • Edmunds: 4.1 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 81 / 100

2020 X5, Edmunds review:

“We’ve had ours two months and it’s a comfortable, smooth, powerful, engaging vehicle to drive. I commute about 25 miles each way and we took it on a 1500 mile round trip to pick my daughter up from school and have been very satisfied…”

2019 BMW X5

The 2019 BMW X5 was the first iteration of the fourth generation boasting lots of new tech and driving features

For 2019 the X5 lineup offered two strong engine choices and all-wheel drive as standard.

This model was praised for focusing on driving dynamics which was what made the vehicle so popular in the early years.

  • Edmunds: 3.7 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 80 / 100

2019 X5, Edmunds review:

“Love the phytonic blue color, the peppy v8 that has a muscle sound to it upon start. Interior is gorgeous. The upgraded B&W sound system has amazing sound clarity especially on the HD radio channels. I like the standard shifter versus crystal shifter. It’s smooth in your hand rather than the nice looking but sharp in your hands plastic feeling one…”

2019 BMW X5

2018 and 2017 BMW X5

The 2018 and 2017 BMW X5 models were the final iterations of the third generation introduced in 2014, both models were very reliable and received minimal complaints on the NHTSA website.

Paddle shifters were made standard for the plug-in hybrid xDrive40e model of the 2018 X5, other than this, no major changes were implemented.

The 2017 X5 received minor changes, such as an upgraded software package for the touchscreen display, the introduction of wireless smartphone charging, and an onboard Wi-Fi hotspot system.

2018 BMW X5:

  • Edmunds: 4.2 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 81 / 100

2017 BMW X5:

  • Edmunds: 4.3 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 80 / 100

2017 X5, Edmunds review:

“If you are looking for great fuel efficiency combined with quick performance, this is the SUV for you. I’ve really enjoyed this vehicle and plan to keep it for several more years. I average 29.2 miles per gallon in mostly city driving and I’m not light on the accelerator. We really enjoy the panoramic sunroof…”

2016 BMW X5

Another top pick when shopping for a SUV that behaves like a sports sedan is the 2016 X5.

For 2016 the xDrive40e plug-in hybrid model was introduced.

This variant possessed a turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired with a lithium-ion battery pack.

It offers a fuel economy of 56 mpge and 13 miles of pure electric driving.

  • Edmunds: 4.3 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 81 / 100

2016 X5, Edmunds review:

“Love the car. Rides better than anticipated. Looking forward to many years of riding enjoyment.”

2014 BMW X5

The 2014 BMW X5 was all new as it entered its third generation.

It was fully redesigned and boasted subtle improvements all around without sacrificing reliability.

The engines were revised, the interior room was expanded slightly and it came with a huge list of tech features.

  • Edmunds: 4.4 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 79 / 100

2014 X5, Edmunds review:

“We replaced a 2007 X5 4.8i with the new 2014 X5 sDrive 35i model year and it is a much improve vehicle. Key areas of improvements for us are: 1) Idrive & Connect Technology – Voice command is incredibly accurate and easy to use. 2) Interior quality & refinement. Seats, instrument cluster and leather dash are higher quality material & overall design. 3) Ride comfort & Handling…”

2014 BMW X5

2005 BMW X5

If you’re looking for a slightly older X5 that has proven reliability, look no further than the 2005 model.

For 2005 front lumbar supports and automatic climate control came as standard.

The 4.4i variant obtained standard park distance control.

This model got the thumbs up from auto critics thanks to its top safety scores and nicely appointed cabin.

  • Edmunds: 4.6 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2005 X5, Edmunds review:

“Bought my 2005 BMW X5 with approximately 70k miles…current mileage 150k. I have always thought that BMW hit it out of the park in the looks department when they designed the X5; still do. I travel a lot for work and the X5 gives me confidence that I can handle any road conditions and is a comfortable highway cruiser…”

2004 BMW X5

The 2004 X5 is another reliable classic that comes in a wide range of drivetrain choices.

For 2004 the 3.0i and 4.4i received exterior updates and a brand new all-wheel-drive system patented as the xDrive.

A six-speed manual transmission was also introduced and made standard for the 3.0i, while the 4.4i obtained a new 4.4-liter engine and a six-speed automatic transmission as standard. 

The high-performance X5 4.6is was discontinued.

