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2007 BMW X5

Martha Hindes

2007 BMW X5 Interior

Fans of BMW's midsize X5 Sports Activity Vehicle will have to wait a little longer to plunk down more than $45,000 for the privilege of owning the revamped version. For diehard BMW fans, it should be well worth the wait. The all-new 2007 BMW X5 doesn't peak out of showroom windows until November, but don't think the anxious haven't already scoped it out and have checklists and deposits ready to go. That's how it goes when a driver's car expectation precedes actuality.

The new X5 includes significant changes from the preceding model. Many, as one might expect, are under the hood. Leaving out horsepower, torque and all that 0 to 60 rev stuff when talking about BMW would seem almost blasphemous. The new X5 features two gutsy engines, a 3.0-liter inline six that pumps out 260 solid horses (a gain of 35) and 225 lb-ft of torque. Also gaining 35-horsepower is the 4.8-liter V-8 with a 350 rating for both horsepower and torque. Those are handy when kickstarting this heftier X5, with inches added to width and length.

Numbers only hint at the story. Mate those engines to a new six-speed STEPTRONIC automatic, add more standard features and gussy up the interior and exterior appearance a bit and it's a tempting package. Exterior changes are noticeable. The familiar rear ledge and crisp defining side crease remain, but there's subtle shaping over wheelwells and a less hard-nose nose appearance between Xenon Adaptive headlights, now standard. So is the 205-watt, 12-speaker, multi-channel audio with underseat subwoofers, MP3 and SIRIUS radio compatibility, in-dash CD player and the obligatory auxiliary input jack.

Both '07 models get BMW's latest iDrive all-wheel-drive system, and segment-first runflat tires. Greater ground clearance adds more off-road capability to its legendary road dominance. BMW cites its first-ever Active Steering with AWD. Inside refinements include a large screen rotating, console-mounted DVD. Head-Up display, rearview camera park control and optional third row seating are available.

Inline six pricing starts at $46,595; V-8 at $55,195. Fuel economy hasn't been rated, but could be close to last year's 16/21 inline V-6, 16/22 V-8 ratings.