Driven: Honeywell BMW X5 3.0d
By Steven J. Ewing
December 15, 2008
It's no secret that we American automotive journalists are anxiously awaiting the arrival of BMW's new U.S.-spec diesel offerings, the 335d and X5 xDrive35d. In the meantime, however, the folks at Honeywell (who specialize in turbo technologies) provided us with a Euro-spec X5 3.0d for a week in order for us to experience BMW's current diesel offerings.
While it's not as powerful as the upcoming twin-turbo-diesel X5 35d, our test car put out a very adequate 235 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. This means the X5 3.0d can scoot from 0 to 62 miles per hour in just 8.3 seconds and -- under normal driving habits -- can achieve fuel economy ratings around 26 miles per gallon. Honeywell tells us that if we would have been a bit lighter on the throttle, we could have achieved up to 33 mpg on the highway.
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We can easily see Americans liking the X5 35d for its power, especially consumers who frequently tow campers, boats, and other recreational devices. The X5's all-wheel drive manages all that torque rather well, though our test car's summer tires weren't necessarily the best choice for our mix of snowy/icy conditions. Still, we noticed very little slipping and sliding. We've had a few other experiences involving xDrive in the snow and we must commend BMW for making an exceptional AWD system.
Interior refinement was nothing shocking -- typical BMW fare, though we feel that the Bimmer's cabin is growing a bit old and could use a refresh in the coming years. We've seen some really nice interiors from Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, and Hyundai (you heard right) over the past few years, and it's time that BMW stepped it up a bit. A fun anecdote: Our test car was imported directly from Europe, so all of the iDrive controls could only be displayed in French, German, or Italian, making things a bit more interesting.
While no pricing information was available for this vehicle, we'd assume that it falls below the starting price of the upcoming X5 35d ($52,025). We like the match of X5 capability with diesel power and hope that American consumers will warm up to the diesel love, as well.
2007 HONEYWELL BMW X5 3.0d
Engine: Turbo-diesel inline-6, 3.0 liters, 24v
Output: 235 hp/383 lb-ft
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
0-62 MPH: 8.3 seconds
Fuel Economy, city/hwy: 21/33 mpg