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.

(Click through the post to continue reading this review.)

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