Discover All BMW X5 Years to Avoid and Worst Problems Revealed

Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

Are you in the market for a used luxury SUV that boasts both style and performance? The BMW X5 is undoubtedly a top contender, with its luxurious features and sleek design.

However, not all model years of used BMW X5 are created equal. In fact, some years are more prone to issues than others, which could result in costly repairs and added frustrations.

But don’t worry – we’re here to help. In this article, we’ve compiled information on the most problematic BMW X5 model years based on expert reviews and owner experiences.

By being aware of these potential issues, you can make a more informed decision when buying your BMW X5 and ensure that you’re choosing a reliable, quality BMW X5 best year that won’t cause you any headaches down the road.

Buckle up and get ready to make a confident decision when purchasing your BMW X5.

BMW X5 years to avoid

BMW X5 Reliability History

In this section, we will briefly discuss the reliability history of the BMW X5 for its first four generations.

First Generation (2000-2006)

During the first generation, from 2000 to 2006, BMW X5 was a newcomer to the luxury SUV market.

The early model years, such as 2000 and 2001, faced various issues related to air suspension, electronics, and cooling systems.

Eventually, BMW made improvements, and the reliability of the 2003 model year was appreciably better.

Second Generation (2007-2013)

The second generation of the BMW X5 ran from 2007 to 2013. Although the newer versions were feature-rich, some model years like 2009, 2011, and especially 2013 showed poor reliability ratings.

Common issues reported during this time involved the fuel system and engine cooling. As a result, the 2013 model year is one to avoid due to low reliability scores.

Third Generation (2014-2018)

Introduced in 2014, the third generation of the BMW X5 offered more advanced features and technology.

The reliability during this time improved compared to previous generations. The 2014 and 2015 models received positive feedback, with fewer reported issues. The overall performance during these years is much more dependable.

Fourth Generation (2019-Present)

The fourth generation of the BMW X5, starting from 2019 onwards, showcases continued improvements in luxury, comfort, and amenities. Reviews for 2020 and 2021 models have been consistently positive, setting a high bar for reliability in its class.

As you research the BMW X5, it’s crucial to consider each generation’s different characteristics.

By understanding these reliability histories, you can make a better-informed decision when choosing the perfect luxury vehicle for your needs.

RELATED: A fresh report published: 7 X4 problems and reliable X4 to buy has been uploaded by our editors. What do you think?

Years to Avoid and Common Problems

The BMW X5 years to stay away from are 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014, as they tend to come with more issues than other model years.

2008 BMW X5

The 2008 BMW X5 has some notable issues that may concern you. One of the most common problems is water leakage through the sunroof, caused by clogged drain tubes. This issue is not only annoying but can also cause damages to the vehicle’s interior. Besides, owners have reported frequent power window failures in the 2008 model.

2011-2014 BMW X5

The 2011 to 2014 BMW X5 models share similar concerns that primarily revolve around the engine and fuel system. These years experienced a high rate of engine failures due to timing chain issues, leading to abrupt stalls on the highway. Additionally, there have been numerous recalls related to the fuel system, including the fuel pump, injection system, and the coolant pump.

In 2012 and 2013, owners reported other issues such as:

  • Engine overheating
  • Head gasket problems
  • Cooling system issues
  • Electrical system malfunctions

Moreover, 2012 BMW X5 owners complained about an unusual problem with the melting brake lights.

Common Problems Across Model Years

Despite the specific issues related to the years mentioned above, the BMW X5 has some prevailing problems across various models:

  • Oil leaks
  • Fuel system concerns
  • Water leaks affecting the interior

While BMW has made considerable improvements to recent X5 models, it’s essential to be aware of these potential problems when considering an older model.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Used BMW X5

There are certain factors you should consider before taking the plunge on a used X5.

Firstly, pay attention to the model year. Some X5s have poor reliability ratings like the 2013 model. To avoid potential headaches, steer clear of 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 models.

These years are known for their mechanical issues, such as engine stalls and transmission problems.

One of the reasons used X5s can be more affordable is due to the oversaturation of the market. There are more people selling them than buying them, so prices may be lower than expected. Use this to your advantage and shop around for the best deal.

Safety and maintenance should be important factors when choosing a used vehicle. The X5 generally offers impressive safety features, but don’t forget to check the vehicle’s safety ratings from Consumer Reports.

Additionally, keep in mind that luxury SUVs like the X5 may have higher maintenance costs than other vehicles.

