BMW X5 Review: The X Files
SUVs are often termed boring because of their bulk and size. It is primarily seen as a bigger vehicle for transporting more passengers but then imagine a massive looking vehicle which looks like a chiselled iceberg running on streets like a performance sedan. That’s the first impression one gets sighting the X5.
The X5 has already sold 1.3million unit since its launch making it a best seller in the segment. The new X5, which happens to be its third generation model offers a lot more than its predecessor in terms of design, performance and efficiency.
BMWs have always had the edge in terms of performance and they have been rightly known for making driver centric premium cars. The same DNA has been transferred to their X-series of SUVs making them the best in its segment as claimed by the company. How does the latest X feel? We find out in our review.
It has the dimensions of a typical premium SUV sans the flab which makes the new X5 look robustly impressive. The new X5 has got dimensional changes from its earlier version which makes it a longer and wider vehicle. The wheelbase however remains intact.
It is a good looking car and there is no second opinion to that. The headlights have got sharper and they make their way inside the kidney grille which has also been tweaked to give it a more pronounced feel. Twin circular headlights add the characteristic BMW touch to this one as well. Just beneath those sharp headlights are the humble circular fog lamps which sit on a taller height housed on the front bumper. The air intake vents which have been finished in matte aluminium appear wider than before. To add to the rugged feel, the front bumper has a bash plate fixed on its lower section.
Our media car came in with BMW Performance alloys which look enviously gorgeous. Sticking out from the convention of giving large boring alloys, BMW offers futuristic looking alloy wheels on the X5. It might not make practical sense to drive around these alloys but then if you do not plan to take the X5 at areas which needs its expertise, we recommend you to shell out that extra premium and get them for sure.
A long hood and a short front overhang make the side profile interesting. Those sharp headlights beautifully blend inside the side panel. The wheel arches are flared. We only wished the wheels had been a tad bigger to justify those large wheel arches. It gets a large glass area to make sure the occupants feel roomy inside. There is vertical slit on the side panel officially referred as air curtains to guide air flow around the wheels. A strong shoulder line and an equally edgy lower line run across the length.
The most interesting profile of the X5 is its rear. While shooting the X5 in rains, the rear appeared more dominating with the wide 255 / 55 R18 tyres which gently protrude out. It looked amazing splashing water all around. New L-shaped LED tail lamps on the tail gate look amazing in dark.
Inside the X5, you won’t mistake it for any other brand but BMW as it gets typical characteristics in interiors as seen on most of the other portfolio models.
The cabin now feels more spacious with the altered dimensions. It gets a new layered wooden finished strip running along the front dashboard. This is a pleasant introduction and also makes the horizontal surface feel wider than before. The ambient lighting which is at its best in dark can be chosen to individual colours using the iDrive operating system.
BMW also claims the materials chosen to finish the interiors also contribute to the plush ambience feel inside the cabin. Rich leather stitched seats for all rows are extremely comfortable. The front row seats can be electrically adjusted while the middle row has linkages to support its movement. Large and convenient window positioning helps occupants inside enjoy a roomy cabin.
Initially available as an add-on fitment, comfort seats are not offered as a part of standard equipment. The third row seats have an easy access option to guide passengers. In addition, there is a grip plate mounted on the C-Pillar. The front and middle row seats have great levels of cushioning and are ideal for long journeys. The same is not the case with the additional two seats in the rear section as taller passengers might feel low on space. To add to the discomfort is the weird positioning of these seats. This area can be ideally occupied with bags or other storage options.
It gets a fixed 10.25inch control display which is inclined more towards the driver. This screen acts as a display for the iDrive control system. The iDrive, which is now seen in all BMW cars is by far the easiest to operate infotainment systems compared to its competition. Everything on the screen can be controlled by just a mere click and rotate function.
Harman Kardon music system is at its best delivering impeccable quality of music. The speaker layout helps create perfect music distribution inside the cabin. Other standard features that come with the BMW X5 are the sports leather steering wheel, four-zone automatic climate control, automatically dimming exterior mirrors, doors with Soft Close Automatic function, Comfort Access, the panoramic glass roof and aluminium footplates in the side skirts.
