2002 BMW X5 5 speed manual

I don’t like SUVs. This is nothing new to those who read my posts on GCFSB. But there are a handful of models from this vehicle genre that I don’t mind. It’s a short list though, that includes the following:

1. Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen
2. Series 1 Range Rover
3. Land Rover Defender
4. Lamborghini LM002

I’m not sure I’d count the GMC Typhoon on this list, since it wasn’t made to go off road. But I always admired this vehicle in any case. Another outlier on this list is any first generation BMW X5 3.0 with a 5 or 6 speed manual. Outfitted with thicker sidewall tires and three pedals, it could prove rather useful as a second hand workhorse while throwing in a little bit of that BMW driving panache. Here’s a fairly clean X5 5 speed for sale outside of Philadelphia.

2002 BMW X5 5 speed on eBay

BMW X5 Manual Transmission

Very rare stick shift BMW X5. This SUV is in excellent condition and has a certified clean Carfax. It is loaded with factory navigation, sport package, sunroof, premium leather, premium sound and much more!

I would wager to say that given the asking price and the fact this is not the more popular automatic version, a deal could be had here. Depending on how long this has sat on the dealer’s lot, you might be able to walk away with this X5 in the $13k range. While it is no spring chicken with 97k miles, the 3.0 inline six is the bread and butter BMW engine, known for its reliability, and with a manual transmission, servicing costs are sure to be less over time. The only thing I would do is lose the subwoofer in the back, as it compromises space.

Whenever I see one of these manual transmission X5s pop up, I think, well, if you must have one of these things, why be like everyone else and drive a steaming pile of suck, such as a Toyota Highlander or Honda Pilot, when you could snag something with better build quality and driving dynamics and stick out from the crowd? In this shade of green with tan leather, this would fit right in at the country club parking lot.


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  1. Years ago, I had a fairly decent old-school Montero with some off-road/rallying cred, but other than that (and the few you mentioned above), most mainstream SUV’s do fall into that “steaming pile of suck” category you mentioned. Unless you regularly tow something VERY heavy, or you feel a need to compensate for some sort of stature deficiency, buy something else.

    5-series wagons will outperform an X5 in virtually every functional and performance category (except height, of course), if equipped with similar transmission and engine.

    I’ve driven various X5’s – as drivers, they sucked compared to any BMW wagon. If you absolutely must have one, the 1st-gen X5 in black with the M-sport package at least *looked* mean.

  2. Yep. And this is the problem with the X3. The 3 series wagon has more cargo space. Get a 328xi that has all wheel drive, and what’s the point of the X3, then?

  3. “Why be like everyone else and drive a steaming pile of suck such as a Toyota Highlander or Honda Pilot?” In a word: Reliability. The cost to maintain a modern BMW out of warranty is re-freakin-diculous (I have a 2001 330xi) so when the extended maintenance plan on my wife’s X3 runs out later this year we’re getting rid of it. She’s probably getting a minivan but for SUVs and crossovers the Highlander and Venza are at the top of our list. 😉

    @Paul H. I can see getting a 328iT if you’re buying new but if you’re in the CPO market (and most of us are) those wagons are rare as hen’s teeth relatively speaking. The 3 series touring was my first choice when I went to get my wife’s car but BMW was practically giving away off-lease X3s at the time. And also, the touring may have more cargo space but the X3 has more room for rear passengers.

  4. Wes, there are very good reasons “BMW was practically giving away off-lease X3’s at the time.”

    Having spent a fair amount of driving time in some of those X3’s, those are probably the only conditions under which I’d take one.

    And then I’d immediately give it to my wife to drive.

  5. Wes, I’m single without kids, so I never think about practicality or reliability 🙂 This wound up burning me when it came to Satan’s own ride, AKA my MkIV GTI. That car honestly wasn’t special enough to be that cranky. I’m having an excellent time, though, with BMW’s other product at the moment….the MINI.

    I have a buddy in Massachusetts with an Audi A4 1.8T Avant who is miffed that Audi no longer sells a wagon in the US with a manual transmission. So he’s been searching out CPO xi wagons with a 6 speed. You are right, VERY rare indeed. It’s a shame, because BMW wagons with their fantastic 2.0 turbo diesel and 6 speed manual are quite common in Europe. And here we get saddled with that penalty box otherwise known as the BMW X3.

    Which brings me right back around to the age old problem: everyone in the US likes stuff that I don’t. Time to put that other passport to work and move to Europe, I guess.

  6. @Larry: Could be. OTOH I paid $24.5k for a 3 year old vehicle with 30k miles that originally stickered for $42k. I got the CPO warranty, extended maintenance, 0.9% financing for 5 years, and BMW finance covered the first 2 payments. How could I say no?

    @Paul H.: At least we’re getting BMWs 2.0 if not the diesel. I think that it’s going in the Z4 and X1 at first. I’d really like to see them design the new 1 series around the lighter engine.

  7. Wes, I’ve been saying this FOR YEARS. WHY didn’t BMW make a 120Si with the engine similar to that in the 320Si BTCC homologation?!?! Strip out some weight, you’ve got less mass over the front axle, hmmmm, BMW, are you listening?

  8. No, BMW is not listening. They’re drunk on their own power and busy planning to take over the world with the next X6 or 5 series GT. BMW doesn’t care about the euro car enthusiast since that audience is already captive.

  9. There’s a different perspective to consider, Wes.

    BMW is listening – just not to us.

    Despite the occasional gift to the car enthusiast community, the reality is that we are a minority in the marketplace. Car manufacturers are in business to maximize profits, and their product planning and marketing groups operate accordingly.

    BMW is absolutely listening to their markets, and the reality is that the massive US market influences other markets. Since the majority of US consumers out there have very different preferences than we do, all this filters into fewer sports wagons – and more bland SUV’s and crossovers – in the showroom.

  10. I’m on a perpetual search for a 3 or 5 series wagon with manual transmission. Impossible used. Almost impossible new. In 2009 there was one new one in the entire country for sale. And it would have been $1500 to ship between dealers.

    Ebay always has a few, but they’re pretty beat up.

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