New BMW X5 2018 Review

BMW raised a few pulses in China when it increased the prices of the new BMW X5 2018 – blaming the additional cost of tariffs on US car imports, retail prices were increased by 7 per cent.

This may have been a bitter pill to swallow for the Chinese market, particularly when we consider how much the BMW X5 costs.

The new BMW X5 UK price starts at an eye-watering £53,395, so it was up to us to decide whether or not this price tag was justified.

What’s new?

The new model BMW X5 has been revamped for the fourth-generation model, and the biggest change is obvious: its size.

This gargantuan powerhouse is the biggest X5 yet, so if you’re looking for an imposing road presence with a hefty price tag to match, you’ve got yourself a winner.

Just how long is a BMW X5? It has a length of 4,886mm – that’s over a foot longer than its predecessor.

Other impressive BMW X5 dimensions include increased width, ranging from 1,938 to 2,004mm, and its 2,173kg weight.

There’s also a minimum boot space of 650 litres, going up to 1,870 litres with the seats folded down.

BMW certainly isn’t doing anything by halves with the X5. Think it’ll be a struggle to pull all of that extra weight? Wait until you hear how it drives.

BMW X5 specs

Size isn’t the only thing we’ve got to look forward to for the BMW X5 facelift 2018. The engines and technology are also a force to be reckoned with.

Not all of the models will be available to us in the UK (seems we’re suffering as much as the Chinese) – one that we’re currently missing out on is the xDrive50i.

This 4.4 litre petrol V8 will boast a hair-raising 460 BHP, 479lb of torque, an eight-speed automatic gearbox, four-wheel drive and a 0-62 mph time of just 4.7 seconds.

But let’s not focus on what we can’t have. The xDrive50i might be hitting 62mph before we’ve even had time to put on a seatbelt, but there’s plenty more to be had ever here in the UK.

What we have on offer this autumn are the xDrive30d, a single-turbo 3.0 litre diesel with 265 BHP, as well as a single-turbo 3.0 litre petrol with 340 BHP – the xDrive40i. If you really want to raise hell, however, take a spin in the M50d, a 3.0 litre quad-turbo straight six.

Quad turbo may be an alien term for some, so we’ll clear this up for you – the engine features two low pressure and two high pressure turbos.

In doing so, it achieves 400 BHP and 560lb of torque, the first 332lb of which can be achieved at a modest 1,000rpm. All of this and a 0-62mph speed of 5.2 seconds makes us forget the xDrive50i ever even existed.

BMW X5 interior

Enough drooling over the engines – before we sped off, we took time to look inside the nerve centre of this magnificent beast.

There’s an optional seven-seater upgrade, of course, and passengers in the back aren’t overlooked as the ample height allows for them climb in and out with ease.

Even three adult passengers across the back seat is not a struggle, though it’s notable that there’s not as much luggage space in the X5 as some competitors, such as the Audi Q7.

On the upside, you won’t find your middle passengers bemoaning the lack of room.

In fact, unlike many modern SUVs, even the middle seat has a spacious legroom area that isn’t encroached upon by superfluous lumps in the floor.

If you do upgrade to have a third row of seats in the back, (costing up to £1,410 – beware) you might find that your extra passengers can climb in easily, but once settled, they might feel a bit cramped.

The front cabin

Over in the front, you’ll find everything that’s evocative of the classic luxury SUV BMW design, though classic may be the operative word here.

Again, compared to some competitors, it suffers a little. The design feels a little dated; while it may offer an array of leather and slick metal finishes, it’s not quite the visual masterpiece you’d expect in say, a Volvo XC90.

Practicality precedes vanity, however, and that’s a sentiment which clearly rings true with the 2018 BMW X5 design and interior.

The on-board controls make everything easy to use without the need to take one’s eyes off the road: this is aided by a handy scroll wheel and shortcut buttons in lieu of a touchscreen. Here you can make changes to the stereo with ease, while there’s a professional satellite navigation system in all models.

The infotainment system

Like its predecessors, the iDrive cabin control system allows drivers to customise their climate control, cruise control and memory seats.

These settings are visible on a 10.2-inch infotainment screen and can be toggled by the M Sport steering wheel or the abovementioned control wheel.

You can even enter characters onto this as it works as a touchpad – pretty convenient for keeping your eyes on the road.

As ever, there’s a Bluetooth connection, music streaming options, apps and BMW’s online services. For an even better sound, you can upgrade to a bombastic music system from Bang & Olufsen and Harman Kardon. Of course, there are other added bonuses which underpin the X5’s luxury status, including heated seats in all models.

How does it drive?

With all its height, the X5 offers superior road visibility and a comfortable seating position. The higher-end models come with the option to electronically control the driver’s seat, while electric lumbar support is offered as an upgrade across all models.

Previous X5 models served to add sporty handling to the SUV sector, and the new model X5 manages to achieve this in conjunction with superior off-road ability.

Its optional Adaptive Dynamic Suspension technology helps it corner with ease, though in sports modes, it can drive a little too firmly.

For the ultimate in relaxed driving, we’d suggest throwing it into comfort mode, opting for the lumbar support, and sitting back. Beware – steering can feel a little inconsistent at times, particularly on cambers in the road.

Fuel economy

Of course, acceleration is no mean feat for this juggernaut – all models can whisk you away with contemptuous ease, even at low revs.

This does, of course, make it quite the thirsty beast, achieving 32-47mpg combined and emitting a rather unsavoury 158g/km, but that’s the price we must pay to drive one of the biggest BMWs on the market.

At this point we should advise that there is a greener alternative available – the hybrid 40e would make a far better choice if you’re not going to be making long journeys.

When we consider that the average commute is 9.9 miles, then it’s an ideal alternative – particularly as it claims to offer a combined 85.6mpg.

It’s worth noting that once the electric power conks out, it’s difficult to average above 30mpg on the remaining petrol reserves.

BMW X5 reliability

So, it handles well, has all the comfort of a warm bed on a cold night and pulls like a train. What could possibly go wrong? Unfortunately, the X5 has suffered in recent years from bad reliability reports. Specifically, it did not chart in the 2016 Driver Power rundown of 150 best cars to own, while in 2014 it peaked at 96th place.

In 2018, at the time of writing the Euro NCAP has yet to test the latest X5, but we have been warned that such a heavy car will not be without its fair share of wear and tear.

Historically, electrical faults have been cited as one of the most common complaints.

Drive assist accessories

We’d like to give the new BMW X5 the benefit of the doubt however – its Active Security Package comes with lane departure warning, rear collision alerts and a blind spot monitor.

BMW Emergency Call can also send details to the emergency services when hooked up to your mobile phone, so it’s as safety-conscious as we can expect.

With all of the drive assist features as standard, it also takes much of the difficulty out of driving – that’s pretty handy when you find yourself more or less trying to park a tank.

New BMW X5 release date

Having been announced in June 2018, the BMW X5 will be rolled out from November onwards. It will be hitting the roads at the same time as many other new SUVs in winter 2018, including the all new Audi Q3.

If the latest BMW X5 images are anything to go by, then there is a lot to be excited about.

There are more upgrade options than you can shake a stick at, from aesthetics to comfort, but even the most basic models have plenty to offer in terms of speed and road presence.

It may not be the most environmentally friendly of SUVs, but for petrol-heads, it’s a pricey investment that will provide hours of fun.


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