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2014 BMW X5

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2014 BMW X5 Review

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BMW doesn't call the X5 a sport utility vehicle (SUV), but rather a "sports activity vehicle" (SAV), a moniker the German luxury brand has been using since the vehicle's introduction in 1999. The idea is to distinguish the vehicle as sportier than a traditional, rugged SUV. Marketing semantics or not, one drive in the X5 will make you a believer. The 2014 BMW X5 marks its third generation with a new design and more creature comforts, all while building on its reputation of combining BMW's famed driving dynamics in a roomy package. The X5 won't hop boulders like a Range Rover Sport, but it is far fonder of carving corners than an Audi Q7 or Mercedes-Benz M-Class.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want a midsize luxury SUV that aspires to be a sports car and offers seating for up to seven, the BMW X5 is a tempting choice. Diesel fans will find a lot to like in the xDrive35d version, which nets up to 26 mpg yet still provides tremendous thrust.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Plan to regularly use 3rd-row seating? Consider the larger Mercedes-Benz GL-Class. If you're on a (relative) budget, be aware that the 2014 X5's $54,000 base price can skyrocket with options that are standard on some competitors. In this regard, the Acura MDX, Audi Q7 and Infiniti's QX60 and QX70 have the upper hand.

What's New for 2014

The 2014 X5 is all new as it enters its third generation. A new model joins the lineup as the base version: the sDrive35i, which is the first X5 to offer rear-wheel drive. All other X5 models continue to have all-wheel drive (xDrive) standard.

Driving the X5
Driving Impressions

The 2014 X5's three engine choices provide varying degrees of power and efficiency. Even a "base" X5 with the turbocharged inline-6 is a quick beast, launching the midsize utility vehicle...

... to 60 mph in the 6-second range. Choose the thunderous, thirsty V8 with its 445 horsepower and nearly $70,000 price, and you're looking at sub-5 seconds. Our pick, however, is BMW's turbodiesel 6-cylinder. It offers a fine balance of power and fuel economy, and only costs $1,500 more than a comparable gasoline-powered version. Whichever X5 you choose, you'll be treated to a larger utility vehicle that feels more like a sports sedan. The X5 is one of the few SUVs that's fun to fling around corners, though it's less adept on tougher off-road trails. It can climb snow-covered roads without drama, but steep off-road inclines are not its forte, as we discovered after brushing its lower lip at a Canadian off-road track.

INFOTAINMENT SYSTEM
The 2014 X5's blend of entertainment and information is splendid, and splendidly displayed on an elegant 10.2-inch screen. And while the rear-view camera costs extra on most models, its resolution is among the best we've seen.

STEERING FEEL
Those who view driving as something to adore rather than a chore have long admired how BMWs respond when turning, and the X5 is no exception. We can use words like "taut" and "responsive," but trying to fully relay the experience in words is akin to attempting to describe the taste of a perfectly grilled steak.

2014 BMW X5 Details
2014 BMW X5 photo Interior

The latest BMW X5 has seating for five across two rows. A 3rd-row seat is optional and increases the passenger count by two, but room in that last row is very tight. Legroom is good in the first two rows, and the front seats are especially comfortable and spacious, even for adults with large frames. The 2nd-row seats fold in a 40/20/40 configuration, handy for fitting long items like skis down the middle. BMW's latest iDrive with touchpad controller is easier to figure out, and the main controls for climate and audio are fairly intuitive. Poplar wood trim adds warmth to the cabin's sleek lines.

Exterior
2014 BMW X5 photo

When we saw the new BMW X5 SUV from a distance, we thought we were looking at its smaller brother, the X3. It turned out to be an illusion, and a good one. Though dimensionally the same size as the outgoing model, the 2014 X5's fresh design makes it appear sleeker and less bloated. In front, BWM's famed "kidney" grille design now flows into the headlight housings, while the X5's rear is the first of the brand's to feature "Aero Blades," which channel air for better aerodynamics. Pragmatically, the X5 comes with roof rails and a 2-section tailgate.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Spend the least on a 2014 BMW X5 sDrive35i, and you'll find plenty to like, but a few things still missing for your roughly $54,000. Making the list are 10-way power and heated front seats, a panoramic moonroof, navigation with a 10.2-inch high-res screen, a power tailgate, a power-adjustable steering column, a 9-speaker audio system with HD Radio, and xenon adaptive headlights. Unexpectedly, leather seating and a rear-view camera cost extra. The top-line X5 xDrive50i models add the aforementioned leather and rear-view camera along with 19-inch wheels and luxurious, 20-way power front seats. All new X5s come with four years/50,000 miles of complimentary maintenance.

