The BMW X5 made its debut back in 1999 and has proven to be a massively popular motor all around the world. Now in its third generation, the X5 maintains its car-like driving abilities and continues to impress.
The BMW X5 comes with various diesel and petrol engines. Petrol offerings come in a 2.0 litre engine with the X5 xDrive40e. This is a plug-in hybrid option and BMW reckons that it can return a fuel economy as good as 3.3l/100km. The 2.0 litre 4-cylinder engine combined with the battery power gives an offering of 313 bhp. The battery combined with the 4.4 litre petrol engine gives a much more powerful punchline, offering a whopping 449 bhp in the xDive50i M Sport.
Moving onto diesel you will find a selection of 2.0 litre and 3.0 litre engines that offer good on-paper economy and between 231 bhp and 313 bhp. If you opt for the M50d you will find a maximum power output of 381 bhp – this translates to 0-100 km/h in 5.3 seconds and maximum torque of 740Nm at 2,000 to 3,000rpm.
The X5 is a big machine, but it’s very impressive in how car-like the drive of the vehicle feels. The steering isn’t as responsive as you would hope, but this car grips the road very well. The good news is that the X5 is capable-enough off-road and it will get you through tougher than just icy or snowy mountainous roads.
This is a big and bulky machine. Therefore the wing mirrors have a tendency to pick up on road noise. Like other BMW models, the diesel engines can be loud when getting up to motorway speeds, but once the vehicle is cruising the noise levels even out.
The X5 throws up no major surprises when you get inside. Like most BMWs, the infotainment is easy to use and the bulk of the systems on board are driver focused. The ride height is excellent, and there are plenty of seating positions to choose from.
For some reason the interior of the X5 seems more exciting than the likes of the X3 and X4. Even entry level models of the X5 are nicely equipped – but this shouldn’t surprise you, this car is not at all cheap.
The X5 is jam packed with safety systems and it is expected that it would get a good score in the Euro NCAP - but it has not taken in part in these tests since 2003. Side curtain airbags run along the sides of the vehicle as far as the second row. The X5 comes with a myriad of driver aids too. One such aid is Traffic Jam Assist. At speeds of 60 km/h this system maintains a distance between it and the car in front. This system also provides active steering support.
The car is big and space is ample. The boot space is plentiful, and all of the seats are extremely comfortable. An option is available for seven seats in the BMW X5, but don’t be thinking that these seats are in anyway suitable for adults or tall teenagers. They’re not, but they are perfect for those of you who have a young family. While the boot space is affected by seats 6 and 7 being in use, there is still room for some shopping.