Why are you guys complaining about the 3rd row of an X5? It's mainly there to check all the boxes. If you want a real 3rd row you go for the X7. For German luxury, only BMW and MB offer good 3rd row options. The competitors in that class simply don't offer vehicles with a decent 3rd row. It's why the X7 has been such a big hit (literally). To get anything comparable you have to go American, Lexus or Range Rover. So, the X5 doesn't really have to compete against the MDX and XC90 because those serious about 3rd rows have another option in BMW's lineup whereas those checking out the MDX and XC90 have to think hard about whether their needs are really met with what those vehicles have to offer. Anyone considering those three vehicles and want a really good 3rd row option will probably end up with an X7 because it's the next logical step up.