2002 BMW X5

  • 2002 BMW X5 Base Sport Utility

    Base Sport Utility

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      3.0L I6
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2002 BMW X5 Review

The midsize SUV that handles like a car but has limited off-road capability.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2002 BMW X5 is a car-based SUV that had its model lineup increased for the 2002 model year. A new high performance version of the SUV debuted for the 2002 model lineup, to bring the total number up to three for BMW X5 models. The three models differ in their engines, as well as the interior and exterior trim and options included. The new 2002 BMW X5 4.6is is the flagship SUV for BMW, and the exclusive trim found inside and out shows this. With permanently engaged all-wheel drive, all models of the 2002 BMW X5 provide the handling of a car coupled with the security of four-wheel drive.

The Range

Body Styles: five-door SUV
Engines: 3.0-liter six-cylinder, 4.4-liter V-8, 4.6-liter V-8
Transmissions: five-speed manual, five-speed automatic
Models: BMW X5 3.0i, BMW X5 4.4i, BMW X5 4.6is

What's New

For the 2002 model year, a new high performance version of the BMW X5 was launched. The 2002 BMW X5 4.6is has a new, larger V-8 engine that provides more horsepower and torque. It has 20-inch wheels as standard, and is fitted with exclusive interior and exterior colors, as well as interior materials, and interior and exterior trim. The interior has a more sports feel to match the more aerodynamic exterior that includes a body-color front air dam, lower air intakes, side wind splitters, xenon headlights, and a dual exhaust at the back.

As well as launching the new high performance model of the 2002 BMW X5, other changes for the 2002 model year included tuning of the 4.4L V-8 engine to increase horsepower by eight, and the addition more equipment as standard for all models.


The 2002 BMW X5 is built on a car platform, but with a unique chassis that is manufactured using unibody construction. The midsize SUV sports the standard BMW styling cues, such as the twin kidney-shaped grille and headlight and taillight configurations. Its compact shape and length provide increased maneuverability and handling, but do mean interior cargo room is smaller than some may want. The tailgate is split horizontally and has a two-way opening. The upper portion and bottom portion can be opened separately depending on what is being placed in the rear cargo area.


Five passengers can be seated comfortably in the plush leather and wood interior of the 2002 BMW X5. Both power front and rear seats mean that adjustments can be made to ensure the utmost comfort of all passengers. Front seats are also heated as standard, and heated rear seats can be included as an option. The rear seat has a 60/40 split allowing the optimal use of passenger space and cargo space as needed. For the 2002 BMW X5, a CD player became a standard feature.

Performance & Handling

There are three different engine options for the 2002 BMW X5 based on the model selected. The three-liter, six-cylinder engine provides 224 horsepower and 214 lb-ft of torque. It comes with a five-speed manual transmission as standard, but the five-speed automatic with manual shift gate can be fitted as an option. The 4.4-liter, V-8 engine was tuned for the 2002 model year and now produces 290 horsepower and 324 lb-ft of torque. The new 4.6-liter, V-8 engine provides 340 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. Both V-8 engines come with the five-speed automatic transmission only.

Acceleration is satisfying in all three models, with the manual transmission coupled with the six-cylinder engine being almost as fast as the 4.4-liter V-8. The new 4.6-liter V-8 provides plenty of power and is noticeably quicker than the other two models. Permanently equipped all-wheel drive means that traction and handling of the 2002 BMW X5 is precise. By being built on a car platform and having a firm suspension, all models are sporty and have good maneuverability. The downside is that the ride can be bumpy at times.


In all models of the 2002 BMW X5, standard safety equipment includes anti-lock four-wheel disc brakes, front side airbags, front head protecting airbags, an enhanced hill descent control system, and a new trailer stability control system. Rear side airbags are available as an option. The hill descent control system limits speed forwards and backwards when the SUV is descending down a grade. The trailer stability control system adjusts the brake force and engine torque of the BMW X5 to help control a swaying trailer. Crash tests for front and side impacts for the 2002 BMW X5 were the highest they could be.

EPA Fuel Economy

BMW X5 3.0i: 14/19 mpg city/highway
BMW X5 4.4i: 12/16 mpg city/highway
BMW X5 4.6is: 11/16 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Handles like a BMW car
  • Interior materials and standard features
  • Safety scores

You Won't Like

  • Off-road capabilities
  • Gas mileage

Sum Up

The midsize SUV that handles like a car but has limited off-road capability.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Mercedes-Benz M-Class
  • Lexus RX 300
  • Infiniti QX4
  • Cadillac Escalade
  • Acura MDX

See the New 2017 X5.

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