.Bringing back this old thread. I have a X5 now and use as a touring camp/road trip vehicle. I have never had anything chew up long hwy mileage like this thing. Tows my small enclosed trailer like its not even there. I actually wanted something I could not "build". I have my Jeep aka "money hole" and its a Jeep..its great off road and is marginal on road. Now I only use the Jeep when I know the off road will be rough. Everything else and I pull out the X5, even light off road. Its an 06 with the 315 hp 4.4 V8. Gets 17-18 mpg on the hwy and will haul ***. Drives like a big sports car. Most of my serious off roading involves my KTM and alot of physical exertion. So getting to and from those excursions in comfort is really nice.
.I have owned 2 3 series cars. I fact my wifes DD is an 04 330i. Yea its expensive when it needs repairs but I buy them cheap and pay cash for them. When repairs come I just bite the bullet and do them. The key to BMW ownership is getting a really good independent BMW shop to do a inspection and pay for what they suggest. My experience with them is of you stay on top of things the cost of ownership is not that bad. People get scared of them after 100,000 miles so the values plummet. I grab them cheap and fix them as needed. BTW the 330 is getting close to 300,000 miles. I paid $8000 for it and have done about $4000 to $5000 in repairs over 8 years of ownership. Of course there are BMW's and there are BMW's ie 7 series are notorious money pits. 3 series on the other hand are not so bad. The X5 I have is the older E53 and the word on them from my BMW guy is they are not so bad with repairs and way less expensive than the newer X's.
That's a bit of a generalization. The Raptor uses aluminum control arms, and have been put through some very rough stuff (tougher than most expedition style usage). New Land Rovers also use aluminum, and have been all over the globe.The aluminum suspension parts dont handle heavy loading and rough terrain very well. An X5 was professionally built up as a chase vehicle for Ewan Mcgregor's run of the big trans Sahara. They were able to deal with engine and systems issues. But complete failure of the Aluminum rear suspension arms was the final blow. Pretty sure they left it in the desert some place after the 2nd failure cost them big.
I would stick to vehicles with steel suspension parts for Expedition / heavy hauling efforts.