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View Full Version : 2008 X5 4.8i M Sport: A giant killer among SUVs


europrince
02-29-2008, 10:11 AM
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays_paper/story.html?id=341517

David Booth, Canwest News Service
Published: Friday, February 29, 2008


It's cars like this that get me in trouble. Taut suspension, steering so precise you'd swear you could do surgery with it and a rumbling V8 that burbles mischievously when it's idling and screams like a banshee when you put your foot into it. Inevitably, I'll be on Hwy. 404 alone at night, assured that I'm cruising at a quasi-legal speed only to look at the panel to see that I'm 20 klicks in violation of Fantino's folly. The measure of any great sporting car is how difficult it is to maintain our draconian speed laws.

Only this isn't a sports car, it's an SUV or, more accurately, an SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle). In BMW's parlance, this is a way to describe something that looks like an SUV, hauls like an SUV but drives like an M5. For once, the culling of a vehicle from the herd by way of a unique moniker is not strictly marketing hyperbole. While the X5 has always been sporty and somewhat practical, it has never been an off-road vehicle.

Dispensing with the need to prove itself on the Rubicon means BMW can do things such as load up the X5 with supercar bits. The standard rear tires on the M Sport edition of the 2008 4.8i, for instance, are P315/35R20s that measure more than a foot wide. Their tractive abilities on dry pavement are amazing -- not so much on knee-deep mud. So, with the caveat that an X5 should never venture farther afield than a gravel-covered cottage road or jumping the curb to get to the last parking spot before that weenie in the Chevy Lumina, let's see what the X5 has to offer.

First and foremost, there's the 4.8-litre Valvetronic V8. Its 350 horsepower might not move the 2,296-kilogram X5 (now 145 kg. heavier thanks to the second-generation's stretched wheelbase) quite as fast as the aforementioned M5, but, among SUVs, it's a giant killer. Only Porsche's topline Cayenne Turbo and Mercedes' outrageous ML63 AMG can out-muscle it in a straight line, although I would contend that the Bimmer's high-revving V8 is smoother and more pleasant than either of the other two.

I'd also argue that the X5 is more balanced. Even though the X5 is a portly beast -- no doubt raising the ire of anti-SUV environmentalists -- it feels lighter than either the Porsche or the Mercedes. Again, both of those estimable vehicles can match the BMW for outright grip -- they just don't make it as easy.

But, then, the X5 has always felt sporty. Less admirable was the first-generation's ride. Outfitted with the previous 4.4i's sportiest suspension, it could be a bone-jarring ride. And, here, in the pothole capital of the western world, somewhat bone jarring quickly becomes seriously annoying. Much of the improvement comes from the topline Active Roll Stabilization and Electronic Damping Control, which alters the roll bar stiffness without requiring overly ambitious springs and automatically adjusts the damping to suit.

What this means in everyday driving is that the X5 retains the flat cornering endemic to all of BMW's sporty automobiles, but it manages to do so with something approaching a compliant ride. Of course, the more comfortable compliance was aided by the tester's smaller 18-inch snow tires, but there's no questioning that the new X5's greatest improvement over its predecessor is in ride comfort. Those buying the new X5 for its practicality more than its performance might argue that the 2008's increased roominess is an even bigger advantage over the old model's. While I personally can't call the availability of a third row of seats a major advantage, the 190 millimetres or so BMW added to the X5's overall length is. Cargo volume is up substantially, there's ample legroom in the second row and, yes, if you insist, the X5 can double as a seven-passenger minivan if the third row's occupants are tiny.

As for comfort and amenities, the tester had them all. Leather sports seats, adjustable lumbar support, Logic 7 audio system, rear-view camera, iDrive (which is now at least tolerable), head-up display and a bunch of other electronic wizardry were all accounted for, raising the price of an almost sensible base X5's $73,500 to the I-must-be-independently-foolish$94,000 theMSport edition costs. And, while those accoutrement are perhaps necessary for the X5 to remain competitive with its Porsche and Mercedes equivalents, the reason to forsake all others for the X5 remains the same as with all BMWs -- performance and handling.

dbooth@nationalpost.com---------

THE SPECS:

Type of vehicle All-wheel-drive, mid-sized SUV

Engine 4.8L DOHC V8

Power 350 hp @ 6,300 rpm; 350 lb-ft of torque @ 3,400 rpm

Transmission Six-speed manumatic

Brakes Four-wheel disc with ABS

Tires P275/40R20 front / P315/35/R20 rear

Price: base/as tested $73,500/$94,900

Destination charge $1,995

Transport Canada fuel economy L/100 km 15.9 city, 10.2 hwy.

