In terms of technology, desirability and driving dynamics, the new BMW X5 is in a league of its own.

“In terms of technology, desirability and driving dynamics, the new BMW X5 is in a league of its own”

  • Class-leading in-car technology

  • Excellent driving dynamics

  • Practical and spacious interior


Overall Rating

  • Premium price tag

  • High performance engines can be thirsty

  • Long and tempting option list

Overall Rating


The X5 may no longer be the largest SUV in the BMW line-up but the lashings of luxury on board means it’s unlikely to become the forgotten middle child anytime soon. While the exterior makeover has been subtle, class-leading levels of new technology and excellent driving dynamics makes it every bit as good as it ought to be for the price tag.

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Interior Gallery


Space & Practicality

It’s bigger than the last model having grown a few centimetres in width, length and height which is good news for space in the cabin.

It’s not very often you’d describe the boot as a genuinely impressive part of a car but somehow BMW have managed to make it one of the stars of the show in the new X5. Not only is it a pretty decent size at 645 litres but a handy split opening means you can load it with absolutely minimum effort. Inside you’ll find some handy underfloor storage, shopping bag hooks and tether points and should you ever need to carry anything bigger, the backseats will fold flat with another effortless pull of a lever.

You can get an optional second row of seats for the X5, which will naturally enough swallow up most of that boot space when they’re up but they can be a handy option for larger families or occasional use as Mom or Dad’s taxi.

Space in the back is quite generous with a good amount of head and leg room in the outer two seats. Just like in the boot, the attention to detail is second to none with four zone climate control, tablet holders for gadget-lovers, and USB charging ports to plug them in to.

The middle seat is a slightly less comfortable option because it is slightly raised and there is a small hump in the floor to contend with, but any less than three back there are going to be very happy indeed.

Equipment and Safety

The front of the cabin is every bit as impressive as you’d expect it to be, with a beautifully simple design and brilliant ergonomics that help you find yourself at home very quickly.

This generation X5 has seen a huge leap forward in terms of technology with a digital instrument cluster now standard across the range and a new and improved iDrive infotainment system still providing one of the best multimedia experiences out there. You can control it lots of different ways including touch, voice and gesture.

There are gimmicks galore with an optional display key which will allow you to preheat the car before your next departure, as well as heated and cooled cup holders as part of another optional comfort pack.

Also optional is the controversial  glass pack that will add a touch of bling to your iDrive dial, volume control, start/stop button and gear selector. It might not be to everyone’s taste but it certainly does catch the eye and add to that first class experience.

In terms of standard kit, it’s probably easier to list what the X5 hasn’t got because it does come very generously equipped, and with a starting price of close to €90,000, it ought to.

Most buyers will still choose to upgrade to the M-Sport model for the stylish M-Sport upgrades including alloy wheels of up to 22 inches if you want them.

Other optional extras include a €4,000 sky lounge panoramic glass sunroof, and a technology package which will add a heads up display, Harmon Kardon sound system, display key and the very impressive parking assistant plus which gives you a 360 degree of everything around you and also works with gesture control.

Performance & Running Costs

At the moment, you can choose between a 3.0l petrol or two 3.0l diesels. The xDrive 30d we drove is likely to make up the majority of sales here thanks to its good balance of performance and economy, although there is the 400hp 50d for those who are more concerned with the performance end of things. With a power output 265hp and 620 Nm of torque, the 30d still packs plenty of punch with a 0 – 100kmh time of just 6.5 seconds – not bad for a car that weighs over two tonnes.

They all come with an 8 speed automatic transmission as standard as well as the option of four wheel drive, however unlikely it is to ever actually be taken off road. Still though, it does offer a nice bit of extra grip around corners.

It is excellent to drive, and we don’t mean that in a ‘for an SUV’ kind of way. It’s just genuinely good fun. The power uptake is immediate and it’s perfectly balanced to cope with higher speeds. It was quite clearly designed with a sporty drive in mind and it shows. It is beautifully planted around corners, with very little roll and wonderfully adaptive steering that will allow you to easily manouvere around town, and weight up for some fun on a windy stretch.

It’s not a car you’ll buy for the fuel economy however, and we averaged 9.0l/100km over a week of mixed driving.

Reliability & Residuals

It’s very hard to fault the BMW X5. It’s got the type of road presence and badge appeal that puts most rivals in the shade and that’s before you even sit inside that blingtastic cabin. It also checks all the practicality boxes and offers one of the most rewarding drives in the segment. In short – it’s an excellent package, and is every bit the car it should be.

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