- Efficient and high-performance models to choose from
- High safety scores
- Strong acceleration
- Non-plug-in models have a rough ride
- Small third row
BMW X5 Expert Review
New for 2018
The 2018 X5 receives an updated eight-speed automatic transmission on non-plug-in models. Also, the X5 35i and 35d models receive standard trapezoidal tailpipes. New optional equipment now includes 21-inch M wheels.
In size, the X5 is currently BMW's largest SUV above the X1 and X3, as well as the more coupe-like X4 and X6. In price, the X5 is more expensive than other BMW SUVs except the X6. BMW is preparing a larger SUV with a bigger interior, for those who need a more comfortable third row.
The X5 sDrive35i (RWD) and X5 xDrive35i (AWD) come equipped with the standard 3.0-liter turbocharged I-6 that produces 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque and delivers 18/25 mpg city/highway for the sDrive and 18/24 for the xDrive. Opting for the X5 xDrive35d will increase fuel economy to 23/29 mpg thanks to the 255-hp, 413-lb-ft 3.0 turbodiesel I-6. The xDrive50i packs a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 that produces 445 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque and has an EPA-rating of 15/24 mpg. The X5 xDrive40e plug-in hybrid is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 paired to an electric motor that produces a total output of 308 hp and 332-lb-ft. The X5 xDrive40e can drive up to 14 miles on all-electric power and has a combined fuel economy rating of 24 mpg, close to the diesel's 25 mpg combined. The range-topping and high-performance X5 M also utilizes a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 but tuned to produce an impressive 567 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque and delivers 14/19 mpg.
Standard features for the X5 include 19-inch V-spoke wheels, adaptive HID headlights with the Corona headlight rings, LED fog lights, 14-way power and heated front seats, Poplar wood trim, Black SensaTec upholstery, dynamic cruise control, a 10.2-inch display screen with BMW navigation, The iDrive system with touchpad controller, panoramic moonroof, front and rear parking sensors, and interior ambient lighting.? The contents of the Executive package increase luxury with soft-close automatic doors, head-up display, wireless charging and WiFi Hotspot, rear manual side window shades, and ceramic controls. If you want upgraded leather in your X5, make sure to get the Ivory White Interior Design package (or the Mocha Design Interior package) that includes Ivory White Nappa leather upholstery, Black Nappa leather dashboard, and contrast stitching on the seats and dashboard.
The X5 earned a five-star overall rating from the NHTSA (five stars is the highest possible rating). The IIHS issued the highest rating of Good for the X5's moderate overlap front and side crash tests, but the remaining three crash tests have not been conducted.
For the front crash prevention evaluation, the X5 received two ratings. The SUV earned the rating of Advanced for reducing a 12-mph impact by 9 mph and reducing a 25-mph impact by 7 mph thanks to the optional Frontal Collision Warning with City Collision Mitigation. However, the highest rating of Superior was issued to the X5 equipped with the optional Frontal Collision Warning with Extended Collision Mitigation for completely avoiding both 12- and 25-mph frontal collisions. City Collision Mitigation is included in the Active Driving Assistant system that is part of the Driving Assistance Plus Package. Extended City Collision Mitigation is part of the ACC Stop and Go + Active Driving Assistant system that can be added to the Driving Assistance Plus package that also consists of blind spot warning, a surround-view camera system, and a speed-limit indicator.
What We Think
In the First Test review of the 2014 BMW X5, we said that "the refreshed X5 is a nice update on the old truck. It's a little quicker and it's got more features and a better interior. On the whole, though, it still feels like it's stuck in a midlife crisis. Does it want to be a two-row midsizer, or three-row full-size? Or does it want to be a sport wagon with a lift kit? We're not really sure, and it doesn't seem like?BMW?is, either."
When we tested the 2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e plug-in hybrid in our First Test review, we didn't like how the charging power tops out at 3.5 kilowatts, meaning owners can't benefit from the 6.6 kW Level 2 public chargers. The plug-in can run up to 14 miles on all-electric power, not very impressive thanks to the 5,200-pound curb weight, but about even with the Volvo XC90 T8 (14-mile range), Mercedes-Benz GLE550e (12 miles), and the Porsche Cayenne S e-hybrid (14 miles). What the electrified powertrain did provide is quick acceleration, with a Motor-Trend-tested 0-60 mph time of 6.2 seconds. The X5's gasoline engine kicks on smoothly when need and the SUV provides a comfortable ride. We said, "The X5 xDrive40e plug-in hybrid shows that anyone (with a lot of money) can get their hands on a spacious and tall four-cylinder BMW matched with 315mm-wide rear tires and sports car-like weight distribution, and it can drive more than 10 miles without using any gas."
In Motor Trend's Real MPG testing, the plug-in X5 was rated at 18.5/26.3 (21.3 combined) mpg combined driving, lower than the EPA's rating of 23/25 mpg (24 mpg combined).