The original launch of the X5 propelled BMW into a still new
segment for luxury makers, and it was practically perfect. 19 years later, and
now in its fourth generation, the 2019 BMW X5 faces tougher competition from
its rivals, including from BMW themselves with the recently launched X7 big
brother. Launching with three variants, one petrol and two diesels, is it still
the king of the mainstream luxury SUV?
From both the inside and outside, the design has remained
quintessentially X5-like even the iconic front grille remains at somewhat
reasonable proportions – unlike some other recent BMW models. Overall the X5 is
taller, wider and longer compared to the previous model making room for the
optional 22-inch alloy wheels (standard on the M50d) and improving rear
passenger space for those who option the 7-seat configuration.
The update to the X5 came just at the right time, as BMW now
offers a fairly competitive level of standard technology convenience and safety
features across the range. Standard features include Active Cruise Control with
Stop & Go function, front and rear cross traffic warning, lane keeping
assistant, real-time traffic information, digital radio and adaptive LED
headlights with High Beam Assist. For too long these features were either
totally absent, expensive options or late additions to the standard features
list for previous vehicles. Features that can be found on significantly cheaper
cars from years ago.
How BMW present those features in the cabin however, they have outdone themselves and made the X5 feel like the practical luxury SUV its heritage defined. There’s now more leather, metal and wood trims present than ever before, the digital displays are high resolution and easy to use, and the optional Swarovski Crystal gear selector is stunning. Opting for the Swarovski might not be high on the list for some, but it does complement the rest of the interior and look much better than the standard offering.
Currently there are three model available, the xDrive 40i ($115,990), xDrive 30d ($112,990) and M50d ($149,900). Both the xDrive 40i and xDrive 30d come fitted with the xLine trim package as standard. However, you probably won’t see many in the xLine trim as BMW says over 80% of previous gen vehicles were optioned with the M Sport Package which will cost you $4,000 to add.
20-inch light alloy wheels, V-spoke style in
Ferric Grey with run-flat tyres
Sport leather steering wheel
BMW Individual Exterior Line and roof rails in
Chrome kidney grille frame
Aluminium ‘Mesheffect’ dark interior trims
Satinised aluminium Air breather surround
Illuminated xLine door sill finishers, front
xLine-specific exterior air inlets
Dual chrome trapezoidal exhaust pipe finishers
Stainless steel-style underbody protection
xLine-specific key with chrome highlights
20-inch M light alloy wheels, Star-spoke style
in Bicolour Orbit Grey with run-flat tyres
M Sport brakes
Adaptive M Suspension
BMW Individual roof rails in high gloss Shadow
Aluminium Tetragon interior trims
M Leather steering wheel
M Aerodynamics package
BMW Individual high-gloss Shadow Line exterior
BMW Individual Anthracite headliner
M door sill finishers, front
M Sport pedals
M Specific instrument displays
Air Breather in high-gloss black
M Sport specific exhaust pipe finishers
M exterior designation
Sport specific key with blue highlight
As with previous generations an X5 M variant arrive at some
point to the model line-up, but for now those who crave performance, and the
best of everything BMW has to offer in the X5 the M50d is the option for you. With
acceleration to 100km/h at just 5.2 seconds, the 294kW and 760Nm
quad-turbocharged 3.0 six-cylinder diesel (yes, it’s a diesel!) is an absolute
engineering marvel. BMW didn’t just throw power though, they specifically-tuned
the eight-speed automatic and xDrive four-wheel system to handle the torque
produced, and Adaptive M Suspension to keep you corner like a sports car.
It’s truly remarkable how well this generation of X5
handles, and not just on the road. Our drive included a somewhat challenging
off-road component (the very same place where our recent Jimny launch was held)
involving steep descents and climbs all of it requiring no special touches of a
button or change of mode. They’re there if you want them, but the car is smart
enough to figure out the situation you’re in to help you out.
There’s not much else you could ask for in the new X5,
though some brighter exterior paint options would be welcome. Pricing leaves it
in an tough position as it competes directly with its bigger brother the X7,
and the plug-in X5 45e plug-in hybrid has no launch details yet.
With that said, BMW have managed to deliver a true modern
interpretation of the first generation X5 which defined and dominated the
market almost 20 years ago. It’s a family vehicle that feels luxurious yet remains
practical for daily school runs, and weekend sport.