With a twin-turbo diesel engine, the 2009 BMW X5 xDrive35d lacks the immediate acceleration of the V-8 gasoline version we tested previously, but BMW handling characteristics are there in full force, and the improved fuel economy is a bonus. This full-size SUV features all-wheel drive, and the diesel engine gives it the torque to handle some heavy-duty work. Where the gas version drove like a sports car, the diesel drives and sounds like a fast tractor.
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2009 BMW X5 xDrive35d BluePerformance
2009 BMW X5 xDrive35d BluePerformance
One big disappointment in the cabin was the old version of iDrive. The week before reviewing the X5 xDrive35d, we spent some time with the 335d, the diesel version of the 3-series. That car had BMW's radical reworking of iDrive, which proved an excellent interface, and made going back to the old version painful.
New generation of diesel technology: Maximum dynamism, minimum emissions.
Maximum power, supreme efficiency: The first BMW Advanced Diesel with BluePerformance is particularly well-suited to combine the driving dynamics and motoring refinement of a premium automobile with the most current and demanding standards for preserving resources and reducing emissions. Featuring exceptional power and torque, the 3.0 liter inline-six diesel is one of the most fuel-efficient and economical engines in its class.
Applying Variable Twin Turbo Technology, a small turbocharger first cuts in at low engine speeds. Thanks to its low inertia, this turbocharger develops boost (and extra power) in response to even the smallest movement to the gas pedal and without the slightest delay. As engine speed increases, the second, larger turbocharger cuts in, developing maximum torque of 425 lb-ft at just 1,750 rpm. Interaction of the two turbochargers is controlled by the particularly efficient, high-performance electronic engine control unit.
In addition to the above Variable Twin Turbo Technology, new technical highlights of BMW Advanced Diesel - presented for the first time in 2007 - include an aluminum crankcase and third-generation common-rail direct fuel injection. Featuring precision-quality precise piezo-injectors to deliver the precise dosage of fuel into the combustion chambers with the smallest volume of pre-injection, the third generation system ensures a particularly clean injection process with optimized fuel consumption, emissions figures and running smoothness.
Given all of these qualities, BMW's 3.0-liter diesel with Variable Twin Turbo has won the prestigious International Engine of the Year Award multiple times - more than any other prize or acknowledgement. The engine is featured in a large number of models in Europe and is now expanding its global story of success as the BMW Advanced Diesel with BluePerformance.
At the 2008 NAIAS, the BMW 335d featuring Advanced Diesel with BluePerformance for maximum output of 265 hp and peak torque of 425 lb-ft. provided a clear and convincing demonstration of these qualities. On the road, this means acceleration from 0-62 mph in 6.2 seconds and average fuel economy of 23/33 mpg (city/highway).
The BMW X5 xDrive35d also debuted in Detroit. Like the BMW 335d, the X5 xDrive35d offers sporting character through BMW Advanced Diesel with BluePerformance, while standing out as a high-torque Sports Activity Vehicle with excellent qualities for long-distance motoring. The BMW X5 xDrive35d accelerates from 0-62 mph in just 7.2 seconds and offers average fuel economy of at least 19/25 mpg (city/highway).
On the road
Although we hate the old iDrive interface, its cabin applications are generally good, so when we took the X5 xDrive35d out for test driving, an iPhone was tethered to the iPod connector and simultaneously paired to the Bluetooth phone system. The phone system in particular works well, making all contacts from the phone available on the car's LCD.
Creeping through city streets, the X5 xDrive35d 's engine sounded like farm machinery, and acceleration was hardly quick, showing noticeable lag before it got up and went. The steering also felt a little loose, something surprising in a BMW. But the tall front seats proved very comfortable, wrapping us in adjustable bolsters.
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