Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2010 Chevrolet TAHOE VS 2010 BMW X5 Near Phoenix, AZ

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2010 Chevrolet TAHOE

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VS

2010 BMW X5

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front, middle and rear (child comfort guides) seat shoulder belts of the Chevrolet Tahoe are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW X5 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The Tahoe LTZ’s optional blind spot warning system uses rear-aimed sensors monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The X5 doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver's blind spots.

Both the Tahoe and the X5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all-wheel drive.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Chevrolet Tahoe is safer than the X5:

Tahoe

X5

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Head Injury Index

375

405

Chest forces

32 g’s

41 g’s

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Head Injury Index

293

574

Chest forces

34 g’s

48 g’s

More stars indicate a better overall result. Lower numbers indicate better individual test results.

Warranty Comparison

Chevrolet’s powertrain warranty covers the Tahoe 1 year and 50,000 miles longer than BMW covers the X5. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the X5 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 12 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier to get service under the Tahoe’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The Tahoe has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The X5 doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

The Tahoe’s reliability is better than the X5’s. In Consumer Reports, the Tahoe’s reliability is 11% better.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Tahoe second among large multi-activity vehicles in their 2009 Initial Quality Study. The X5 isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2009 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 9th in initial quality. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 15th.

Engine Comparison

The Tahoe’s standard 5.3 V8 produces 60 more horsepower (320 vs. 260) and 110 lbs.-ft. more torque (335 vs. 225) than the X5 xDrive30i’s standard 3.0 DOHC 6 cyl. The Tahoe Hybrid’s standard 6.0 V8 hybrid produces 17 lbs.-ft. more torque (367 vs. 350) than the X5 xDrive48i’s standard 4.8 DOHC V8.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Tahoe’s fuel efficiency. The X5 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Chevrolet Tahoe uses regular unleaded gasoline. The X5 requires premium, which can cost 25 to 50 cents more per gallon.

The Tahoe has 3.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the X5 (26 vs. 22.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Tahoe has larger standard tires than the X5 (265/70R17 vs. 255/55R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Tahoe offers optional 22-inch wheels. The X5’s largest wheels are only 20 inches.

The Chevrolet Tahoe’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The BMW X5 only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Tahoe has a standard full size spare tire so your trip isn’t interrupted by a flat. A full size spare isn’t available on the X5, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare or run-flat tires, either of which has mileage and speed limitations.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Tahoe is 3.5 inches wider in the front and 2 inches wider in the rear than on the X5.

For better maneuverability, the Tahoe’s turning circle is 3 feet tighter than the X5’s (39 feet vs. 42 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Tahoe has a greater minimum ground clearance than the X5 (9.1 vs. 8.3 inches), allowing the Tahoe to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis Comparison

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Tahoe has liquid-filled engine mounts. The liquid helps further dampen engine harshness. The X5 uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Tahoe has standard seating for 9 passengers; the X5 can only carry up to 7.

The Tahoe has 6.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the X5 (108.9 vs. 102.4).

The Tahoe has 1.8 inches more front headroom, 1.3 inches more front legroom, 5.3 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom, 2.4 inches more rear legroom and 7.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the X5.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Tahoe’s cargo area provides more volume than the X5.

Tahoe

X5

Behind Third Seat

16.9 cubic feet

7.1 cubic feet

Third Seat Removed

60.3 cubic feet

21.9 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

108.9 cubic feet

61.8 cubic feet

The Tahoe’s cargo area is larger than the X5’s in almost every dimension:

Tahoe

X5

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

15.2”/49.4”/81.4”

15.7”/42”/73.4”

Max Width

64”

49.1”

Min Width

49.1”

43.3”

Height

41.7”

33”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Tahoe’s (except LS) optional second row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The X5 doesn’t offer power folding seats.

A standard locking glovebox and standard locking center console keeps your small valuables safer in the Tahoe. The X5 doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

The Tahoe’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The X5’s tailgate’s top part raises up, but the bottom part lowers, getting in the way of loading and making an uneven surface for sliding cargo.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Tahoe offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The driver can also remotely turn on the heater or air conditioner. The X5 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Tahoe’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The X5 has neither an oil pressure gauge nor a temperature gauge.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Tahoe has standard extendable sun visors. The X5 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Tahoe Hybrid has a 115 volt a/c outlet in the cargo area, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The X5 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Tahoe owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Tahoe will cost $257 to $402 less than the X5 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Tahoe is less expensive to operate than the X5 because typical repairs cost much less on the Tahoe than the X5, including $72 less for a water pump, $37 less for front brake pads, $167 less for front struts, $583 less for a timing belt/chain and $613 less for a power steering pump.

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