Yesterday it was the Audi Q8, and now another large German SUV has been revealed: the new BMW X5. Longer, wider and taller than the car it replaces, the new X5 is credited with being one of the most luxurious BMW products yet with a new level of technology from the brand, including their first proper digital driving display. Now in its fourth generation, the X5 will compete with the Mercedes-Benz GLE, Audi Q7, Range Rover Sport and Jaguar F-Pace.
Due to go on sale next year in Australia, the new BMW X5 ushers in new BMW styling with a massive new grille and redesigned tailights. Four main drivetrains will be available worldwide for now, with plug-in hybrid and M versions coming down the track.
“The BMW X5 embodies the origins of the BMW X family and, in its fourth generation, sends out its most powerful message yet in terms of presence and modernity,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President
BMW Group Design.
“It defines a new X design language – robust, clear and precise.”
Sitting on a new platform that borrows elements from BMW’s CLAR platform underneath both 5 Series and 7 Series, the new BMW X5 has grown in all dimensions. Its length has grown by 35mm to 4921mm, its width has increased by 32mm at 1970mm and height is up by 11mm to 1737mm. The wheelbase has also increased by 42mm at 2975mm, which has allowed BMW to reduce the car’s front and rear overhang. Despite growing in size, the new X5 offers less boot capacity than the outgoing model with 645 litres with the rear seats up (5L less), and 1,860-litres with them folded (10L less).
The engine range for the new BMW X5 is broadly similar to the outgoing model, with four initially available at its worldwide launch. Most popular will be the xDrive30d, which uses a 195kW/620Nm 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo diesel. Entry level petrol variants will be powered by a 250kW/500Nm 3.0-litre turbocharged straight six petrol xDrive40i, whilst an xDrive50i with a 340kW/650Nm twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine will also be available in some markets. Top of the X5 tree for now is the M50d, which uses a quad-turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo diesel with 294kW of power and 760Nm of torque.
All X5 models are matched to an eight-speed automatic, and all are all-wheel drive. 0-100km/h sprint claims range from 4.7 seconds for the xDrive50i, to 5.5 seconds in the xDrive40i, 5.2 seconds for the M50d and 6.4 seconds for the xDrive30d. A proper X5 M as well as rear-wheel drive and plug-in hybrid variants will arrive in the future.
Stylistically, the new BMW X5 appears to be an evolutionary and more modern change from the current model – much like the current model was to the model before. The X5 corporate look has evolved however, with an X7-style large front grille, more angular headlights that are available with BMW’s laser technology and new BMW tailights that are welcome after decades of the same blocky style. A new range of alloy wheels will be available up to 22-inches in size for the first time, whilst like the X3, BMW’s xLine and M Sport styling packages will be available for those customers looking to personalise their X5’s exterior.
The interior of the new BMW X5 is also an evolutionary change, though appears to be more luxurious this time around. There’s a more liberal use of leather everywhere in the cabin, whilst more stitching also accompanies the extra leather for a more luxurious feel. There are also two new 12.3-inch screens in the cabin – one for the driver’s display and the infotainment system with BMW’s latest iDrive 6 software. The digital driver’s dials now incorporate maps and other functionality, and the limited screen of the 5 Series is now fully digital and better utilised.
The new form of BMW joystick controller as seen in the new M5 now features in the X5, and the centre console buttons have been redesigned for improved ease of use. Other cabin details have been changed, with buttons instead of a dial controlling the car’s lighting, for example. The climate control buttons also occupy a small screen between the centre airvents for the first time.
Technology in the new BMW X5 has also been improved, with new safety equipment available across the X5 range. In addition to the autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, radar cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear traffic alert, lane keep assist, driver attention warning, active speed sign recognition as well as a Driving Assistance Professional package that allows the X5 to drive itself in traffic or on motorways for short times without driver’s hands being on the steering wheel.
A new feature for the BMW range is emergency stop assist, which will safely bring the X5 to a stop and alert emergency services if the driver has become incapacitated due to a medical emergency. BMW’s laser headlights will be available as an option, with the ability to illuminate the road 500 metres ahead.
The new BMW X5 will also be available with more technology aimed at making the driving experience more enjoyable. Four-wheel air suspension will be available for the first time (the previous X5 has air suspension on just its rear axle) to increase ride comfort and improve the car’s off-road ability. Four-wheel steering will also be available, whilst adaptive suspension will be standard on even the entry level models. The new X5 will also be available with an off-road package for the first time, with air suspension, front and rear skid plates and underbody protection for enhanced off-road ability.
The new BMW X5 will go on sale in Australia next year, with local pricing and specifications to be announced before then. Although it will offer seven seats as an option, the new X5 will be joined by a larger brother called the X7 next year, which will be aimed at the Mercedes-Benz GLS. Like the X3, X4, X5 and X6, the X7 will also be built at BMW’s Spartanburg plant in the United States.
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