BMW X5 (2013-present)

The BMW X5 is one of the best large SUVs, as long as you can stomach the steep price

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Efficient diesel engines
Well equipped
Spacious

Weaknesses 

Expensive options
Conservative styling
Some rivals more refined

The BMW X5 is one of the most familiar and popular large SUVs on the road. It’s now in its third generation and makes just a formidable rival as ever for cars like the Audi Q7, Volvo XC90, Porsche Cayenne, Mercedes GLE, Land Rover Discovery and Range Rover Sport.

This latest third-generation model is the first X5 to come with the option of seven seats – making an already extremely practical car even more versatile. As you’d expect from a car like this, four-wheel drive is pretty much standard across the range, although BMW does offer a single front-wheel-drive version for those more concerned about low day-to-day running costs than the ability to occasionally tackle a muddy slope or rough track.

Inside, the X5 offers the high-quality fit and finish and clean, modern design typical of contemporary German luxury cars, combined with the smooth ride quality and raised driving position common to all big SUVs.

A large dashboard screen and BMW’s intuitive iDrive infotainment system makes operating the long list of features easy, while basic practicality is good, too, thanks to plenty of interior storage space and masses of room for passengers, front and back.

The boot measures a cavernous 650 litres and the X5 offers towing capacities as high as 3,500kg, making it a great choice for caravan, horse or boat owners with big loads to pull.

This should also be a pretty safe car, as evidenced by its five-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating. The one area of concern is that, although there are plenty of airbags elsewhere inside the car, there are none specifically for the optional third-row seats (which will most likely be occupied by children).

There is plenty of active safety technology to avoid you having a collision in the first place, though – this includes active cruise control to maintain a safe distance from vehicles in front when cruising on the motorway.

Last Updated 

Thursday, March 10, 2016 - 13:30

Key facts 

Warranty: 
Three years/unlimited miles
Boot size: 
650 litres
Width: 
1,938mm
Length: 
4,886mm
Height: 
1,762mm
Tax (min to max): 
£0 to £505

Best BMW X5 for... 

BMW X5 xDrive40e SE
Plug-in hybrid technology helps this petrol-electric version of the X5 achieve over 83mpg – as long as you make full use of its electric range of around 19 miles. At 77g/km, it also has low enough CO2 emissions to qualify for free road tax – remarkable for such a large SUV.
BMW X5 sDrive25d SE
Although the hybrid version is very efficient, it’s pretty expensive to buy, at well over £50,000. The SE model is the most affordable version of the X5 and the sDrive25d front-wheel-drive setup has the most reasonable running costs of the range.
BMW X5 M50d
There’s faster petrol X5 M model, but this M50d high-performance diesel is almost a quick, while also being a great deal cheaper to buy and run and looking nicely sporty as well.
BMW X5 xDrive 50i M Sport
This conventional petrol-engined X5 makes very little sense unless you really dislike driving diesels for some reason. It’s expensive to both buy and run and its value on the used market will drop like a stone.

BMW X5 History 

November 2013 Goes on sale in UK
May 2014 Recall of Oct ’13 - Mar ’14 X5s for safety lock problem
October 2014 High-performance X5 M version joins the range
March 2015 Plug-in hybrid model introduced

Understanding BMW X5 car names 

  • X5
  • Engine
    xDrive30d
  • Trim
    M Sport
  • Gearbox
    Auto
  • Engine
    There’s one front-wheel-drive version of the X5: the sDrive25d diesel. All others are four-wheel drive, including the xDrive25d, 30d and 40d diesels, the 40e hybrid, the 50i petrol and the high-performance M50d (diesel); and X5 M (petrol).
  • Trim
    There are two regular trim levels – or versions – called SE and M Sport, plus the expensive, high-performance M50d and X5 M models.
  • Gearbox
    All X5s have automatic transmission – manual isn’t offered.

BMW X5 Engines 

sDrive25d, xDrive25d, xDrive30d, xDrive40d, M50d (diesel); xDrive40e (hybrid); xDrive50i, X5 M (petrol) 

The X5 engine line-up consists of five diesels, two petrols and a hybrid. The latter is the most recent addition to the range, marrying a large petrol engine to batteries and a powerful electric motor to offer very impressive fuel-economy and CO2 emissions figures. As long as you have access to a charging point at home or work, this version of the X5 should prove very cheap to run, but it’s quite pricey to buy in the first place.