Before committing to a used BMW X5, test-drive competing luxury SUVs like Audi models to make sure you’re satisfied with your choice. Compare the performance, comfort, and amenities to ensure you’re making the right decision.

Check for visible signs of wear and tear, as well as possible hidden problems. Look for indicators of regular maintenance, like oil changes and routine checks. It’s also a good idea to run a vehicle history report to see if there have been any accidents or major repairs.

Best Years BMW X5 to Buy

When considering a used BMW X5, the best years to buy include 2000, 2002, 2003, 2014, 2017-2020, 2022, and 2023. These model years have received great reviews and have proven to be reliable.

2000, 2002, and 2003

These early model years were well-received due to their excellent build quality, dependable engines, and comfortable cabins. If you’re looking for a used BMW X5 with a V8 engine, the 2002 and 2003 models offer powerful performance without sacrificing fuel economy.


In 2014, BMW introduced a complete redesign with enhanced drive quality and handling. With its powerful engine, this model offers a perfect blend of sportiness and comfort.


These years saw additional improvements in technology and features. You’ll find more comfortable and spacious cabins, along with advanced infotainment systems. Fuel economy also improved due to the introduction of efficient engines and lightweight construction.

2022 and 2023

As the most recent model years, the 2022 and 2023 BMW X5s offer the latest in technology, features, and performance. These are popular vehicles due to their elegant design and top-of-the-line drive quality.

Advantages of owning a BMW X5

Owning a BMW X5 comes with several benefits:

  • Powerful engine: Whether you choose a V8 or a more efficient six-cylinder engine, your X5 will deliver an impressive performance.
  • Comfortable and spacious cabin: High-quality materials and ample space make for a luxurious and pleasant driving experience.
  • Advanced technology: The X5 comes equipped with a state-of-the-art infotainment system, providing you with enjoyable entertainment and convenience on the road.
  • Sportiness and handling: BMW X5 is known for its excellent drive quality and agile handling, giving you confidence and control behind the wheel.
  • Stylish design: As a popular luxury SUV, the X5 boasts a sleek and stylish design that stands out on the road.
  • Dependability: BMW has built a reputation for producing dependable vehicles, and the X5 is no exception.

However, it’s good to be aware of some of the shortcomings in certain model years. For example, the 2013 X5 has had reports of water leakage problems and excessive tire noise. So it’s crucial to conduct thorough research and inspections before making a purchase.

BMW X5 Competitors

Volvo XC90

The Volvo XC90 is a luxury SUV that offers you similar features and performance to the BMW X5. Both vehicles seat up to seven passengers, feature all-wheel drive, and present similar fuel economy numbers.

However, the Volvo XC90 tilts towards a more comfortable and family-friendly approach, while the BMW X5 focuses on performance. One common problem shared between these two models is the premature wear of brake components.

Range Rover Velar

The Range Rover Velar is another competitor of the BMW X5, offering you luxurious features, off-road capabilities, and a refined driving experience.

While the X5 is known for its sporty dynamics, the Velar focuses more on a plush ride and excels in off-roading.

Both SUVs face issues with infotainment systems, which can sometimes be slow or unresponsive. Here are complete Range Rover Velar problems to avoid.

Audi Q7

When looking at the Audi Q7, you’ll find similarities with the BMW X5 in terms of seating capacity, performance, and road-handling. However, the Q7 offers a more sophisticated interior and advanced technology features.

Like the X5, both models are prone to experiencing electronic malfunctions, particularly with sensors and dashboard displays. Here are Audi Q7 models years to avoid.

Acura RDX

The Acura RDX is a smaller, more affordable SUV compared to the BMW X5, but it still offers a nice balance of performance and luxury.

It seats five passengers and focuses on providing a comfortable and fun driving experience. You’ll love this fine car more if you land yourself one of the RDX’s best car by owners.

Both the X5 and RDX have been reported to suffer from transmission issues, leading to rough shifting or delays in gear engagement. Read about Acura RDX years to avoid.

Cadillac XT5

Lastly, the Cadillac XT5 serves as an American alternative to the BMW X5, boasting a stylish design, spacious interior, and advanced technological features.

However, the XT5 might have a less engaging driving experience compared to the X5’s sportier handling.

Both models share a common problem – rattling noises coming from the sunroof, which can be quite irritating for drivers and passengers alike. Also, see what towing both XT4 and XT5 have differently?


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