2002 BMW X5 3.0 from North America


I bought my BMW X5 3.0 brand new. I've had nothing but problems.

The most recent issue happened without any warning. The drivetrain and both front and rear transfer cases gave out. The cost to repair is $5200 USD.

I called BMW, and they admit they designed the drivetrain too short, which will cause unnecessary wear on the transfer case(s), which in turn was the cause of the transfer cases giving out too. The replacement drivetrain is a "modified" drivetrain that is longer. In my opinion, this constitutes a defective or faulty drivetrain! This means the drivetrain and/or transfer cases will give out, it's just a matter of time. BMW will not own up to the fact and stand behind their product.

I understand that I have 137k miles on my BMW, but I'm appalled that BMW knows about this and doesn't issue a recall, or at least notify its customers.

I will NEVER own another BMW!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 27th August, 2010

2002 BMW X5 from North America


The problem is, it is expensive to maintain


Problems with engine vent valve; oil all over the engine - repair cost $1600 plus.

Drivers side door handle quit being functional.

Radio MID unit quit.

Tailgate pops open at infrequent times.

Air conditioning compressor blew.

General Comments:

I drive this on long trips, usually about 3,000 miles at a time. Also sometimes tow a boat, the X has been great at this.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 4th March, 2010

2002 BMW X5 Sport 3.0 from North America


If you like handing and performance, this car is for you - the rest need not apply


In the five years and 50,000 miles I have had this car, the repair costs have been less than $300.

The valve cover gasket needed to be replaced: $30.

Intake elbow cracked: $15.

Door handle broke (common) : $90.

Window regulator attachment clips: $1.98.

The car has been dead reliable, even towing a 3500 lb trailer for 20,000 miles, and even pulling out tree stumps.

General Comments:

If you bought one new and paid $70 grand for it, you might be disappointed when the door handles get scratchy. But if you buy it used for $25 grand, it is a heck of a bargain.

I would recommend the 3.0 as it has more than enough power and is easier and cheaper to maintain. Regularly gets 21 mpg with the 5-speed, too.

If you have to have an automatic, keep on eye on the fluid levels.

If you want to own one out of warranty, be handy with tools or know a good independent mechanic. Taking these to the dealer is just not a cost-effective option.

If you enjoy older BMWs (I have four) and like to tinker, you'll find this car no better or worse than the rest of the line. Many of the "problems" reported (window regulator clips) are also prevalent in other models of the same year (e.g., E46).

BMWs have a high threshold of pain. If reliability and no maintenance (and no understanding of how cars work) is your bag, buy a Toyota or a Honda. BMWs are expensive, but that doesn't mean they are more reliable.

It handles great and hauls ass. That's why you buy a BMW. Want boring handling but higher reliability? Buy a Toyota - as simple as that.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th November, 2009

2002 BMW X5 Sport 3.0 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


This is a problem car


My tail lights warning is constantly on the dash.

There is a clunking noise when I turn the steering.

There is a vibration through the steering when braking.

Recently my X5 will only rev to 3000rpm, and is causing a big problem as the car is automatic, so it relies on the revs to change gear. I changed the fuel filter and checked the tank for dirt, but the problem is still there, can anyone help please???

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 19th November, 2009

20th Nov 2009, 07:36

Transmission fluid needs changing?

20th Nov 2009, 13:53

Second that notion, replace your transmission fluid. If I'm not mistaken being from North America, the 3.0L motor was placed in the X3. Regardless, if it's a 3.0, the transmission has been documented to fail. My suggestion before taking it to the dealer and get taken for a ride, take it to a specialist so they can determine what your real problem is.

21st Jan 2012, 15:49

Have you checked your gearbox oil?