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Old 04-09-2015, 02:01 PM   #1
kfsinc OP
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Bmw x5 4.4??

I'm guessing that there are a few of these amongst our gang here. I have a line on what I think is a nice one, 2003, 84K, 4.4 V8, looks good, current maintenance, good history, and a good price.

This will be my 5th used BMW, not including bikes. I've read all the bad stuff and think I'm going in eyes wide open.

Any GOOD things to say about them? Are they that much better than say a Tahoe or a Touareg, or just a more expensive SUV with a fancy brand?

Most driving will be normal stuff, but I do expect to pull a 4,000lb boat once in a while.

TIA

kfs
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Old 04-09-2015, 02:42 PM   #2
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The valve cover gaskets may not be leaking yet. Be suspicious of all the plastic in the cooling system. The front tension strut bushings are probably cracking as are the drive shaft flex couplers. Check the outer front c.v. boots. If it has the self leveling suspension it can get expensive. Most likely it will have some bad pixels in the instrument cluster display. Change the transmission fluid and filter. The transfers case actuator has a gear that tends to fail. You can get a kit to replace the gear only. It doesn't require removing the transfer case.

You're going to find oil leaks and issues with the plastic cooling system parts on any German vehicle that age. Same with cracking flex couplers and worn suspension bushings.

The engine seems bulletproof. I'm not sure that it's possible to overheat one enough to hurt it.

I work on them but haven't owned one so I can't say how they compare to a Tahoe or Toureg. The Tahoe will probably feel more spacious but the interior will not be as durable. I think a Toureg will wind up costing you more on repairs, maybe much more. The Tahoe will probably tow better but for your purposes, the X5 will work fine.

If you're familiar with their issues, I'd say it's a good choice. I like the way they drive. I like the Range Rover of the same generation even better. Under the skin it is almost entirely an E53 X5. All the electronic control modules can be order as BMW parts from the BMW dealer for much less money than the Rover dealer. It does have a more complex air suspension standard, though.
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Old 04-09-2015, 04:44 PM   #3
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Still have a 2001 x5 4.4l ...honestly, can't justify selling it...sitting at 215,000kms, and apart from servicing and disposables, Havnt put a dime into it....if and when it does give trouble, I'll go out and buy another straight away...the engine does seem bombproof, and it goes like stink..the wife loves it..jmho
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Old 04-09-2015, 07:33 PM   #4
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A good friend of mine had one and it was a maintenance nightmare. Although in the X5s defense, she was a gas it and go owner. And when a problem surfaced (and there were many) she would take it to the dealer and not bat an eye when a $2000 bill was presented. But based on the number of times it was in the shop, I wouldn't own one. YMMV!
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Old 04-09-2015, 08:28 PM   #5
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I have a 2002 x5 - a 3.0 I6 tho - with around 105k miles. I generally figure on around 2k a year on maintenance and repairs at an Indy. Subframe bushings, alternator, coolant expansion tank, valve cover gaskets, suspension components, window regulators, dead pixels etc some of the repairs over 13 years. Still drives like a sports car - mines a manual transmission.
You've had older BMWs so you know. the drill. I would say in general more issues than my 1999 e39 though. If you work on your cars or have a good Indy mechanic - may not be a bad proposition.

Lots of good info here if you haven't seen this site.

http://www.xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-forums/x5-e53-forum/
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Old 04-09-2015, 08:59 PM   #6
kfsinc OP
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Thanks all for the feedback -- I've had a 740 and a 540 so I'm familiar with most of the issues. I haven't seen the paperwork, but I'm told that most of them have been taken care of -- we'll see.

Xoutpost looks like a good source -- I'm a fan of bimmerboard and others for the sedans.

Looking forward to a new toy and will report back later next week!

kfs
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Old 04-10-2015, 06:02 AM   #7
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I have a 2005 Range Rover full size the last of the BMW engined trucks with the upgraded oxford leather interior,
you should go drive one before you buy the BMW,
it will feel like driving a Rolls Royce compared to the the BMW,
The air suspension if its serviced properly will provide a great ride.
Same for the intake system and the PCV plate.
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrmerlin View Post
I have a 2005 Range Rover full size the last of the BMW engined trucks with the upgraded oxford leather interior,
you should go drive one before you buy the BMW,
it will feel like driving a Rolls Royce compared to the the BMW,
The air suspension if its serviced properly will provide a great ride.
Same for the intake system and the PCV plate.
I forgot about the radiator in the Rover. How many did you replace before you bought the aftermarket all aluminum one?
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Old 04-10-2015, 12:22 PM   #9
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Wife had a ~2002? 4.4i on lease so no long-term experience, but I recall liking it a lot and wanting to buy it at the leases end, but she wanted smaller/more economical and downsized to the X3.

That engine was awful nice and it handled very well for something that size. Open up the hood and it was surprising how low (for CoG) they stuff that engine down there.
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Old 04-11-2015, 11:59 AM   #10
Anorak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrmerlin View Post
I have a 2005 Range Rover full size the last of the BMW engined trucks with the upgraded oxford leather interior,
you should go drive one before you buy the BMW,
it will feel like driving a Rolls Royce compared to the the BMW,
The air suspension if its serviced properly will provide a great ride.
Same for the intake system and the PCV plate.
The X5 he is looking at sounds good especially if it has current records and only 84k miles. I mentioned the Range Rover as a slight diversion. BMW did a very good job at differentiating it from the X5 while sharing so many of the parts.
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"they live off the carrion of our mutual distrust and bribe us with symbols that equate hatred with manhood."

"I mean at the end of the day, I was addicted to Starting Fluid for Christ's sake!"

"Yeah, that guy sure is terrible at touching moms"
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