The BMW X5 is one of the market’s best luxury midsize SUVs. Its suspension system easily absorbs road bumps and provides a poised ride through corners. There are several powerful powertrains to choose from, including the new xDrive45e plug-in hybrid and the performance-oriented M50i and M models. The X5 has adult-friendly seating and plenty of cargo space, but the available third row is a squeeze for adults.
The X5 is available with three different powertrains, including a plug-in hybrid model and a high-performance twin-turbo V-8, and it’s got athletic handling. Its styling is appealing without being too flashy, and the interior pampers passengers with high-quality materials, comfortable seats, and a slew of convenience and luxury features.
Major Changes Over The Years
The following are the most significant changes to the BMW X5 in recent years:
- 2017: wireless device charging and a Wi-Fi hotspot were made available.
- 2018: a rearview camera became standard equipment.
- 2019: a completely redesigned vehicle with a more powerful and fuel-efficient base engine, updated styling, and new standard features was introduced.
- 2020: M50i and M performance models join the lineup.
- 2021: wireless Android Auto will be standard; the xDrive45e plug-in hybrid will be introduced, and the xDrive50i trim will be discontinued.
The sDrive40i and xDrive40i trims are powered by a 3.0-liter six-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces 335 horsepower. Most customers will find this engine to be a good choice. It has enough power for your commute while still getting good gas mileage. In terms of efficiency, the 2021 model year sees the introduction of the xDrive45e plug-in-hybrid trim. It has a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine and an electric motor that produces 389 horsepower in total. It has the same power as the base models, but it has better fuel economy. All three trims have 5.3-second zero-to-60 times.
There are two high-performance variants available. They are significantly more expensive than the other models, but they are far more powerful. The M50i trim is powered by a 4.4-liter V8 engine with 523 horsepower that accelerates to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds. M trim is even faster. It has the same engine as the M50i but produces 600 horsepower (617 in Competition package models) and can accelerate to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds. Every trim level includes an eight-speed automatic transmission with smooth shifting.
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Ride and Handling
This BMW provides balanced performance. The X5’s standard adaptive suspension allows it to turn confidently and drive smoothly over rough terrain. The sDrive40i comes standard with rear-wheel drive, while all other trims have all-wheel drive (xDrive in BMW-speak). Eco Pro, Comfort, and Sport modes are standard, allowing you to tailor the ride to your preferences.
Whether you choose the V6 or V8 engine, the X5 is one of the fastest non-performance SUVs on the market. BMW also offers an off-road package that improves the X5’s ability to navigate dirt roads and trails.
However, the handling and steering are less impressive. The steering lacks feel for the road, and unless you engage Sport mode, the X5 can feel overly soft and floaty when driving around turns. The X5 is simple to drive in everyday situations, and its eight-speed transmission provides smooth and quick gearshifts.
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The X5 has a cargo space of 33.9 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 72.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded flat, which is excellent for a luxury midsize SUV. The figures for the plug-in hybrid xDrive45e are slightly lower, with 33.1 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 71.2 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. When your hands are full, the standard hands-free power liftgate makes it easier to access the cargo area.
The front seats are firm and supportive, with a wide range of adjustability to accommodate various body types. For cruising or sporty driving, the lumbar and upper bolsters are adjustable. The rear seats are softer and intended for long trips, but they are flat and lack adequate bolstering.
The seats are set back from the door, and occupants must shimmy in. For easier entry, taller drivers should avoid the optional running boards. However, once inside, there is plenty of space for front passengers and good headroom, knee room, and shoulder room for rear passengers. The interior of the X5 is technologically advanced, but the abundance of buttons on the center console and the fidgety climate controls make it difficult to learn.
Visibility is an issue. When it comes to parking, the X5’s surround-view camera system excels, and the views out of the front and sides are commanding. Direct views to the rear are adequate if your seat is properly adjusted. However, the side mirrors and door frames can obscure pedestrians and other road users. To assist with parking maneuvers, opt for the optional surround-view camera system.
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The BMW iDrive infotainment system includes a touch screen, a touchpad controller, and voice recognition. It’s fairly simple, but it may take some time to figure out where everything is. There are also physical controls to help you adjust the audio and climate settings. Wireless Apple CarPlay is standard, and wireless Android Auto is becoming more common.
Although adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert are excellent, active lane centering and auto high beams perform only mediocrely. The automatic parking and 3D surround-view modes are difficult to use.
- Standard infotainment features: a 12.3-inch touch screen, a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, wireless Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, a 10-speaker stereo, a touchpad controller, voice recognition, Bluetooth, five USB ports, navigation, HD Radio, and satellite radio
- Available infotainment features: wireless device charging, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and a 16-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system
- Additional standard features: automatic climate control, push-button start, proximity keyless entry, and a panoramic moonroof
- Other available features: remote start, quad-zone automatic climate control, rear sunshades, and a dual-panel panoramic LED roof
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The base sDrive40i gets 21 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway, which is excellent for a luxury midsize SUV. On the highway, the all-wheel-drive xDrive40i gets 1 mpg less. Because of their increased power, the performance-oriented M50i and M variants aren’t nearly as fuel-efficient. The M50i gets 16/22 mpg city/highway, whereas the M only gets 13/18 mpg.
The xDrive45e achieves 50 MPGe in combined city/highway driving and has an all-electric range of 30 miles. Charging this plug-in hybrid with a 240-volt outlet takes about five hours.
The following are important safety features:
- Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection is standard.
- Standard lane departure warning.
- Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert is standard.
The BMW X5 is loaded with technology features, but buyers will need to spend a significant amount of time learning the various menus and buttons in order to get the most out of it. In comparison to its rivals, the X5 is a jack-of-all-trades SUV that can handle both utility tasks and performance drives with equal aplomb. It’s a pleasure to drive, there’s plenty of room for passengers and cargo, and the variety of powertrain options means there’s something for almost every buyer.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Is the BMW X5 reliable?
The predicted reliability score for the 2021 BMW X5 is 81 out of 100. A J.D. Power predicted reliability score of 91-100 is considered the best, 81-90 is considered great, 70-80 is considered average, and 0-69 is considered fair and below average.
Where is the BMW X5 manufactured?
BMW manufactures the 2021 X5 in South Carolina.
What are the most common problems with the BMW X5?
The common problems with the BMW X5 include water leakage problems, engine stall problems, transmission issues, and oil leakage issues.
Is the BMW X5 expensive to maintain?
During the first ten years of ownership, a BMW X5 will cost approximately $18,389 in maintenance and repairs. This is $2,675 more than the industry average for luxury SUV models. During that time, there is also a 54.61% chance that an X5 will require major repairs.
Is the BMW X5 more dependable than the Range Rover?
When comparing used options, the BMW has a higher long-term dependability rating than the Range Rover. In terms of warranty, the BMW has a corrosion warranty of 12 years, whereas the Range has an industry-standard six years.