New 2019 BMW X5 SUV
BMW X5 SUV
Revamped for 2019, the BMW X5 luxury SUV packs more tech, power and newfound off-road chops, all while retaining its sporty dynamics.
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The BMW X5 has been totally revamped for 2019. Now in its fourth generation, this German luxury SUV improves with more technology, enhanced safety and driver-assistance features, more power and slightly larger dimensions. For the first time in its nearly 20 years of existence, the BMW X5 is available with an off-road package and 2-axle air suspension that emphasize its new, more rugged capabilities. BMW faithful will be relieved to know that it has lost none of its athletic nature and sports-sedan-like performance that set it apart from rivals like the Acura MDX, Lexus RX and Mercedes-Benz GLE. The new X5 debuts with a choice of 6- or 8-cylinder engines, and in 2-row/5-passenger or 3-row/7-passenger configurations. Starting over $60,000, the X5 remains priced higher than most rivals.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you want a midsize-luxury-crossover SUV that behaves more like a BMW sports sedan, the X5 continues to offer impressive performance with everyday practicality. A long list of features and amenities -- from a V8 engine and massaging seats to semi-autonomous driving -- will please a variety of desires.
You May Not Like This Car If...
With a price starting over $60,000 and expanding by the tens of thousands from there, the BMW X5 isn’t cheap. If you regularly plan to seat more than five passengers, you’re better off waiting for the larger, 3-row BMW X7, which will offer more room in the last row.
What's New for 2019
The BMW X5 is all-new for 2019. It has been overhauled with more technology, more sophisticated driving features, and slightly larger dimensions. For the first time in an X model, an off-road package is offered. The X5 continues to be built at BMW’s massive factory in South Carolina.
The X5 has long felt like an oxymoron in the best way possible: It’s an SUV that drives like a sports sedan. Turns out there’s truth to that whole SAV -- “Sports Activity Vehicle” -- nomenclature after all. For this latest version of BMW’s midsize-crossover SUV, these truths remain, and then some. Even in base form with a turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine, the X5 is quick, nimble, involving and fun. It is one of the most satisfying crossover SUVs money can buy. Stats back up the story, with 0-60 mph arriving in just 5.3 seconds. Step up to the big-dog V8, and you might feel drunk with power. That 0-60 sprint is cut to just 4.6 seconds, and you’ll be treated to an addicting engine note. Various drive modes, from the efficiency-minded Eco Pro to the dynamic Sport Plus, make a real difference in driving feel. The new X5’s on-road dynamics don’t come as a surprise. What does is its newfound off-road prowess. When optioned with the off-road package, the X5 is suited up with 2-axle air suspension that can raise and lower the vehicle, and multiple terrain modes for surfaces such as sand, snow, rocks and gravel. Where the old model didn’t quite have the ground clearance to deal with much beyond dirt roads, the new X5 is surprisingly adept at clambering up and down steep hills and getting over obstacles. It’s still no Land Rover Discovery, but it will go farther than most owners will ever care to take it.
We just extolled the virtues of this feature for off-highway use. But the X5’s new air suspension also pays off on the road, where it grants compliant manners, or when parked, where it can lower the vehicle for easier loading and unloading. In addition to being included in the Off-Road Package ($3,950) it’s offered as a stand-alone option for $1,000.
The 2019 X5 can really put the “luxe” in “luxury SUV.” From heated and cooled cup holders (and seats) to a Bowers & Wilkins audiophile sound system and soft-close power doors, the X5’s list goes as far as your checkbook will take you.
The 2019 BMW X5 comes in standard form with two rows and seating for five passengers. For $2,200 more, it can be optioned with a third row, which adds two more seats in the last row. They are best only for small children or occasional use. Otherwise, the rest of the X5’s interior is roomy in the first and second rows. Up front, the X5 has the usual BMW character of being elegant yet clean, sophisticated and relatively minimal. The central dash is wide and horizontally arranged. A 10.2-inch high-resolution touch screen sits prominently in the center, and the new X5 now uses a fully digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster in place of a traditional analog setup. The front seats are exceptionally comfortable. We recommend opting for the Multi-contour variety. For only $750 (or as standard in the xDrive50i), they bring 20-way-power operation with memory function.