Optional Equipment

Whether you want a heated steering wheel and ventilated seats or a night-vision assist system, options and packages come in abundance for the 2014 X5. To start off the configuration process, BMW offers three optional "lines" – Luxury, xLine, and M Sport. The first two bundle aesthetic upgrades and 19-inch wheels, while the M Sport adds performance-oriented features such as steering-wheel-mounted gear shifters and launch control for high-speed takeoffs. Our ears were very pleased with the up-level harman/kardon 600-watt/16-speaker sound system. Those craving extreme sound can get it in a Bang & Olufsen system boasting 1,200 watts.

Under the Hood

Three turbocharged engines are offered in the latest X5: A gasoline- or diesel-powered inline-6, and a V8 that, at 445 horsepower, boasts 45 more horsepower than the outgoing version. All are connected to a slick-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission. In an effort to be more fuel-efficient, X5 SUVs have a start/stop function that shuts down the engine at idle, such as at stoplights. The system is quick to restart the engine once you lift your foot off the brake pedal, but we found ourselves just as quickly disabling this functionality due to its intrusiveness when abruptly roaring the engine to life. Like other BMWs, X5 models with gasoline engines require premium-grade fuel.

3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 (sDrive35i and xDrive35i)
300 horsepower @ 5,800-6,000 rpm
295 lb-ft of torque @ 1,300-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/27 mpg (rear-wheel drive), 18/27 (all-wheel-drive)

3.0-liter turbocharged diesel inline-6 (xDrive35d)
255 horsepower @ 4,000 rpm
413 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-3,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/31 mpg

4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (xDrive50i)
445 horsepower @ 5,500-6,000 rpm
479 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/22 mpg

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2014 BMW X5 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.1
Out of 10

Based on 19 Ratings for the 2014 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.8/10
    Quality
    8.3/10
  • Reliability
    8.3/10
    Performance
    8.8/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Not what I expected, ordred the car loaded 68K

By on Friday, May 6, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Well built. accelerates fast."

Cons: "Run Flat tires, straight line problem,folding seat"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"I wish I had read the road test comparing 4 SUV's, it came in 4th. BMW is supposed to be a great road car. At highway speeds the car "Hunts" from side to side. You have to be on your guard to keep it in line. The 3rd seat is a joke. Front seats are quite high long way to ground. Second row seats do not fold flat and bump into front seats Run flat tires are awful.3rd seat is a joke. Without it you get a real spare. Traded a Volvo XC 90, should have waited for their new model."

7 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Best SAV!

By on Sunday, April 10, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great highway cruiser being diesel 30mph hwy !"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Fit and finish, the quality of materials used-- never an issue- like a reliable yellow lab- always ready when you are!"

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Great vehicle; fun to drive!

By on Thursday, March 10, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Power; handling; ride; looks; comfort"

Cons: "Cost; maintenance costs once warranty is gone."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I just bought this 2016 x5 after having had a 2010 prior to this purchase. This version is even better with the newer technology and still very much the same ride. It's just a pleasure to drive and for me, the further the drive, the better."

5 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Nice but some flaws

By on Monday, February 22, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "comfortable in front seats once in"

Cons: "hard to get in, , run flat tires ruin ride."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"Special Ordered this car new in Nov 2015. 67 K. The car is loaded. Run Flat tires are all you can get on the 3rd seat type. Terrible ride and tracking, no shoulders, exposes rims. If you have a problem, try to get a replacement on a weekend! No handle on the right A side, hard to get in. Traded a 2006 XC 90, seats are much higher on BMW. Access to third seat is terrible. economy is about 18 in city, 28 on highway."

6 people out of 11 found this review helpful

a cut above others

By on Thursday, January 21, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "torque, drivability, handling, fun"

Cons: "backseat legroom is a little shy"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"1.5 years since purchase, no problems and great performance. Touch the accelerator at 70mph to pass and it seems effortless to complete the maneuver. Best trip mileage averaged 45mpg while driving country roads at ~50mph. Typically 33mpg at freeway and 29 mpg City. Super comfortable, love the sunroof and sound system too!"

17 people out of 21 found this review helpful

Amazing!

By on Friday, November 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 44,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Quality, Agility, Refined Design"

Cons: "Nothing really!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've owned my 2014 X5 35d for 1.5 years now and have driven 44,000 miles. So far I've only had a ton of fun and no problems at all. I LOVE the way it drives, I love the exterior but even more so the interior with Mocha Napa leather seats and leather dash board, love the heads-up display, the 360 degree camera, love the comfort seats (they are amazing, but you need to take the time and really fine-tune all the different adjustments). Love all the technology (safety features, advanced navigation system, etc). Love all the little thoughtful details that you don't notice during a test drive. There are a ton of other things that I love, but if I had to give you cons, the only ones I can come up with are: the blind spot indicator light is by far not bright enough and the Rhapsody app doesn't work very well, but that's probably not even BMW's issue. Bottom line: amazing car in every aspect!"

17 people out of 21 found this review helpful

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