BMW cars have always struck the right chords in terms of performance as compared to the other two. The X5 is a SUV which drives like a sedan. Thanks to its intelligent body construction and slicing of the additional flab, the new X5 feels more agile in corners.
It is equipped with a six cylinder 3.0-litre BMW TwinTurbo diesel engine. which produces a power of 258hp and a torque rating of 560Nm at 1,500 and 3,000 rpm. It is an SUV for sure but still it manages to clock 0 to 100km/h in 6.9 seconds. The advanced engine comes with an equally capable ZF 8-speed Steptronic transmission.
Fire it up and the six cylinders have a rumble offering all the 258 horses to play around. The 8 speed gearbox is simply precise and cannot go wrong. Shift it to drive mode and the engine swings into action irrespective of the vehicle’s large dimensions.
Without offering any lag at lower engine speeds, the X5 is in rapid motion and the engine builds speeds as quickly it can before the ZF unit steps in and shifts to the next gear. The time interval between each shift is almost negligible. Everything feels perfect except for one thing.
The amazing BMW Performance Alloys which we couldn’t stop raving about don’t feel right for an everyday drive. Agreed, they look gorgeous and no other manufacturer offers such concept prototype looking wheels but then on the downside, these low profiles make the ride extremely stiff and hard.
Rains had already played havoc damaging normal highways and thus we were extra careful with the tyres as we were scared the potholes might damage these tyres leaving us stranded. These low profiles were not all that bad when it came to high speed cornering as they stuck to the road with great confidence. There was some roll felt in corners but then it was quick to get back to its original position making the X5 feel very agile.
It is a heavy SUV but the 3L engine does good justice with the additional power and torque figures. Ride and handling continues to be top notch. It is one of those few diesel engines which does not feel like one and instead is very quick in response.
|Power in hp/RPM||258 / 4000|
|Torque in Nm/RPM||560 / 1500 - 3000|
|Gears||8 Speed Steptronic|
|Wheel base mm||2933|
|Fuel tank capacity L||NA|
|Tyre Spec||255 / 55 R18|
|Features||xDrive30d Design Pure Experience|
|Automatic Start Stop Function||Yes|
|Brake Energy Regeneration||Yes|
|Park Distance Control (PDC) - Front & Rear||Yes|
|Harman Kardon Surround System(600W)||Yes|
|Active Protection with Attentiveness Assist||Yes|
|Airbags (Driver, Fr. Passenger, Front & Rear Head, Side)||Yes|
|Anti Lock Braking System With Brake Assist||Yes|
|Cornering Brake Control (CBC)||Yes|
|Dynamic Stability Control (DSC)||Yes|
|Dynamic Traction Control (DTC)||Yes|
|Electric Parking Brake with Auto Hold||Yes|
|Hill Descent Control||Yes|
|Run Flat Indicator||Yes|
|Side Impact Protection||Yes|
|Auto Tail Gate Operation||Yes|
|Panorama Sun roof||Yes|
|Multi Function Sport Steering Wheel||Yes|
Competition All Specs
|Variant||xDrive30d||3.0 TDI quattro||350 CDI|
|Price (Ex Showroom Delhi)||Rs. 7,090,000||Rs. 6,135,000||Rs. 7,500,000|
|Power in PS/RPM||258 / 4000||245 / 3800||258 / 3600|
|Torque in Nm/RPM||560 / 1500 - 3000||550 / 1750||619 / 1600|
|Gears||8 Speed Steptronic||8 Speed Tiptronic||7 Speed Automatic|
|Wheel base mm||2933||3002||3075|
|Fuel tank capacity L||NA||100||100|
|Kerb Weight (Kgs)||NA||2345||2175|
|Tyre Spec||255 / 55 R18||255 / 55 R18||275 / 55 R19|
To sum it up, the X5 has been very tastefully revived. We are glad BMW has not gone overboard with changes but just tweaked the overall design retaining its individual character. The interiors of BMW appear more functional compared to that of Mercedes Benz but then the plus side of it is, it is simpler to understand.
The BMW X5 rivals Audi Q7 and Mercedes Benz GL Class. As seen in our rival sheet, the other two are bigger than the X5. Thus, if one wants to buy an SUV and make a statement at the same time, the new X5 makes complete sense at Rs.70.90 lakhs.