While it’s all-new, the X5’s basic design hasn’t strayed far from its prior self. Compared to the 3rd-generation model, the new, 4th-gen X5 is slightly larger. Overall length has increased just over an inch, but its width has grown by an extra 2.6 inches. An extra inch in height also adds to the new X5’s beefier profile, as does the signature twin-kidney grille that has also grown since the last model. The rest of the X5 is all BMW -- stylish but not ostentatious, with clean and crisp design that we think will hold up well in the years to come. The X5’s wheels range in size from the standard 19 inches to optional 22-inch rollers.
Notable Standard Equipment
In base form as the xDrive40i, the new 2019 X5 comes with a turbocharged 6-cylinder engine, all-wheel drive, 16-way-power front seats with 3-level heating, panoramic moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable steering wheel, power tailgate, front and rear parking sensors, universal garage-door opener, and auto-dimming rearview mirror. The standard iDrive 7 infotainment system bundles a 10.2-inch touch screen that can also be operated by a dial near the center armrest, navigation, two USB ports, and 10-speaker/205-watt audio system with 20 gigs of multimedia storage. Apple CarPlay integration is standard, but Android Auto compatibility remains elusive to BMW. Standard safety systems include the Active Driving Assistant that bundles pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and frontal collision warning with automatic emergency braking.
Notable Optional Equipment
There’s a plethora of ways to further part with your money, and options range from sensible to extravagant yet temping. For example, genuine leather, vs. of the faux SensaTec material, is extra in the xDrive40i (and standard in the V8 xDrive50i). Thankfully, BMW bundles much of the good stuff into “tiers,” including features like soft-close doors, 4-zone climate control, surround-view camera, wireless phone charging and mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, and even “Laserlight” LED headlights. The Driving Assistance Plus Package adds semi-autonomous driving features like adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, active lane-keep assist, and the innovative Traffic Jam Assist that allows the X5 to drive itself at lower speeds. Other amenities range from heated and cooled cup holders to lovely-looking glass console controls to massaging seats and the off-road package.
Under the Hood
At launch, the new BMW X5 luxury SUV offers a choice of two engines. Standard is a turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine, designated as the xDrive40i model, that makes 335 horsepower. It’s a fantastic engine and will be more than most buyers even need. We found it’s so good that you might just think it’s an 8-cylinder. If that’s really what you’re after, one is available, in the 456-horsepower twin-turbo V8 used in the xDrive50i. Both models have all-wheel drive standard and are connected to an 8-speed automatic transmission. As of now, a new diesel X5 isn’t in the cards. The 2020 BMW X5, however, will be available as a plug-in hybrid called the xDrive45e iPerformance. Both of the current models are rated to tow up to 7,200 pounds. As with more new vehicles, the X5 has an auto start/stop system that cuts engine power at stoplights to save fuel. If you find the restarts rough or annoying, the system can be disabled.
3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6
335 horsepower @ 5,500-6,500 rpm
330 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy, est.: 20/26 mpg
4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8
456 horsepower @ 5,250-6,000 rpm
479 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-4,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/22 mpg
The 2019 BMW X5 has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $61,695 when including the destination charge. Keep in mind that’s for a base xDrive40i, and that prices can quickly balloon with options. If you step up to the V8-powered xDrive50i, you’re looking at a starting price of $76,745. All-in, an X5 can breach the $90,000 mark. At these prices, the X5 is priced at a premium above rivals like the Audi Q7, Lexus RX, Acura MDX, Volvo XC90 and Infiniti QX60. It’s also starts higher than the new Range Rover Velar, but slightly below the Range Rover Sport and Porsche Cayenne. Before buying your next luxury SUV, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying. The X5’s resale value has traditionally held up respectably well, though its residuals aren’t as high as those of the class-leading Lexus RX.
OK, so what's next?
I'm interested in the newest version of the X5. What's for sale near me?
I'm interested in this car, and I'd like to trade in my current car while I'm at it.
Then again, maybe I should be thinking about a used X5.
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