Used BMW X5 (Mk3, 2013-2018) review - What should you look out for?

The BMW X5 Mk3 doesn’t have many common faults, but newer cars come with a much better infotainment system. Check the recall status on diesel models

There aren’t many common issues that affect the BMW X5 Mk3, though owners have reported electrical faults when nominating the car in our Driver Power surveys. Do keep in mind spec differences between models, such as the seating configuration and the fact newer models came with a better infotainment system. If you’re after a diesel model, it’s worth checking if it was involved in a major recall that affected many diesel BMW vehicles.

Common used BMW X5 Mk3 problems 


As standard, the BMW X5 Mk3 was fitted with five-seats, but a seven-seater configuration was available as an option. These rearmost seats are quite small and are only really suitable for children.


The entry-level 25d diesel model was the only BMW X5 Mk3 variant to come with rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive was available as an option on the 25d, and came as standard on every other X5 Mk3 model.


An improved touchscreen system was introduced to the BMW X5 Mk3 in the 2017 model year, which was much better than the infotainment available on earlier models.


Diesel models used AdBlue to help reduce the car’s nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions, and must be topped up periodically. The filler for the 8.5-litre AdBlue tank can be found underneath the X5 Mk3’s bonnet.


The BMW X5 Mk3 has been subject to a few recalls over the years. Its first was in May 2014 for faulty child locks on soft-closing rear doors, and there was another recall seven months later to rectify an issue where the seat belt mounting could fail in a crash. Other faults the car has been recalled for include improperly functioning power steering, an issue that could cause the engine to cut out and loose bolts on the idler pulley and the left front seat.

To date, the most recent recalls for the BMW X5 Mk3 have been for a potential fire risk on diesel models, which is caused by a fluid leak from the car’s exhaust gas recirculation cooler. This issue affected a large number of BMW X5 Mk3 examples, so there’s no harm in checking if the used X5 you’re looking at was recalled and whether the necessary repair work has been carried out before you commit to buying it.

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