  • Edmunds: 4.7 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2004 X5, Edmunds review:

“Other than no lumbar support … this is and has been an awesome machine to drive. I purchased it new in January ’04 … now have 165,000 miles and it rides the same as the day I bought it! I have driven cross country (CA to NY and return) four times and have visited almost every state…”

2004 BMW X5

2003 BMW X5

The 2003 X5 received minimal complaints and was widely praised for its impressive driving dynamics.

It was also groundbreaking at the time for providing a DVD-based navigation system.

In addition, rear head protection airbags were made standard, brakeforce display was added (additional rear lights during emergency braking), and a host of optional packages were introduced. 

  • Edmunds: 4.7 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2003 X5, Edmunds review:

“Took a chance buying a used 2003 X5 4.6 with about 75,000 miles. Have put about 40,000 miles on it so far. Not a long distance commuter car, although I have been using it as my daily driver for the last 7 years. Best as a hot rod Sunday driver or on short drives to the lake towing 2 wave runners or a boat…”

2002 BMW X5

The 2002 BMW X5 boasts strong consumer feedback scores and equally strong reviews from auto critics.

For 2002 a quick-as-lightning X5 4.6iS model was introduced which was equipped with a 4.6-liter V8.

The 4.4-liter V8 engine was tweaked to provide a total of 290 horsepower, which was an improvement over the previous model year’s 282 horsepower.

Features such as enhanced hill descent control, trailer stability control, and a self-leveling suspension were also introduced.

  • Edmunds: 4.6 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2002 X5, Edmunds review:

“My X5 BMW SUV has lasted me 14 years with minimum repairs of tear and wear. It’s not bad on gasoline and it is beyond safe. I absolutely love it and will pass it on to my son when he is ready to drive.”

2000 BMW X5

Labeled as an SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle), the 2000 X5 marks the first ever model year produced under the badge. 

It was well-received for its ability to drive similar to a standard BMW sedan whilst offering an elevated ride with luxurious features.

This model comes standard with a powerful 4.4-liter eight-cylinder engine and four-wheel independent suspension.

  • Edmunds: 4.4 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2000 X5, Edmunds review:

“In 4 years and 49000 miles this car has been in the shop for a repair just twice, both under warranty. The car is as tight and fun to drive as the day I bought it. I never keep cars after the warranty has expired, but in this case I am making an exception. I can’t find another car I like any better, and it is so good I figure maybe to save a little money and stay with it for another year or so.”

2000 BMW X5

Consumer Scores For Best BMW X5 Years

Model YearEdmunds
Consumer Rating
Kelley Blue Book
Consumer Rating
JD Power
Consumer Rating
2023 BMW X54.8 / 5.04.5 / 5.080 / 100
2022 BMW X54.3 / 5.04.5 / 5.080 / 100
2021 BMW X54.0 / 5.04.5 / 5.079 / 100
2020 BMW X54.1 / 5.04.5 / 5.081 / 100
2019 BMW X53.7 / 5.04.5 / 5.080 / 100
2018 BMW X54.2 / 5.04.5 / 5.081 / 100
2017 BMW X54.3 / 5.04.5 / 5.080 / 100
2016 BMW X54.3 / 5.04.5 / 5.081 / 100
2014 BMW X54.4 / 5.04.5 / 5.079 / 100
2005 BMW X54.6 / 5.04.5 / 5.0NA
2004 BMW X54.7 / 5.04.4 / 5.0NA
2003 BMW X54.7 / 5.04.4 / 5.0NA
2002 BMW X54.6 / 5.04.4 / 5.0NA
2000 BMW X54.4 / 5.04.4 / 5.0NA

Related: Where Is the BMW X5 Made? (Solved & Explained)

What Are The Worst Years For The BMW X5?

The X5 has a number of model years that ended up with high numbers of complaints, we’ve listed these below.

2013 BMW X5

Engine and powertrain problems were the biggest problems faced by the 2013 X5.

Owners reported smoke coming from the engine, engine knocking noises, delayed throttle response and issues with the cooling system.

This model was also affected by the infamous Takata airbag recall.

The airbags were known to explode and fire metal fragments into the cabin with potentially lethal consequences.

The 2013 X5 had a total of 15 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 183 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Engine overheats
  • Transmission malfunction
  • Transmission shifts to neutral while driving

2012 BMW X5

Engine and powertrain issues were the most widely reported problems for the 2012 X5.

