BMW X5 Estate 2000-2003

BMW X5 Estate 2000-2003

Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016


  • Gives an excellent drive on the road
  • Received five-stars for occupant safety
  • Spacious interior


  • Expensive to run
  • Not very accomplished off road


The BMW X5 is styled far better than its smaller brother the X3 and it comes with more space inside too with excellent build quality and specification. The drive is one of the best things about the X5 making the car feel a lot smaller than it is due to its sharp and precise handling. It feels light and nimble through town, but firm and strong whilst travelling down the motorway. The diesels are the better all round engines, but if its speed you're after rather than fuel efficiency then the 4.8i V8 is the engine to have. It travels from 0-60mph in just 5.9 seconds and is brilliant fun to drive, especially for a big vehicle.

Exterior and Interior

The X5 is a beautifully designed vehicle, much more so than the smaller X3 and the interior is a much nicer place to be too. There is plenty of space inside for five people to sit comfortably with plenty of head and legroom available even for passengers in the back. The seats are extremely comfortable too, with plenty of support making longer journeys very comfortable. The boot isn't the biggest in the range, but it should prove to be more than enough to hold the whole family's luggage. The boot also comes with a split tailgate with the bottom half dropping down making it easy to load heavier items. The floor of the boot also slides out to the end of the dropped down tailgate making the loading of heavier items a lot easier. The X5 receives a hand-me-down dash from the 5-Series with a few alterations to the layout so anyone who owned or drove an older 5-series should find it easy to get along with. It is well laid out and easy to use, however, some of the buttons are a bit small. The trim levels to choose are either the 'Sport' or 'SE' as both offer great levels of kit, but the 'Sport' firms up the suspension making the ride slightly uncomfortable so it might be wiser to go for the 'SE' which is also slightly cheaper.

Performance and Economy

There are no feeble engines in the X5 lineup with all of them being extremely powerful. The entry level 3.0i petrol is the slowest petrol at 8.0 seconds from 0-60mph, but is also the most frugal managing 22mpg. The other three petrol engines are all V8's with none of them being slower than seven seconds from a standing start to 60mph. The smallest of the three is the 4.4i which travels from 0-60mph in 6.8 seconds and manages 22mpg (at a push). This is followed by the 4.6i which will manage 19mpg and will take 6.3 seconds from 0-60mph. The 4.8i does it in a blistering 5.9 seconds and achieves 20mpg which is impressive in a car of this size. The diesel engines are the more sensible options though as they both achieve 32mpg so you'll be making a lot fewer stops to the filling station than their petrol counterparts. The smaller engine is the slowest in across the range at 9.8 seconds from 0-60mph, but that isn't too bad for a diesel 4x4 of this size. The larger unit does it in 8.0 seconds which is pretty impressive considering the fuel economy. The insurance costs start with group 17 for the 3.0-litre petrol and diesel units. This increases to group 20 for the other engines, but you will pay a high premium no matter which engine you apply for.

Like to Drive

The X5 drives exceptionally well on the road for such a big car with sharp responsive steering, minimal body roll and plenty of grip in the corners. The Sport models come with stiffened suspension that improves the handling even more, but it comes at the expensive of comfort so we would advise just sticking with the standard setup. The driving position is comfortable and it is easy to find the optimum driving position thanks to all the adjustments in the steering wheel and seat. If you are looking for a 4x4 that is great to drive on normal roads then this could be for you. If you need something that you can occasionally take off road you may want to look else where.

Faults and Repairs

The chances are that the X5 will be driven hard by most owners so when looking at one make sure that the brakes all work well and that there is still plenty of tread left on the tyres. On a 4x4 you should ideally change all four tyres at the same time so this can be more expensive than some initially think. There are also a lot of complaints over the electrics so check all of the different components thoroughly. The diesel engines can also suffer from fuel injection problems in older models. You may want to have any car you are looking to buy given a thorough looking over by a specialist as some cars give their owners nothing but problems. Services and repairs will cost a lot especially if you use BMW dealerships which charge extortionate hourly rates.