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2014 BMW X5 Review

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2014 BMW X5 Expert 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.

How It Ranks

#11

out of 33

Fuel Economy

#21

out of 33

Horsepower
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Consumer Rating

8.0 out of 10
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consumer ratings
2014 BMW X5 Low/wide front photo 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
2014 BMW X5 Front angle view photo

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 Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view 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
2014 BMW X5 Engine photo

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

The 2014 BMW X5 has a starting Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $53,725 for the rear-wheel-drive sDrive35i. The all-wheel-drive xDrive35i starts at $56,025, and the diesel-powered xDrive35d at $57,525. Those seeking the king-of-the-hill, V8-powered X5 will have to pay a pretty high premium. The top-dog for now (until an M version comes along), the xDrive50i comes priced at $69,125 before options. Adding packages and options can swell these prices by thousands. At its base price, the 2014 X5 is a few thousand dollars above the slightly smaller Mercedes-Benz M-Class and about $10,000 below the 7-passenger GL-Class. Other competitors come in several thousand below the X5, including the Audi Q7, Infiniti QX60 and QX70, Acura MDX, Lexus RX, and Porsche Cayenne. It is, however, below a Range Rover Sport. Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying. The X5's predicted resale value is expected to remain very good.

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2014 BMW X5 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.0
Out of 10

Based on 11 Ratings for the 2014 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.8/10
    Quality
    7.8/10
  • Reliability
    7.9/10
    Performance
    9.3/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

Best SUV I've owned!

By on Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,000

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
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "A gorgeous SUV that drives like a sedan!"

Cons: "The satellite radio is difficult to program."

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

"I've owned multiple types of SUVs (luxury and non), but never a BMW and I have to say that this X5 is the best! I test drove all of the comparable products in this price range and below, before deciding on purchasing the X5, but nothing enticed me to want to drive it as much as this, even with the pretty price tag! It's beautiful exterior, combined with it's thrilling pick up and go (I own the S), plus its ability to haul three teen age kids comfortably makes this SUV a no brainer! My favorites outside out of what I listed below are the huge navigation screen, the heads-up display, the numerous cup holders, the panorama moon roof and the lift gate in the back that not only serves as a nice place to sit, but keeps my dog in the car with the glass open and tailgate up! The only small minuses I've experienced so far are the programming of the satellite and radio stations. It's more complex to program than the rest of my vehicles, also the function that shuts off the engine at stops to save gas is annoying, but luckily you can turn that off. These are small gripes compared to how much I love the rest of the car! Did I mention that the inside of the SUV only gets better at night when the illuminating lights in the dashboard light up??? Finally, I understand what it means to have a BMW driving experience. I'm a fan for life now!!!"

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Over all a great car to drive

By on Sunday, May 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fun to drive, high profremence"

Cons: "complex menu, hard suspension, high fuel cost"

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

"Good things first, the engine is fantastic and really fun to drive. I had the one with M sport package and it looks just beautiful. The fuel consumption seems a bit more than the it calmed. In city it is deferentially lower than 18 mpg under the comfort mode. The NBT is cool however, some common functions such as missed phone call requires multiple layer of menu to get."

15 people out of 30 found this review helpful

Fun to drive. Performs as expected. Some flaws

By on Monday, February 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,900

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great quality, fun to drive, lots of room."

Cons: "Don't buy the fancy 20" y spoke whells!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I've had the car 2 months and have loved the two long trips I've taken south. I think the side view mirrors are poor design due to no cover to keep the rain off.Be careful not to bang your head getting in and out of front seat. Largest disappointment is paying $900 for fancy Y spoke 20" wheels that only come with summer performance tires. Trying to find all season tires for those different front and back tire sizes is difficult and expensive. So my dumb question BMW is why make a four wheel drive vehicle that I can't drive in Pittsburgh winters? It looks great in the garage. Lesson learned , buy the stock 18" wheels."

29 people out of 46 found this review helpful

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