2003 BMW X5 4.4i from North America


A great car - fun to drive, sturdy, safe, and beautiful!


Digital display went bad.

CV joint boots went bad.

Timing chain gasket leaked.

Struts wore out.

Water pump broke.

General Comments:

Great car on the road - handles like my BMW motorcycle! 4.4 has plenty of pep. Fast, smooth, corners beautifully, handles almost like a dream.

Gas mileage not terrible, but nothing to write home about, especially if you're a leadfoot.

The interior I think is very awkward, almost as if they tried to stretch out a 5-Series setup into an SUV - the seats don't sit right in the space, the visors are too short to cover the window when pulled to the side, and the center console and door armrest were torturous until I got used to it. Hopefully this has been improved in later models.

Overall I'm EXTREMELY satisfied with the X5 - it's a fantastic overall car. My only beef is that it's terrible off-road - it takes bumps awkwardly and very roughly (because of the sporty road suspension), the weight distribution or "stance" of the car isn't conducive to off-roading, and the suspension seems likely to wear out or break on anything beyond the occasional dirt road. Have yet to try it in snow, but my guess is that it will handle well considering its hefty weight.

My last car was a Range Rover - it was great off-road, but not so great on the highway. As I get older, I'm on the road more, so I got the X5 for more highway driving, and am very happy with it. I live out in the country, so I just take the unpaved roads slower...

The repairs are extremely expensive (parts are pricey, and my local BMW/Bugatti dealer charges $150 per hour!). I would not own this car without a bumper-to-bumper aftermarket warranty, which I thankfully have because they just paid out $4500 on the recent repairs!

The repairs so far are (in my mind) to be expected. The X5 has, so far, been very reliable. I highly recommend this car to anyone, especially if the price is right! A beautiful ride with hopefully good resale value as well.

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

Review Date: 24th May, 2010

2003 BMW X5 3.0i from North America




Driver door doesn't lock/unlock from key.

Check Engine light on twice.

Airbag faults.

Leaks oil-burned oil smell gets leaked into cabin, very unpleasant.

Turn Signal light bulb does not illuminate fully, overall bad connection.

Window fell out of door frame.

Too many lights burning out, both tail lights, fog light, license plate light turn signal light front+rear.

General Comments:

When I bought the car, I thought it was amazing, and despite the above comments, I still do. Car is very sporty, handles like a 5-series especially when "Sport" mode is engaged.

Build quality is also very good. Almost 9 years and over 150k kilometers, and leather is still like new, air-con is still ice cold, and everything works. Great 10 speaker Harmon Kardon system too. Heated seats provide great comfort especially in Canadian winters.

Xenon lights are very good, can see almost everything at night.

Most of the problems I had with the car were mainly quick easy fixes that I could do in about an hour, except for the oil leak of course, which only seemed to happen on extremely cold days. As for the airbag fault, it was due to a bad connection in the door airbag which I fixed on my own quickly and easily.

Overall great car, would definitely buy one again, especially the new 3.0d.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th March, 2009

16th Mar 2009, 16:17

A lot of bmw's seem to have problems with the electric windows. The assembly seems rather fragile.

2003 BMW X5 from North America


The ultimate driving machine


The drivers window makes a popping noise from time to time.

Front outer CV boot had a tear.

General Comments:

I read all the comments about how bad the X5 is; well I actually work on cars for a living, and I can say out of experience there isn't a car out there without a problem.

Batteries going dead after 60k miles, window regulators going out, and so on... I worked for Ford some years ago, and remember replacing window regulators by the dozen.

The x5 is an excellent vehicle, it drives like a car, smooth, and if you have the 4.4l or 4.6l, lots of power, (I pass just about everything on the road, including the MB SUV at 150mph).

This is a well engineered vehicle, and with some research and the help of an honest mechanic, one that can last for a long time.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th January, 2009

2003 BMW X5 3.0i 6 cylinder from North America


Great new, but crap after the warranty runs out


Most recent problem that everyone is having problems with, including me, is that the bulbs in the tail light stop working due to oxidation. BMW's solution is to replace the whole tail light due to the way the bulbs link to the tail light. This costs huge money to fix; a quote from them was $1100.00. Solution - buy aftermarket LED tail lights, which fixes the problem; cost $300.00 and I never have to worry about them ever again. I bought them and they work great.

General Comments:

Amazing car new, but crappy German engineering. Built in the USA, what can you say.

If your warranty from BMW is running out soon, it's time to trade it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th December, 2008

30th Aug 2010, 14:20

I agree 100%. I also had the same problem with the taillights. I also found that the original tires from BMW were just too soft, and were almost bald by 40,000km's.

The BMW mechanics were rip off artists, so I found a small BMW shop near my home, but the vehicle was still very pricey to maintain.

If you can't afford this car new, you can't afford it used.

28th Apr 2011, 20:21

For $1100 you can get an old BMW, probably better too.

5th May 2014, 13:36

Not built in Germany = no build quality.