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BMW X5 (E53)
2004-2006 BMW X5 I6
Manufacturer BMW
Production 2000–2006
Assembly Greer, South Carolina, United States (BMW US Mfg. Comp.)
Toluca, Mexico
Successor BMW X5 (E70)
Class Mid-size crossover SUV

3.0L 225 hp I6
4.4L 282 HP (00-03) 315 HP (04-06)  hp V8
4.6L 347 (02-03)  hp V8
4.8L 350 (04-06)  hp V8

3.0L 193/218 hp I6 Diesel

5-speed automatic
5-speed manual
6-speed automatic

6-speed manual
Wheelbase 111.0 in (2819 mm)
Length 183.7 in (4666 mm)
Width 73.7 in (1872 mm)
Height 2000-03 V8: 67.2 in (1707 mm)
2001-03 I6: 67.5 in (1715 mm)
2004-06 V8: 69.0 in (1753 mm)
2004-06 I6: 69.3 in (1760 mm)
Fuel capacity 93 L (25 US gal/20 imp gal)
Related BMW E63

The BMW E53 series is the basis for the 1999 through 2006 BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV). Production ceased September, 2006[1] and has been replaced by the BMW E70. The E53 was developed at a time when BMW still owned Land Rover and as such shares many components and designs with both the Land Rover Range Rover L322 model (specifically the Hill Descent System and Off Road Engine Management system) and the BMW E39 5-series (specifically engines and electronic systems). The entire in-car entertainment system (Radio Function, Navigation System, Television and Telecommunications systems) are shared with other BMWs and L322. As a result the X5 model earlier models and L322 can be easily upgraded with the newest BMW technologies.[2]


2000–2003 BMW X5 (E53) 4.4i (Australia)

The history of the X5 begins in the late 1990s, when Chris Bangle drew the first sketches at the BMW DesignworksUSA studio in California. In many ways, the current car closely resembles these initial sketches.

The takeover of Rover proved to be very beneficial for BMW in the development of the X5. BMW engineers were able to look at and use Range Rover technology and parts in the development of the X5 - one such example would be hill-descent control. In many respects, the design of the X5 was influenced by its British counterpart; for example, the X5 got the two-piece tailgate straight from the Range Rover. Many parts and electronics were also taken directly from the E39 5 Series parts bin to save costs.

In contrast to the Range Rover models, the X5 was designed as a sporting road car: its off-road capabilities are significantly less than those of Land Rover. BMW reportedly worked hard to ensure it was referred to as an SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle) instead of an SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle).

Even though the X5 was an all-wheel drive vehicle, BMW chose from the start to route 62% of the engine's torque to the rear wheels, making it feel as close as possible to the company's rear-wheel drive sedans.

Flexible Electronics Design

Since the start of production the entire in-car entertainment system (Radio Function, Navigation System, Television and Telecommunications systems) is based on a very flexile automotive computer system.[3] As a result the E53 models can all be easily upgraded with the newest BMW technologies including BMW's Bluetooth System, the DVD based Navigation system, as well as BMW's CD changers that play MP3s[2]


The X5, along with the BMW Z4 roadster, BMW X6, and soon BMW X3 are currently manufactured in BMW's South Carolina plant in Greer.


A one-off version known as the X5 LM was equipped with the BMW S70/2 V12 engine from the Le Mans winning BMW V12 LMR. It was used by Hans Joachim Stuck to set a lap record at the Nürburgring in 2000.


A sporty model badged 4.6is was released in 2002, having both exterior and interior decorations, including 20-inch wheels. The 4.6L V8 engine was derived from the 4.4L V8, tuned by M GmbH. A sporty model badged 4.8is was also released a few years later replacing the 4.6 engine with a 4.8 liter and was labeled "fastest SUV in the world".