The biggest complaints were due to engine overheating and engine malfunction.

Here’s one owner’s account:

“My car is giving engine overheat warning when I am driving. I understand that this issue is with the cooling system. Presently there is an open recall for this issue for the 2012 BMW X5. NHTSA campaign number: 18v248000. But my car is not covered under this recall.”

The 2012 X5 had a total of 17 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 363 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Excessive vibration
  • Takata airbag recall
  • Overheating
  • Engine failure
  • Metal in oil

2011 BMW X5

As far as statistics go, the 2011 X5 is the most problematic and complained-about model year out of all the iterations of the X5 ever produced. 

Random noises, erratic shifting, intermittent warning indicators going off, engine problems and total transmission failure were a few of the more notorious issues encountered by owners of this model year. 

Here’s one owner’s account:

“Driving to work one morning on the highway, when I suddenly heard a loud sharp noise from the engine bay that followed with the engine and battery lights turning blinking on my display with sudden loss of steering. I panicked but quickly put my vehicle into neutral with my hazard lights on and slowly hit my brakes till I came to a complete stop on the highway. I got my vehicle towed back and upon further inspection saw that the idler pulley bolt snapped completely off…”

The 2011 X5 had a total of 22 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 403 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Stalled while driving
  • Engine overheat warning
  • Dashboard cluster lost power
2011 BMW X5

2010 BMW X5

The powertrain was generally very problematic for the 2010 X5.

Issues such as improper circulation of cooling fluids, intermittent engine stalling, and transmission shifting and jerking were experienced by a large number of owners of this model year. 

Here’s what one disgruntled owner had to say:

“Ongoing issues with the engine and turbochargers in this SUV. Give no warning of an issue and lose power while driving. Replaced one of the turbocharges in 2017. The car is now smoking, smells like something is burning, using a lot of oil, and losing power, and now being told both turbocharges need to be replaced…”

The 2010 X5 had a total of 6 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 181 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Gearbox failure
  • Car jumps out of gear
  • Engine shutters and shuts off while driving
  • Battery cannot hold a charge
2010 BMW X5

2009 BMW X5

Airbags for the 2009 X5 were very problematic, ranging from failure to deploy to airbag warning indicators beeping and illuminating on the instrument cluster. 

Here is what one owner had to say:

“My seat belt light comes on it starts beeping without anyone or anything on the seat it’s very annoying and unsafe I would imagine if I was to get into a car accident would my airbag deploy or not giving false reading this happens while driving.”

Engine problems were also widely reported with owners reporting that they had to replace the fuel pump multiple times and still experienced stalling issues.

The 2009 X5 had a total of 13 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 209 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Engine leaking oil
  • Brake lights melted in socket

2008 BMW X5

The 2008 X5 was rife with a variety of problems. The most severe problem involved the failure of the water pump.

This lead to a variety of symptoms including engine overheating, coolant leaking and engine stalling.

Below is one owners filed complaint:

“Ongoing problems with failing parts on a sav with only 67,000 miles. Issues include leaking valve cover gasket, leaking brake vacuum pump, drive belts worn (a/c and main), water pump failure. Expensive repairs (some completed, some yet to be completed). Also, idrive doesn’t work. Many BMW X5 owners are experiencing the exact same issues, even with mileages as low as 40,000…”

The 2008 X5 had a total of 11 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 313 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Water leaks into interior
  • Loss of power while driving
  • Coolant pump failure

2007 and 2006 BMW X5

The 2007 and 2006 BMW X5’s had similar problems.

Most complaints were airbag related, with owners stating the airbag warning light would come on the dashboard. There was subsequently a wide-scale recall.

Airbags aside, owners also reported issues with the vehicle’s brakes which were linked to the failure of the brake vacuum pump.

Owners reported a sudden loss of braking power whilst driving.

  • The 2007 X5 had a total of 6 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 194 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.
  • The 2006 X5 had a total of 11 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 229 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Engine smoking
  • Service engine light on
  • Crankcase valve failure
  • Valley pan and gasket leak
  • Brake issues
2006 BMW X5

2001 BMW X5

The 2001 X5 was prone to overheating and the leading cause as to why this was the case for several owners was because of a defective cooling fan.

