BMW X5 (2018-present)

The latest BMW X5 still drives and handles better than most of its rivals, but it’s less spacious and practical.

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Super-composed ride
High-quality interior
Potential for seven seats

Weaknesses 

Not as spacious as some rivals
iDrive is too fiddly
Still very expensive
Best finance deal

BMW X5 Diesel Estate (2013-2018) xdrive25d [231] se 5dr auto

Finance price £418 per month

Cash price £31,790

BMW X5 prices from £25,000   Finance from £382 per month

The fourth-generation X5 has a lot more competition than its original ancestor had when it arrived in 1999. Now it has to look in its wing mirrors at the Audi Q7, Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class, Volvo XC90, Porsche Cayenne and Range Rover all attempting to usurp its position as the most upmarket SUV around.

Luckily, this latest iteration has upped its game to keep pace with the pack, with a new design, upgraded equipment, and new smoother engines to give everything a better sense of refinement. Overall, the new styling works well with, dare we say it, more than a hint of what has made the XC90 so popular. However, the classy new look is somewhat diminished by the very large interpretation of BMW’s kidney grille.

Thankfully, the interior is more tasteful, swathed as it is in leather and with high-quality trim materials throughout. It's all very comfortable, from the very supportive sports seats up front to the rear bench, with lots of rear leg- and headroom. It’s perhaps not quite as spacious at the back as the XC90, Q7 or GLS, but it's certainly decent, thanks in part to a 42mm increase in the space between the front and rear wheels.

There are also two optional third-row seats, giving the X5 potential to become a seven-seater, but in common with all seven-seat SUVs, these seats are really only suitable for short trips or very young children. Our test car didn’t have the extra seats, but judging from the difference in rear space compared to its rivals, we can’t see how third-row room could be greater.

The technology in the X5 is more impressive, however. The 12.3-inch widescreen display is highly visible and easy to use, while the latest version of BMW’s iDrive system is more usable than ever - there are still way too many menus and sub-menus but, once you get used to it, it’s easier to navigate through.

There’s also lots of safety technology that will form the basis of automated driving in the next few years, such as an active cruise control function that can bring the car to a standstill in congested, stop-go traffic, then get it back up to speed when everything gets moving again, without the driver having to touch the brake or accelerator pedals. Other nifty features include evasion aid, which can help the car avoid collisions with other vehicles or pedestrians that suddenly appear in its path.

It's the ride an handling of the BMW X5 that really pushes it into a league above the rest though. The adaptive air suspension helps in this regard, as it soaks up any imperfections in the road surface when in Comfort mode, then lowers the car in Sport mode and keeps all the car’s mass in check when cornering. The X5 therefore feels taut and composed at all times, while the steering is pointy and accurate, and there’s plenty of grip on offer. So while the Q7 and XC90 feel perfectly accomplished on the road, only the Cayenne feels better to drive.

BMW is offering a selection of five engines with the X5. There's a standard petrol, badged xDrive40i, and a diesel, badged xDrive30d. Beyond those there is also two more powerful options, the M50i (petrol) and M50d (diesel) and a final hybrid option, the xDrive45e.

The X5 certainly has some stiff competition in the large SUV class, but BMW has thrown everything at its latest car to try and keep it ahead of the pack – which it is in some areas (ride and handling, for example), but isn’t in others (space and practicality come to mind). As an overall package, though, there’s nothing to suggest that the X5 won’t continue to hold on to owners who have owned successive generations of the car, while at the same time winning new fans.

Last Updated 

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 - 11:30

Understanding BMW X5 car names 

  • X5
  • Engine
    xDrive30d
  • Trim
    M Sport
  • Engine
    All X5 models come with BMW's xDrive four-wheel drive system as standard, while the suffixing letter 'd' indicates this is a diesel engine. Petrol engines will be suffixed with the letter 'i' while hybrids are indicated by the letter 'e'.
  • Trim
    There are two trim levels available with the BMW X5. xLine is the cheaper standard model, while M Sport is more expensive but features more equipment.

BMW X5 Prices

BMW X5 M Sport

xdrive30d mht m sport 5dr auto

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £56,200

You could save up to: £6880

xdrive30d mht m sport 5dr auto [pro pack]

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £59,061

You could save up to: £7139

xdrive30d mht m sport 5dr auto [tech pack]

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £56,829

You could save up to: £9216

xdrive30d mht m sport 5dr auto [tech/pro pack]

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £58,820

You could save up to: £9475

xdrive40d mht m sport 5dr auto

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £58,488

You could save up to: £7107

xdrive40d mht m sport 5dr auto [pro pack]

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £60,480

You could save up to: £7365

xdrive40d mht m sport 5dr auto [tech pack]

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £58,247

You could save up to: £9443

xdrive40d mht m sport 5dr auto [tech/pro pack]

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £62,334

You could save up to: £7606

xdrive45e m sport 5dr auto

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol/plugin elec hybrid
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £63,531

You could save up to: £4714

xdrive45e m sport 5dr auto [pro pack]

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol/plugin elec hybrid
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £65,298

You could save up to: £4847

xdrive45e m sport 5dr auto [tech pack]

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol/plugin elec hybrid
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £65,480

You could save up to: £4860

xdrive45e m sport 5dr auto [tech/pro pk]

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol/plugin elec hybrid
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £67,247

You could save up to: £4993

BMW X5 M50i

xdrive m50i 5dr auto

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £66,672

You could save up to: £10088

BMW X5 xLine

xdrive40d mht xline 5dr auto

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £55,391

You could save up to: £6704

xdrive45e xline 5dr auto

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol/plugin elec hybrid
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £60,276

You could save up to: £4469

Other Editions