In Depth

BMW X5 2019: UK release date, specs, prices and reviews

Semi-autonomous tech and a quad-turbo engine are among the highlights of the German car giant’s new premium SUV

An all-new version of BMW’s X5 SUV has arrived, bringing with it a tech-filled cabin and semi-autonomous safety features. 

The new car is the fourth generation of the SUV and the X5 is one of BMW’s most popular models, says Auto Express. The company has sold 2.2 million examples since the first crossover made its debut in 2000. 

The German car firm will be hoping to build on its successful track record when the new car arrives later this year at a time when demand for premium SUVs is at an all-time high. 

Here are the key details of the new X5: 

Price and release

Prices for the latest X5 start at £56,710, says WhatCar?. This makes it one of the more expensive options in the mid-size SUV market. 

Buyers will have to be patient, though, as the X5 isn’t expected to reach showrooms until “late 2018”, the motoring site says. 

Reviews

On the inside, What Car? notes the X5’s dashboard “is a marked improvement” compared to the previous model. The dash houses a pair of digital displays, with one showing the instrument panel behind the steering wheel and the other managing the in-car infotainment system. 

“Smart, high-quality materials wrap around sensibly placed controls,” the site says, and BMW has “avoided the temptation to go full-touchscreen, as the Audi Q8 has, so you still get proper buttons that you can use without too much distraction”.

When driven, the X5 offers “loads of grip”, says Top Gear, while at the same time maintaining “remarkable” body control, especially for a car weighing 2.2 tonnes.  

The brakes have been derived from the new 8 Series coupe and are electronic, rather than having a wire physically connecting the pedal to the system, the motoring site says. This has allowed BMW to equip the car with a host of driving aids, such as lane-keep assistance. 

The X5’s ride quality is mostly impressive, but the 20in wheels can jolt the cabin when driving over potholes, says Autocar. It also doesn’t feel quite as fast as its 0-62mph time of 6.5 seconds suggests and there’s some turbo lag below 2,000rpm. 

But the car’s “flaws are nevertheless small”, the magazine says. Overall, the X5 is an “impressively complete and satisfying family transport device both on road and off”. 

Design

The design of the new X5 is more modern than its predecessor and takes several elements from BMW’s recent concept cars. 

The X5’s bold chrome grille, for example, derives from the German carmaker’s upcoming X7 SUV and its sleek Z4 sports car. 

Practicality is also a priority, says Auto Express. The grille features small electronic flaps that automatically move in order to improve “aerodynamic efficiency” and fuel economy.  

At the back, BMW has incorporated a split tailgate design similar to the Range Rover, the magazine says, and this leads to a 640-litre boot. Seven seats will be on offer, as will an optional hands-free tailgate assist feature. 

Technology

The cabin has a fresh new look and is packed with the latest interior tech. This includes an updated version of the car’s iDrive infotainment system that supports voice and gesture controls, says CNet

Drivers access the system through the 12.3-inch touchscreen display in the centre console. According to the tech site, the panel now supports haptic feedback. This means users feel a small vibration when pressing a button on the screen. 

The car is also equipped with a host of semi-autonomous features designed to improve road safety. Drivers can choose options such as lane keep assistance (which keeps the car in the same section of road while cruising), as well as a warning system in case the driver unexpectedly drifts into another lane, says Top Gear

Drivers can also benefit from a reversing assistant that manages steering inputs when moving backwards, the motoring site says. 

Engines and performance 

Buyers will be able to choose from a trio of six-cylinder engine options at launch, according to Autocar, comprising one petrol and two diesel motors. 

Entry-level xDrive30d models will be equipped with a 261bhp diesel engine, says the magazine, while a M50d M Performance with a quad-turbo 395bhp diesel motor will round off the range. Between them sits the one and only petrol option. This takes the form of a 335bhp six-cylinder engine.

BMW has confirmed that a plug-in hybrid variant will join the line-up “at a later date”, Auto Express reports. 

Will there be an M version? 

It certainly looks like it. 

A YouTuber under the name of Automotive Mike has posted a video of a heavily-camouflaged version of what appears to be the new X5 M testing at Germany’s Nurburgring racing circuit, a 12.9-mile hotspot for manufacturers trialling pre-release production cars.

Given the amount of black tape and obscure shapes covering the vehicle, it’s difficult to see what design tweaks the X5 M will have over the regular car. However, it’s clear to see the sportier SUV gets a quad-exhaust system that notably amplifies the car’s engine sound. 

The M version will sit at the top of the new X5 lineup as the most powerful model on sale. The sporty crossover is tipped to receive BMW’s 4.4-litre quad-turbocharged V8 engine, producing around 592bhp, says Motor1

Despite numerous sightings of the hardcore SUV testing, the motoring site says BMW will probably release the X5 M “before the end of the decade”. When it does, buyers can expect to pay “a small premium” over the old car’s £97,115 starting figure.

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