2005 BMW X5 3.0 diesel from UK and Ireland


Many love them and have few problems - sadly I'm not one of them


Sunroof leaks. Water drips out of overhead console - not resolved.

Water leaking into rear RHS compartment. Trip to dealer, but not resolved.

Engine wouldn't start. Had to be flat-bedded from home on 3 occasions. First time dealer tried to say it was due to a flat battery and wanted to bill me for recharging - until the wretched thing wouldn't start when I went to collect it.

'SELFLEVEL SUSP. INACT' appears - not resolved.

'Low oil level' warning (it wasn't) 10 miles after recent £550 annual service. Still to be resolved.

Engine died with 'FUEL INJECT SYSTEM' error. Flat-bed again to dealer. Still there awaiting diagnosis after three days.

Battery went flat after about 30 minutes, with the TV on.

The recovery guy said this was common.

Dealer manages to break/lose bits out of underfloor compartment (towing eye, floor strut, jack restraint so far)

Plastic trim on passenger door broken - not resolved.

Plastic trim around shift lever cracked - not resolved.

Horrible turbo lag (maybe this is all diesels?)

General Comments:

Handles well and well appointed, but awful build quality and reliability for a £40,000+ vehicle. Just as well there's a 3-year warranty with it.

Dealer service and attitude abysmal. My first and last BMW.

Either get a good extended warranty, or sell before BMW's warranty expires.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 15th May, 2007

21st May 2007, 13:17

Not all BMW's are unreliable and have poor build quality. I think the reason that X5s are like they are is partly because they aren't made in Germany.

28th Jul 2008, 17:25

Well, you could have done worse. You could have bought a Range Rover. Want something big and truly awful, get one!

From what I've read, get something Japanese.

18th Aug 2009, 15:52

The reason why they are bad is probably down to the fact that they are built in USA. Remember the original Mercedes ML? That was built there too and suffered no end of issues, however all factories should be trained to the same standard so its really no excuse and down to poor design. Remember the Z4 is also made in USA - infact I think its made in North Carolina!! My E39 523i SE is completely flawless and has now covered 183k miles! Not sure what to replace it with but was thinking X5 - maybe not now?