Are BMW X5 SUVs Reliable? Life Expectancy + Years to Avoid!

Updated: | Author: Tyler Hilgeman | Affiliate links may be present.

Have you ever wanted a luxury vehicle? Do you wish that luxury vehicles were inexpensive? Well, the BMW X5 might be what you need. Due to market oversaturation, used BMW X5s are a good choice if you want an affordable luxury vehicle.

The BMW X5 is a reliable SUV; however, there are some years you should avoid. On average, you can expect a BMW X5 to last around 150,000 to 200,000 miles. The 2022 model year, though untested by time, can be expected to be reliable due to an increasingly positive trend starting with the 2014 model year.

The Perfect Combination of Affordability and Class

The BMW X5 is a luxury SUV that even features a powerful V8 engine for towing anything from small campers to boats.

Thankfully, for us anyway, the BMW X5 is a saturated market. As a result, used BMW X5s are relatively inexpensive.

So, comfort, class, affordability, and power all come together to form a great used car choice.

BMW X5 SUVs Reliability

The BMW X5 is generally a reliable vehicle; however, there are some model years you should look out for.

The 2007 BMW X5

The 2007 BMW X5 has 16 recalls according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The major recalls consist of engine cooling problems, stalling problems, and faulty brakes.

There have been a number of complaints regarding the engine overheating and some have even reported smoke coming from their engine.

Another common complaint has to do with problems with the electrical system — such as the vehicle speed control acting up and the headlights not working.

The 2008 BMW X5

The 2008 BMW X5 has 16 recalls and 313 filed complaints according to the NHTSA.

There was a recall regarding an electrical short that could result in the PCV valve heater to overheat — thereby increasing the chances of a fire.

There are also recalls regarding faulty brakes and the battery overheating. Another more serious recall has to do with problems with the fuel pump which may lead to engine stalling and fuel leakage.

Many owners have also complained about having engine issues — such as overheating and broken components.

The 2010 BMW X5

The 2010 BMW X5 should only be bought by those of you who are gamblers or mechanics. It has a whopping 21 recalls!

There are multiple recalls regarding issues that may cause the car to lose power or stall. There are also problems with the water pump.

There are many problems that could result in a fire. Another major problem may result in faulty brakes.

Owners have complained about small electrical problems like the headlights not working to bigger problems like the battery catching fire.

Anyways, if you like living life on the edge, then the 2010 BMW X5 is your closest ticket to tipping over.

The 2011 BMW X5

Then there is the 2011 BMW X5 which also has an impressive number of recalls — coming in at 14 total recalls.

A lot of the recalls have to do with serious problems like the car losing power, the water pump failing, and fuel leaks.

There have also been numerous complaints regarding engine cooling problems. To add insult to injury, because the BMW X5 is a luxury vehicle, repairs cost more.

In other words, any problem you have with this car (that is not covered by a recall) will cost you a decent amount more in repairs than an average car would.

The 2012 BMW X5

The 2012 BMW X5 is another model year you should avoid. It has a total of 10 recalls and a number of complaints.

The 2012 model year has similar problems as the 2011 model year like the car losing power and the water pump failing. There is also a recall regarding faulty steering gear that may result in a fire.

There have been numerous reported issues with the electrical system from small problems like the locks not working to larger problems that resulted in a small fire.

The Glory Years

If you are looking for a reliable older version of the BMW X5, then you’ll want to get the:

  • 2000 BMW X5
  • 2002 BMW X5
  • 2003 BMW X5
  • 2005 BMW X5

All of those years have few reported problems and recalls and, considering how old they are, that’s pretty impressive.

If you are looking for something newer, then the years 2014 to 2019 are all great choices. The 2016, 2018, and 2019 BMW X5s are all notable model years with few major recalls and complaints.

The Average Life Expectancy of the BMW X5

The average life expectancy for a BMW X5 is 150,000 to 200,000 miles. However, life expectancy should be taken within context.

If you end up buying a bad model year like the 2010 version, you may end up spending a lot of money on repairs in order to get it into the 150,000 to 200,000-mile range. As a result, such versions may not be worth it.

Ideally, you want to get to the 150,000 to 200,000-mile range without a lot of expensive repairs in order to make the car worth your money.

So, if you want a BMW X5 to last long without any major repairs, you will want to pick a reliable model year.

The 2022 BMW X5

If you are looking for a luxury SUV with all of the modern conveniences, then you may just want to get the 2022 BMW X5. Since it is new, there is not a lot to say about its reliability other than the many controlled tests it went through.

The US News gives the 2022 BMW X5 a reliability score of 77/100 or, in other words, an average score on reliability.

Despite its age, the 2022 model year already has one recall — though it regards a minor issue. The recall has to do with faulty programming for the sunroof which may result in the sunroof automatically closing without the key fob present in the car.

As for life expectancy, newer cars tend to last longer and longer. So, it is safe to say that you should at least make it to the 150,000 to 200,000-mile mark.

Because of how new the 2022 model year is, it can’t be known whether it is one to avoid. However, with a starting price of $60,000 for a powerful mid-sized luxury SUV, it is not a bad choice if you are looking to buy a new car.

Lastly, considering that BMW got its act together around the 2014 model year and up, it is safe to say that major problems like the engine overheating should no longer be a major issue with the BMW X5 newer models.

Final Thoughts

All in all, the BMW X5 can be a great choice for those looking for a comfortable and luxurious ride. For those of you who want an SUV with power, then the BMW X5 has you covered as it can come with a V8 engine — which allows you to pull large loads such as boats and small campers.

Though there are some model years you should avoid, the BMW X5 is generally a reliable mid-sized SUV that has become more and more affordable throughout the years.

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About Tyler Hilgeman

Tyler is an automotive and DIY research writer. He revels in saved money from DIY jobs and screeches at “cheap” estimates from auto body and mechanic shops. Part of his life’s work is to create a better world where automobiles are more understood and appreciated for who they are (R.I.P. My Beloved Toyota Camry — “Betsy” 1998-2021).

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