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2000 BMW X5

In the world of heavy-weight monsterous SUV contenders, the 2000 BMW X5 can be considered a lean-mean fighting machine. It's certainly a refreshing alternative to the bigger is better mentality.

Sharing its unibody design with only a few other SUVs, including the Lexus RX, puts the X5 in a class of its own. However, unlike the RX300 which is offered in 2 and 4 wheel drive versions, the X5 has a full time all wheel drive system. As a matter of fact, further analysis of the X5 will reveal characteristics which make it seem more like a top of the line technologically equipped sedan. Sounding like top secret encoded governmental agencies, the X5 is equipped with electronically advanced features such as ADB, ASC, HDC, DBC, CBC and DSC-X. Don't panic, you don't have to memorize these acronyms, just rest assure that BMW has incorporated these features into the X5 in order to provide one of the safest SUVs on or off road. So, whether you are going down a steep decline, or find yourself on slippery roadways, BMW has managed to help alliviate human error. While on the subject of safety, surrounding the passangers is what can be described as an air bag bubble, starting with inflatable head protection, front airbag two stage deployment (depending on the severity of impact), as well as, front side and optional rear-seat side air bags. Other options include a navigation system, rain-sensing wipers, headlight cleaning system, power glass sun-roof and heated seats/steering wheel. Another innovated feature is a retractable rear floor panel which can handle a load up to 330 lbs. Also available is a sport package with a somewhat overly stiff suspension for those serious about hard-driving, 19 inch wheels with performance tires and multi-way power front seats. Of most surprise is how this savvy, sporty, and somewhat sexy package is moved rather smoothly and quickly with 32 valve 4.4-liter V8 engine producing 282-bhp at 5400 rpm's. Driving this vehicle, accompanied by a 5-speed steptronic automatic transmission that can be shifted as a clutchless manual, will put you in disbelief that it weighs almost 5000 lbs. Did I mention that 0-60 is achieved in approximately 7.5 seconds?

The price to pay, however, is an estimated 17 mpg on the highway and 13 mpg in the city; tha's if you care about shelling out a few extra bucks for gas, after paying almost $50,000. In summary, for those seeking an SUV or SAV for that weekend getaway or just everyday commute, and want to do it with class and style, the BMW X5 "SAV" (sport acitivity vehicle) should be seriously considered.

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