Also expensive to buy, but definitely not cheap to run is the xDrive50i conventional petrol engine. With the various diesels offering strong performance, there’s little reason to buy this pretty inefficient (but undeniably fast) car. That’s even more so with the high-performance X5 M – an SUV as fast as some supercars. However, it looks somewhat redundant next to the M50d performance diesel, which is also hair-raisingly quick, but relatively efficient.

The more sensible diesels are where most X5 buyers will look, and you could do a lot worse than stick with the basic sDrive25d version in affordable but well equipped SE spec. The fact that this is front-wheel drive rather than four-wheel drive means it offers the best economy and lowest CO2 emissions of any X5 save the hybrid. If you’d like a bit more power – perhaps for towing – then the 30d and 40d diesels are both worth considering.

Fuel

Mpg

Bhp

0 - 62mph

top speed

sDrive25d

Diesel

52.3 - 53.3mpg

231

7.7s

137mph

xDrive25d

Diesel

50.4mpg

231

7.7s

137mph

xDrive30d

Diesel

47.1 - 47.9mpg

258

6.8s

143mph

xDrive40d

Diesel

47.1mpg

313

5.9s

147mph

M50d

Diesel

42.8mpg

381

5.3s

155mph

xDrive40e

Hybrid

83.1mpg

245

6.8s

130mph

xDrive50i

Petrol

29.1 - 29.4mpg

449

4.9s

155mph

X5 M

Petrol

25.4mpg

575

4.2s

155mph

BMW X5 Trims 

SE, M Sport, M50d, X5 M

The X5 is a well equipped car – even the most affordable entry-level SE specification comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth mobile-phone connectivity, cruise control, sat nav, a six-speaker stereo, DAB digital radio, 20GB hard-disc storage for music and maps, leather upholstery, LED foglights, a leather steering wheel and heated front seats. If you go for the xDrive40e hybrid engine in SE spec, you also get adaptive suspension for greater comfort, a charging port in the side of the car and ‘eDrive’ badges to identify it.

Stepping up to M Sport gets you distinctive, aggressive-looking bodykit and 19-inch alloy wheels, as well as aforementioned adaptive suspension, plus M badges, fancier interior and exterior trim and a power-adjustable driver’s seat. The M50d engine serves as a separate trim level, adding unique rectangular exhausts and M50d badging, while there are similar additions with the even more powerful X5 M, which has unmistakeable quad exhausts.

BMW X5 Reliability and warranty 

Unfortunately, not enough owners of the third-generation BMW X5 responded for the car to be featured in the most recent 2015 edition of Auto Express magazine’s Driver Power customer satisfaction survey. However, in the previous (2014) running of the survey, the car was ranked a somewhat shaky 96th out of 150 cars looked at. BMW as a brand overall finished a mid-table 14th out of 32 manufacturers in the 2015 survey, meanwhile. There’s better news on the warranty front: all new BMWs are guaranteed for three years, with no mileage limit. That’s better than key rival Audi, which slaps a 60,000-mile limit on its policy.

Used BMW X5 

If you’re tempted by a cheap used BMW X5, don’t forget that despite a low purchase price, it’ll still have the running costs of a £50,000 SUV, so make sure you do your sums and can afford the expected fuel, insurance and road-tax bills on an ongoing basis. Petrol X5s in particular are very thirsty, so if you do long motorway drives at all, you should stick to diesel.

As this current third-generation X5 has only been on sale for around two years, there are no true bargains available just yet, however it does tend to shed in the region of 20% of its value in the first year of ownership, so you might be able to secure a good deal on a low-mileage, 12-month-old example – especially one offered as an ‘Approved Used BMW’ by one of the brand’s franchised dealers, which should come with a full mechanical inspection and the balance of its three-year manufacturer warranty.

Prices below show typical BuyaCar discounts for our pick of new and used models. Scroll down further for the very latest new BMW X5 deals or search for all new and used BMW X5 offers.

 

List price

BuyaCar nearly new

1 year old

2 years old

3 years old

Best for performance

Price

£65,235

n/a

£52,755

£48,885

n/a

BMW X5 M50d

Save

n/a

19%

25%

n/a

Best for families

Price

£44,575

£40,950

£34,555

£31,935

n/a

BMW X5 sDrive25d SE

Save

8.1%

22%

28%

n/a

Best for economy

Price

£52,105

n/a

£44,580

n/a

n/a

BMW X5 xDrive 40e SE

Save

n/a

14%

n/a

n/a

Prices correct at time of publication