The new BMW X5 has grown in every direction to provide a sterner challenge to the latest Audi Q7 and underline its status as BMW’s luxury SUV all-rounder. More imposing than ever, the imposing new X5 will go on sale in the UK from June 2018, with prices starting from £56,710.
The X5’s all-round growth is notable: it’s 36mm longer, a hefty 66mm wider, has a 42mm longer wheelbase and even height is up 19mm. Space inside is more generous both for passengers and their luggage, says BMW – particularly in the seven-seat version that will be offered from the end of 2018.
Design is cleaner and more paired back than previous X5s, with “elegant poise and muscular authority”. You won’t be able to get wheels smaller than 19-inches; they go up to 22 inches. xLine trim has matt aluminium styling cues, while the M Sport paints all the tough plastic parts of the X5 in body colour. An M50d variant turns the wick up further.
There’s a fully electronic instrument panel inside, and BMW’s redesigned the centre console and climate controls too: plenty of showroom time will be necessary before departing in the new X5. Four different colours of leather are available even with on the standard model, which also includes sports seats; comfort seats are optional.
Passengers are well catered for. The panoramic roof is 30 percent larger, four-zone air conditioning features, and BMW’s been inspired by luxury partner Rolls-Royce with the Sky Lounge roof: it “provides LED light spread evenly across the glass surface to illuminate more than 15,000 graphic patterns and generate a display reminiscent of a starlit sky”.
Those in the rear seats can be treated to an infotainment system composing two 10.2-inch HD touchscreens, Blu-ray DVD player, dual USB ports and the use of media sources independent of those in front. Those in the front can enjoy thermo-cupholders that keep drinks either cold or hot; CraftedClarity glass is a fancy Volvo-like feature for the driving controls.
Boot space? 645 litres with the seats up, 1,860 litres with them down. The two-section tailgate can be electrically operated and the third-row seats can be electrically powered too – and a button in the boot will remotely slide the middle-row seats back and forth, and drop down the backrests of all five seats.
Engines? The xDrive30d has a 265hp 3.0-litre turbodiesel, capable of 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds and 47.1mpg. It will be the best-seller. The 340hp xDrive40i is one for petrol fans, but although the 3.0-litre turbo does 0-62mph in 5.5 seconds, it also only averages 33.2mpg. The M50d quad-turbodiesel has 400hp, does 5.2 seconds to 62mph and averages 41.5mpg. All use an eight-speed auto, and all have ultra-capable xDrive all-wheel drive.
The new chassis, based on the exceptional platform already seen in the 7 Series and 5 Series, features two-axle air suspension as standard on the 30d and 40i models, and there’s no end of optional suspension technology, including active anti-roll Adaptive M suspension and an optional Off-Road package for the first time. Needless to say, there’s also a welter of driver assist systems, which are “another significant step towards automated driving”.
BMW has sold over 2.2 million X5s since it was launched in 1999; it believes the “even greater blend of premium luxury performance and comfort” will see that number grow yet further.
2018 BMW X5: prices
xDrive30d xLine: £56,710
xDrive40i xLine: £58,100
X5 M50d: £70,690