Road Test

Road Test: 2011 BMW X5 xDrive40d

October 18, 2010

BMW X5 2010_01On the outside, the 2010 BMW X5 looks pretty much the same as before, but there are few changes. At the front, the inner and outer intakes are now larger indicating bigger engine output. The front fog lamps are situated a bit higher and most of the body parts are now painted in matching body colour. The large-sized BMW kidney grille and dual round headlights make sure that X5 won’t be unnoticed. At the rear too, increased number of surfaces are painted in matching body colour. The L-shaped, redesigned taillights each with two LED light banks are probably easiest way to recognise the new model from the rear. Our car was equipped with optional 20″ wheels with considerably wide tyres; 275 mm at the front and 315 mm at the rear.

The engine range in X5 is completely revised. There are two petrol engines, V8 and a straight six-cylinder power unit, both featuring BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and direct fuel injection. The two diesel variants represent the new generation of the BMW straight sixcylinder diesel engines. Both all-aluminium power units are turbocharged and utilise the latest Common Rail direct injection technology. The power unit in xDrive40d was first presented in the BMW 740d. This engine benefits from BMW’s Variable Twin Turbo technology. System uses two turbochargers of different sizes. The two turbochargers do not operate parallel, but are activated at different points. At lower engine speeds, the intake air passes through the inactive larger turbocharger into the active smaller turbocharger, which increases the air pressure. At medium engine speeds, the larger turbocharger becomes active, forcing air under pressure into the smaller unit, which increases the pressure still further. At higher engines speeds, the larger turbocharger alone forces air into the cylinders.

xDrive40d delivers a maximum output of 306 hp and a maximum torque of 600 Nm, which is available between 1500 and 2500 rpm. Torque of 450 Nm is already achieved at an engine speed of 1000 rpm. More than 90 percent of maximum output is available within a range of 3500 to 5000 rpm, while the maximum engine speed of 5600 rpm. When there is this much torque available at at any engine speed, it is pretty much the same which gear you’re on. There is always enough torque to keep the big car moving.

All BMW X5 models are now equipped as standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission, so you don’t have to worry about shifting gears. If you want do it yourself, just move the joystick-style gear stick to the manual mode. Usually there isn’t any need for that because the automatic transmission works pretty great and it’s not easy to choose the perfect gear for each driving situation, when you have eight choises to choose from. The new eight-speed transmission isn’t just comfort and sporty, but helps to reduce the fuel consumption also. X5 xDrive40d has an average fuel consumption of 7.5 litres/100 km in the EU test cycle and a CO2 emission level of 198 g/km. On our test drive, the average consumption was 10,3 litres/100 km, which is a quite a lot more than the official numbers, but still a reasonable consumption for a big car with a powerful engine.

Although X5 usually likes to stay on tarmac, it has four-wheel drive system as standard. Four-wheel drive system uses a transfer box with an electronically controlled multi-disc clutch to constantly feed power as required to the axle that has the best contact with the road surface. In normal driving situations, xDrive distributes drive forces to the front and rear axles in a 40:60 split. Sensors constantly monitor slip on all wheels. As opposed to previous four-wheel drive systems, xDrive also acts anticipatorily and does not wait until a wheel begins to spin. Therefore, the vehicle is stabilised before the driver even notices the need to take action. Thanks to a new basic configuration, xDrive featured in the new BMW X5 contributes even more significantly towards an increase in driving dynamics. During cornering, driver power is increasingly shifted to the rear axle. After cornering, the system returns to the normal setting to ensure optimum traction and stability.



  • Diesel
  • 6-cylinder
  • 2993cc
  • Twinturbo


  • 225  kW (306 hp) / 4400rpm


  • 600 Nm (442 lb-ft) / 1500-2500rpm


  • 8-speed automatic
  • AWD

0-100km/h / 0-62mph

  • 6.6 seconds

Top speed

  • 236 km/h

Fuel consumption

  • 7.5 l/100km

CO2 emissions

  • 198 g/km

BMW X5 2010_04

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