2004 Facelift

2003–2006 BMW X5 (E53) 3.0d (Australia)

2003–2006 BMW X5 (E53) 3.0d (Australia)

In 2003 for the 2004 model year the X5 was facelifted with new headlights, a few new exterior colors, a new four-wheel drive system and upgraded engines. The grilles were enlarged, as well as their actual slats being modified in a 'flame surfaced' style. In keeping with the E39 facelift of 2001, the 2004 X5's headlights got "angel-eyes" (rings or halos around all front headlamps). The taillights also received a facelift similar to the BMW E39, and the exterior glass went from a "dotted" pattern to a cleaner "line" pattern. BMW invented a new four-wheel drive system dubbed xDrive shared both in the X5 and X3 in 2004. Instead of using the previous X5 system which consisted of power being split 62-38 (rear wheels-front wheels) and DSC to brake wheels losing traction, xDrive could vary power to the front or rear axles in milliseconds, transferring up to 100% of engine power to either axle, thus allowing the vehicle to regain traction quickly.

The X5 got the new 4.4i engine which debuted in the 2002 7-Series; power output rose from 290 to 315 hp (242 kW). Also from April onwards, a new X5 4.8is was offered (see below), giving the driver 355 hp (265 kW) and making it the third fastest SUV.

Several new extras were added to the 2004 X5 such as:

  • Soft-boot close feature (the top part of the trunk pulls itself closed)
  • Trailer Stability Program (making it an ideal tow vehicle)
  • Adaptive Headlights (available only with xenon HID headlamps; these swivel with the direction of travel of the car)

Originally announced in the end of 2003 along with the rest of the X5 facelift, the X5 4.8is first started shipping in April 2004. In had a new larger 4.8 L engine (which replaced the 4.6 L engine), and was also later used in the 2005 750i/Li. It also included a slightly modified bodykit (parts of the bottom bumper became painted the body color), 20" wheels, and along with the 4.6is, were the only X5's ever to have a large chrome-tipped exhaust which hid the quad pipes.


Along with the rest of the BMW lineup (apart from the E65 7 series), the X5 got Bluetooth kits straight from the factory if ordered with the Premium Package.

Specifically, the 4.4i & 4.8is models got xenon HID headlamps as standard equipment in the United States.


The X5 was not fitted with the new BMW R6 engine, which increased power for both the 2.5i and 3.0i I6 versions of the 2006 X3 and Z4 significantly. It is rumored that BMW held back deploying the engine in the 2006 X5 so as not to waste development costs in retooling the assembly line, and to make way for a more dramatic unveiling of the all new 2007 BMW X5. In fact, 2006 also marks the end of the E53 X5 as well.

X5 Security

The 'Security' edition is an X5 variant with safety glass, heavy-duty material and ballistics-resistant steel.[4] debuted at the 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show.[5]

Features include:

  • B4/VR4 ballistic protection, capable of withstanding handguns up to a .44 calibre, including .357 Magnums or 9mm Luger.
  • Polycarbonate re-inforced glass windows
  • An intercom to speak with people outside the vehicle.
  • An assault alarm, which when activated, locks all doors and emits both visual and audio alert signals.


Model lineup

Model Model Year Engine Output (bhp/kw) 0-100 (seconds)
3.0i 2001–2006 M54B30 231 / 172 8.8
3.0d 2001–2003 M57D30 180 / 134 10.1
2004–2006 M57TUD30 218 / 162 8.8
4.4i 2000–2003 M62TUB44 286 / 213 7.6
2004–2006 N62B44 320 / 238 7.0
4.6is 2001–2003 M62B46 341 / 254 7.0
4.8is 2004–2006 N62B48 360 / 268 6.1


  • Winner of Australia's Best Luxury Four Wheel Drive in 2001 and 2002.

See also


Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses some content from Wikipedia. The original article was at BMW X5 (E53). The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons by Attribution License and/or GNU Free Documentation License. Please check page history for when the original article was copied to Wikia

  1. "Online BMW Parts Catalog". Retrieved on 2010-10-03.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Bimmernav". Bimmernav. Retrieved on 2010-10-03.
  3. "BMW Bus System" (PDF). Retrieved on 2010-10-03.
  4. "BMW High Security". Retrieved on 2010-10-03.
  5. "The New BMW X5 Security". (2003-09-09). Retrieved on 2010-10-03.

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