The problem unfortunately was never quite resolved for some owners, as illustrated by the testimony below:

“In 2001 I had a recall for the electric cooling fan, it was supposed to have been fixed then in 2007 electric cooling fan goes out again, then in 2011 the electric cooling fan goes out again, then in 2018 the electric cooling fan goes out again overheat and blows the head gasket while driving back from las vegas…”

The 2001 X5 had a total of 12 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 172 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Suspension failure
  • Electrical fire while parked
  • Faulty dashboard

Related: How Long Do BMW X5 Last? (12 Important Facts)

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

Model YearComplaints(CarComplaints.com)Problems(CarProblemZoo.com)
2023 BMW X5NA5
2022 BMW X5NA11
2021 BMW X5NA52
2020 BMW X5120
2019 BMW X5359
2018 BMW X5236
2017 BMW X5171
2016 BMW X5152
2015 BMW X54114
2014 BMW X5488
2013 BMW X515183
2012 BMW X517363
2011 BMW X522403
2010 BMW X56181
2009 BMW X513209
2008 BMW X511313
2007 BMW X56194
2006 BMW X511229
2005 BMW X55106
2004 BMW X5676
2003 BMW X55125
2002 BMW X56123
2001 BMW X512172
2000 BMW X5033

What Problems Do BMW X5 Have?

  • Stalled while driving
  • Water leaks into interior
  • Engine overheats
  • Dashboard cluster lost power
  • Excessive vibration
  • Engine failure
  • Metal in oil
  • Transmission malfunction
  • Transmission shifts to neutral while driving
  • Engine leaking oil
  • Brake lights melted in socket
  • Suspension failure
  • Electrical fire while parked

What Are The Best Alternatives To The BMW X5?

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Porsche Cayenne8.6$69,000 – $180,800City: 14 – 19 /Highway: 19 – 23
Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class8.6$56,150 – $80,900City: 16 – 20 /Highway: 21 – 27
BMW X58.4$61,600 – $108,900City: NA /Highway: NA
Genesis GV808.4$55,550 – $70,600City: 18 – 20 /Highway: 23 – 24
Lincoln Nautilus8.4$44,825 – $67,245City: 19 – 21 /Highway: 25 – 26
Audi Q88.3NACity: 13 – 18 /Highway: 19 – 23
Lincoln Aviator8.3$53,340 – $89,280City: 17 – 18 /Highway: 24 – 26
Audi Q78.2$57,500 – $88,500City: 15 – 19 /Highway: 21 – 23
Audi Q88.0$71,800 – $122,800City: 13 – 18 /Highway: 20 – 23
Land Rover Range Rover Velar8.0$60,300 – $79,200City: 19 – 20 /Highway: 25 – 26
Volvo XC908.0$50,900 – $72,600City: 19 – 21 /Highway: 28 – 30
Land Rover Discovery7.9$58,400 – $77,800City: NA /Highway: NA
Land Rover Range Rover Sport7.9$70,900 – $132,600City: NA /Highway: NA
Acura MDX7.8$49,550 – $73,200City: 17 – 19 /Highway: 21 – 26
Infiniti QX607.8$49,200 – $65,500City: 20 – 21 /Highway: 25 – 26
BMW X67.7$70,100 – $113,700City: 13 – 21 /Highway: 18 – 25
Lexus RX 3507.7NACity: NA /Highway: NA
Cadillac XT67.5$48,595 – $58,295City: 18 – 21 /Highway: 25 – 27
Cadillac XT57.4$44,195 – $57,095City: 18 – 22 /Highway: 23 – 29
Land Rover Defender7.4$53,500 – $118,400City: 14 – 18 /Highway: 19 – 23
Cadillac XT67.3$48,595 – $60,095City: 18 – 21 /Highway: 25 – 27
Maserati Levante7.1$79,400 – $153,100City: 13 – 16 /Highway: 20 – 22
Lexus GX6.6$56,425 – $67,080City: 15 /Highway: 19

Source: cars.usnews.com, edmunds.com

Related: BMW X5 In Snow & Winter Driving (Solved & Explained)

References

https://www.caranddriver.com/bmw/x5

https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/bmw/x5

https://www.carcomplaints.com/BMW/X5/

https://www.carproblemzoo.com/bmw/x5/

https://www.edmunds.com/bmw/x5/

https://www.kbb.com/bmw/x5/

https://www.jdpower.com/cars/2022/bmw/x5