After totalling my 1990 Mercedes 300E, I decided I needed a car that could be serviced near my home, and I really wanted an American built car. After testing a couple of PT Cruisers and a Dodge Magnum, I stumbled across this used X5. The original owner ordered the car with every available option, and the price was the same or less than the other cars I tested, so I bought it.
One of the main reasons I purchased this car is because I live in a very hilly area in the Midwest snow belt. I need a car that can go thru the snow and up the hills in any weather. Several reviews state this car is poor in snow or needs snow tires. This car is fantastic in snow and on ice, and I do not have dedicated snow tire - I have Bridgestone Duelers.
The car has fantastic acceleration and is very stable. We also have a 2000 Mercedes ML430, and this car gets better mileage and handles better. The main difference between the two is the Mercedes transmission has a low range.
One thing I do not like is the rather useless cargo cover. It is very difficult to remove and rattles on bumpy roads.
The seats are very comfortable. The heated seats have 3 levels and heat up very quickly near freezing, takes longer at -12 F (-24C).
The heated steering wheel is wonderful, I feel spoiled. The steering wheel has the cruise controls and radio volume controls. It took me a while to adjust to all the controls on the wheel. I still need to activate the phone, it only works with Verizon.
The cup holders are well placed in the center console, with 2 each for the front and back.
The rear has it's own heat controls, and the outboard seats are heated.
The rear windows have retractable shades.
I have only made two trips of about 300 miles (480 Km). I got 20.6 mpg with premium (93 octane) and 19.6 mpg with midgrade (89 octane). While the manual states the vehicle requires 91 octane or higher, the car runs fine on all grades.
The fit and finish on this car is as good as any BMW I have seen. My neighbors had a hard time believing the car was 5 years old. I highly recommend this vehicle. I have not found any flaws inside or out.
In closing I would like to mention one item my dealer warned me about. If I was to get a 'Check Engine' alarm, I should check the gas cap as that is the usual reason for the light.
This is a fantastic car!