Standard features (Above those found on the base X5) M Aerodynamic Package, 20-inch Vspoke alloy wheels with run-flat performance tires, sport suspension, sport seats, three-spoke M multi-function leather sport steering wheel, third-row seats, Logic7 Hi-Fi sound system with multi-media changer and USB audio integration, rear-view camera, BMW on-board Navigation, head-up display, voice control, ski bag, storage compartment package, headlamp washer

Copyright © 2007 CanWest Interactive, a division of CanWest MediaWorks Publications, Inc.. All rights reserved.

speedemn
03-02-2008, 02:50 PM
The article mentions that the 3rd row was added and the interior as a result is 190mm longer... did this happen only in 2008 or earlier, with the 4.8is model?

STALKER
03-03-2008, 06:58 AM
The article mentions that the 3rd row was added and the interior as a result is 190mm longer... did this happen only in 2008 or earlier, with the 4.8is model?

The e70 is larger then the e53, and the 3rd row is only optional in the e70. The 3rd row is pretty cramped though.
The 4.8is was a e53 model, so no 3rd row, or active suspension.

speedemn
03-03-2008, 09:17 AM
^^^ Oh yeah that's right it is just called the 4.8i now and the base price came down from the 4.8is too if I am not mistaken...

STALKER
03-03-2008, 11:23 AM
^^^ Oh yeah that's right it is just called the 4.8i now and the base price came down from the 4.8is too if I am not mistaken...

The 4.8is was stupidly expensive, but they were pretty rare. I have a 2006 myself, got i used though. Great exhaust note.

The e70 4.8i is more competitively priced, but when you add some options, you can easily get up to $85Gs ++.
The V8 powered X5s are rather pricey.

AMG_POWER
03-03-2008, 01:08 PM
http://images.worldcarfans.com/articles/2008/3/2/9080302.006/9080302.006.1L.jpg

Our people inside the corridors of power at BMW have sent us one of two interesting messages regarding the strength of the next top-of-the-range X5.

Firstly, the sources say the vehicle will not be named iS as have been previously, although this is not yet confirmed even within BMW itself. However, what has been let out the bag as the proverbial cat, is how talented the X5 king will be on tar.

Brandishing the same 4.4 V8 petrol with two turbos strapped to it as what we’ve seen in the X6 xDrive 50, the X5 promises to take us to 405kW/ 543 bhp and over 700Nm of supplied torque. The engine has obviously been remapped and tweaked to supply these astounding SUV numbers. Zero to 100km/h may be a matter settled in around 5 seconds with the normal top speed limited to 250km/h. Power will go to all four wheels via xDrive, which is claimed to be the fastest-reacting 4x4 system in the world.

Merski
03-03-2008, 01:21 PM
http://images.worldcarfans.com/articles/2008/3/2/9080302.006/9080302.006.1L.jpg

Our people inside the corridors of power at BMW have sent us one of two interesting messages regarding the strength of the next top-of-the-range X5.

Firstly, the sources say the vehicle will not be named iS as have been previously, although this is not yet confirmed even within BMW itself. However, what has been let out the bag as the proverbial cat, is how talented the X5 king will be on tar.

Brandishing the same 4.4 V8 petrol with two turbos strapped to it as what we’ve seen in the X6 xDrive 50, the X5 promises to take us to 405kW/ 543 bhp and over 700Nm of supplied torque. The engine has obviously been remapped and tweaked to supply these astounding SUV numbers. Zero to 100km/h may be a matter settled in around 5 seconds with the normal top speed limited to 250km/h. Power will go to all four wheels via xDrive, which is claimed to be the fastest-reacting 4x4 system in the world.


My mom picked up the new 2008 X5 and it says IS, last week? her lease ended on the previous X5 and she decided to stick with it.. its a great SUV. Feels much more spacious inside

STALKER
03-04-2008, 07:08 PM
My mom picked up the new 2008 X5 and it says IS, last week? her lease ended on the previous X5 and she decided to stick with it.. its a great SUV. Feels much more spacious inside

I think it will say SI, not IS. I could be wrong though. I know the 3.0L ones say SI and not IS.

Merski
03-05-2008, 12:37 AM
Ya i stand corrected

tominizer
03-07-2008, 02:58 PM
Apparently there's an M-version coming out of the new X5.

I'd luv to swap our 3.0i for an '06 4.8is.............. maybe just wait til the gas prices hit this summer and BMW can't sell them off the lot............ go in and negotiate something.

STALKER
03-07-2008, 03:30 PM
Apparently there's an M-version coming out of the new X5.

I'd luv to swap our 3.0i for an '06 4.8is.............. maybe just wait til the gas prices hit this summer and BMW can't sell them off the lot............ go in and negotiate something.

I have a feeling you will see a sportier version of the X6 before the X5, plus they are gonna stick the new TB V8 in the X5, thats gonna have plenty of oomph factor.

tominizer
03-07-2008, 03:34 PM
Interesting.

BMW has a strange approach to vehicles.......... considering the cost of fuel to run them that may be on the horizon. Why not a hybrid X5 or bring the Diesel they have in Europe here to north america ??

b0jan
03-08-2008, 11:08 PM
i have been in 06' 4.4i ..... must say it's so smooth and handles like a dream