Longtime N54 fanboy checking in. With shame and excitement, I've recently bought my first N55-powered vehicle. I'm ready for this slight uptick in reliability.
For the past month, I've been searching nationwide for what I consider the "perfect" E70 X5. That criteria included the following:
Had to be the 35i (N55) instead of the 50i (N63, very unreliable)
Had to have M-Sport Package (///M body kit, interior trim, etc.)
Had to have Cold Weather Package (heated front and rear seats, etc.)
Had to have Convenience Package (keyless entry/start, rear view camera, etc.)
Had to have Technology Package (heads-up display, side view cameras, etc.)
Had to have a heated steering wheel
Had to have paddle shifters
Had to be a 2013 (because LCI and this was the only year you could get M-Sport, heated steering wheel & paddle shifters together)
Couldn't be silver, bronze or brown
Couldn't have white or gray interior
Couldn't have any reported accidents
Mileage and location didn't matter
Budget was $25k after travel, taxes, registration, etc.
Well, I thought I finally found the one in New York. It was even one of my favorite color combos: https://www.balkanmotorsny.com/inventory/details/44641443
I coordinated a trip to see Niagara Falls and booked a few hotels. I asked my girlfriend's retired parents if they wanted to join us, the plan was that they drive out there and I drive the X5 back. I put a deposit on it and set out on the trip. Got there on a Saturday morning and took the car for a drive. Noticed it was at 75k miles instead of the 70k they listed it at, oh well. Then I immediately felt and heard some weird vibrations at 60-70mph. Salesmen assured me it was the tires, but I know what tire noise is and this was far from that.
After inspecting it even further, I found that the whole front end (hood, bumper, both headlights) had been replaced. Body lines didn't match up. Going further down the passenger side of the car, the fender and both doors had clear coat runs on them. I opened the passenger door to find that none of the interior clips or carpet lined up to the door seal. Pulled up the door seal on the body of the car and saw tons of shoddy stitch welds between the chassis sheet metal with patch panels. Rear passenger door was the same thing. So much for advertising it as an accident-free vehicle (still listed that way too)! Not only had it been in an accident, it was in a brutal accident (see: CarFax). At this point, I was pissed and convinced that the noise was coming from something major that had been tweaked in the accident. At the time, the car was listed for $25k and I talked the salesman down to $20k, but I still wasn't comfortable with that price. Ended up leaving, without my deposit and losing ~$1,000 on the trip. If for some reason you ever find yourself looking at a vehicle from Balkan Motors in Rochester, NY, I'd suggest you turn the other way. At least Niagara Falls was cool.
Got back home and was burnt out from the long trip and expenses. The search continued. I had been using CarGurus, which allowed me to get very specific with my searches. I also posted a "want to buy" thread on an X5 forum. Some people linked to cars that were close to my criteria, but didn't check all the boxes. I wasn't willing to settle on anything for this vehicle, as I plan to own it for a long time.
Eventually someone shared a link to a carbon black X5 at a random Ford dealership in the middle of nowhere, Missouri. They had a single-owner 2013 X5 35i that met all of my criteria for $20k. I inquired and found out that it was on consignment through the dealership. The owner of the dealership was trying to help sell his best friend's wife's car. After running the VIN, I found it also had premium sound, soft-close doors and front/rear PDC. The salesmen at the dealership knew nothing about this BMW from outerspace on their Ford-only lot. I offered $18k, sight unseen. Got a call back from the owner of the dealership who said his friend was going to give it to his 16-year-old granddaughter if he got any less than $18,500 for it. I happily agreed to $18,500 and put a deposit down on it.
Not wanting to waste the same amount of time/effort/money as I did with the New York trip, I arranged a quick 3rd party inspection through LemonParty LemonSquad for $200. The inspection report came back good, so I got a quote for transportation through a friend of a friend on Facebook (Tri-Logistics). $1,000 delivered to my door in an enclosed trailer? Sure. I arranged for pickup on Monday and he delivered it to my house at 11:30pm the same day! I didn't expect such a huge truck and trailer to show up at my house, I should've told him I was the guy waiting for the white Lambo
He unloaded it and went on his way. I drove it for the first time yesterday and it's everything I was hoping it'd be. I couldn't be happier with the way it turned out.
Now, let the modding begin!