BMW SUVs

From the small X1 to the gargantuan X7, there's probably a BMW SUV for you in its seven-strong SUV line-up. See our guide to every one

BuyaCar team
Jun 6, 2018

In BMW's hometown of Munich, it's the year of the SUV. The company is launching no less than five SUVs in 2018, replacing its big-selling family models and launching new cars to expand the range.

The small and sculpted X2 joins the lower end of BMW's SUV line-up; the gargantuan X7 is soon to arrive at the top, while the X3, X4 and X5 are being replaced with new versions.

Raised high off the ground, with the ability to go off road and a big, practical interior, sport utility vehicles (SUVs) don't follow the recipe of the traditional low and nimble BMW, but they are hugely popular.

The company's SUVs tend to be a bit sportier than the competition, with responsive steering and nimble cornering that you might not expect from a tall and hefty vehicle. That's particularly the case with the even-numbered cars - the X2, X4 and X6 - which attempt to blend the practicality of a traditional SUV with the sportier feel of BMW's saloons such as the 3 Series and 5 Series.

In BMW's eyes, there's one for every type of customer. Read on to decide for yourself.

BMW X1

Best BMW SUV for low running costs
Not so good for Large families

The X1, whose rivals include the Audi Q3 and Mercedes GLA, is the baby in BMW’s SUV line-up, designed to look like a shrunken version of the larger X3 and X5 cars. Inside is trhe same story: its dashboard layout and large screen, controlled by a rotary dial, will be familiar to any driver of a modern BMW.

The interior is surprisingly roomy and there's a generous amount of boot space. From behind the wheel, the X1 is responsive and lively. It has some efficient engines too, particularly the xDrive 20d diesel models, which are powerful too. Any fuel savings pale into insignificance against its price, which starts at more than £27,500 when new or £21,000 for a two-year-old model: you could have a similarly-sized Nissan Qashqai for £10,000 less. 
BMW X1 buying guide

 

BMW X2

Best BMW SUV for compact style 
Not so good for value for money

It's smaller than the BMW X1 but costs more, as BMW expects X2 buyers to pay more for its sportier design and driving feel.

And that's really it for the differences between the two cars. The curvier design of the X2 means that it has slightly less boot space (but there's still room for plenty of luggage) and less rear headroom. On the road, it's a little nimbler in corners than the X1, changing direction more sharply without much leaning, while remaining comfortable on bumpy roads.

 

BMW X3

Best BMW SUV for sporty drivers
Not so good for penny pinchers

The new BMW X3, which went on sale earlier this year, is possibly the most rounded BMW SUV of them all. Not as heavy and bulky as the larger X5, nor as compact as the smaller X1, it's comfortable to drive in town but large enough to carry a family and their luggage for an extended break.

A rival to the Audi Q5, Volvo XC60 and Mercedes GLC, the BMW X3 virtually matches them on comfort, but feels nimbler - like a much smaller car - which gives you more confidence behind the wheel. All versions have four-wheel drive. The spacious interior looks and feels well-made and finished, while the boot is bigger than a 3 Series saloon’s. The previous car was excellent too, if youre looking at used models.

   

BMW X4

Best BMW SUV for coupe lovers
Not so good for hard work

Soon to be replaced by a new version, the BMW X4 is designed so that its roof curves towards the back like a coupe. The good news is that it's based on the excellent X3, so is comfortable to drive and doesn't lean excessively in corners.

The bad news is that the sloping roof limits what you can see out of the rear window. Still, that’s unlikely to bother you if you like its unique styling. What may put you off is that the roof also cuts into what would be a spacious interior, reducing the amount of headroom for rear passengers, so that taller occupants will brush their head against the roof. Four-wheel drive is standard and there are three diesel engines to choose from, ranging from a frugal 2-litre to a barnstorming 3-litre.

   

BMW X5

Best BMW SUV for hard work
Not so good for off-roading

Another of BMW's SUVs that's due for replacement, the BMW X5 remains an impressive SUV. Its rivals include the Volvo XC90, Audi Q7 and, like those, the BMW has the option of seven seats. When they are folded into the floor, there's a vast 650-litre boot, as well as plenty of cubbyholes in the rest of the interior. Such a big and hefty SUV is never going to feel like a sports car to drive but the X5 is surprisingly nimble: most of its engines are powerful, with brisk acceleration and the car feels stable in corners without too much leaning. 

The new car promises to improve on the formula, but it also means that prices for the outgoing car should drop for used car buyers.
BMW X5 buying guide

    

BMW X6

Best BMW SUV for making an entrance
Not so good for carrying luggage

The X6 is the third SUV-coupe in BMW’s model line-up. In fact it was the first of its kind to be launched and has been very successful. It uses the mechanical parts from the X5 but tops them with that sloping roof.

As with the X4, this reduces the amount of headroom in the rear, cuts into boot space and limits rear visibility. The big X6 is surprisingly good to drive, though: the sportiest models are extremely quick, and the car feels even more agile than the X5, with responsive steering that gives you a good feel of how much the wheels are turning. This helps you zip along narrow roads with increased accuracy. With this ability comes a steep price, though.

 

Coming soon

BMW X4

On sale Now, first deliveries July 2018

Taking the mechanical parts from the latest BMW X3, the new X4 once more clothes them in a curvier and sportier shape. It has more legroom and a small increase in boot capacity compared with the model that it replaces, while in-car technology and engine performance get an upgrade too.

 

BMW X5

On sale autumn 2018

Longer, wider and taller than the BMW X5 it replaces, the new car promises to offer more passenger space, particularly to anyone sitting in the third row of seats, which are cramped in the current car.

The interior also looks more up to date, with fewer buttons and two 12.3in screens to match the technology available in the latest Audi and Mercedes models. Partial self-driving technology allows the car to steer itself in its lane and to switch lanes when you click the inidcator stalk.

Prices will start at £56,710 for a diesel-powered X5 xDrive 30d xLine, but not all models will be available this year: a more efficient (and company car tax-friendly hybrid will go on sale later).

 

BMW X7

On sale 2019

BMW's enormous rival to the Range Rover will arrive next year, promising space for seven adults to sit in comfort, a luxurious interior and a smooth ride.

Effectively, it's a lifted-up limousine, which will pamper passengers as much as the driver and have a price tag to match.

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