The new six-speed auto gearbox on the X5 3.0d Sport is absolutely awful. It doesn't know when to change gear properly. Its worst feature is when you approach a roundabout or junction and almost stop, then gently pull away. The car doesn't know whether to choose second or first - and then chooses first and screams off at an alarming rate after an unacceptable pause. BMW says that 'Germany is aware of the fault, but there is currently no fix'. Also, the bluetooth phone kit is a waste of time - it constantly echos, cuts off, un-pairs itself etc. BMW's only 'fix' so far is to disconnect five of the six speakers! BMW says that all of the above 'faults' are now 'characteristics' and are acceptable. I seem to remember the advert saying that it's the 'ultimate driving machine' - not the 'acceptable' driving machine!
I have owned four different 7 Series, so I have long experience of large BMWs. In terms of comfort and safety, this is the best no question.
My only complaint is with the sat-nav system. The screen is poor and the CD player does not have enough detail for overseas use.
I am acheiving 28mpg overall with 30+ on long journeys - a good return for such a large car.
The driving position with the fully adjustable seats is the best I have ever known.
This car is superb, it is little wonder that the residual value is the best ever.
My own is specced with zenons, leather, steptronic, satnav/bluetooth tv heated seats +++. I have to pinch myself every time I drive it.
I have owned a 3.0d sport since march 2002. This car drives like a petrol car with superb acceleration. Around town we get 24mpg, motorway up to 35, less if there is traffic and holdups.
I regularly drive a long distance trip of 500 miles. This car just eats up the road. It is especially good when its raining and there's loads of spray, you feel very safe in the 3rd lane of the motorway.
I have had no major problems except blocked injectors one month before the warranty was due to expire. These were replaced by BMW under warranty. Getting a loan car whilst your car is being serviced can be a challenge if you dont book three weeks in advance. The only loan car I ve driven that really matched the X5 was a mini! Servicing seems to be approximately every 13,000 miles,brake pads at 24,00 and 48,000. Tyres required at 40,000. I was pleased with the tyres as it really does corner well so I was expecting much less from them.
Overall fantastic handling like a sports car , great driving position, highly recommended.
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