Highlight: While a parallel parking and perpendicular assist system are some of the latest aids available on some vehicles, the X5 pushes the self-driving technology a notch further with an available back up assist system.
Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $91,005 (Base X5 40i Model: $61,695)
Seating Capacity: 5 to 7
Standard Safety Features: ABS; airbags; all-wheel drive; a hill descent feature; a stability control system a blind spot detection system; a lane departure warning system; a rear collision warning system; a frontal collision warning system; a frontal collision system; a pedestrian; a cross traffic alert system; a rearview camera; a parking distance control system (front and rear); an automatic dimming rearview mirror; SOS emergency assist system; and a tire pressure monitor system
Standard Features 40i: 19-inch wheels; an 8-speed automatic transmission; a variety of driving modes (eco to sport); an automatic start-stop gas saving engine feature; a keyless remote ignition system;14-way power front seats; pseudo leather seats; heated front seats; an automatic temperature control system; electric power steering; power folding heated side mirrors; roof rails; a roof spoiler with integrated brake lights; a cargo cover; real time traffic information; BMW’s signature touchpad controller; a power panoramic moonroof; a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel; a power tailgate; an automatic tilt-down right outside mirror for visibility of curb when backing up; and BMW’s 3-year maintenance warranty
Standard Features 50i: 20-inch wheels; a 4.4-liter V8 engine producing 445-horsepower; 20-way power front seats; leather seats; memory operated front seats; heated front seats; SiriusXM; a Harman Kardon 600-watt, 16-speaker audio system; an automatic four zone climate control system; heated front seats; and a keyless entry door system (front and rear)
Optional Features On Test Vehicle: a leather dashboard; Driving Assistance Plus Package: ACC with stop and go; lane keep assist system with side collision alert avoidance; a steering and traffic jam assist system; an automatic lane change system; evasion aid protection; and a cross traffic alert front
M Sport Package: 20-inch wheels; run flat tires; M exhaust system; an adaptive M suspension; high gloss roof rack; M steering wheel; an aerodynamic kit; and Vernasca leather
Premium Package: parking assist plus; a heads up display system; a wireless charging system; a gesture control system; an in-vehicle Wi-Fi system; enhanced USB and Bluetooth; and a 360-degree camera
Executive Package: a remote engine start system; a soft close automatic door system; rear manual side sunshades; heated and cooled cupholders; and icon adaptive LED headlights with laser light
Other Trim Levels:
M AWD (A High Performance Vehicle)
Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 205-watt, 9-speaker AM/FM/HD/CD
Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes
Apple Connectivity: Yes
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles
Standard Engine/Horsepower: 4.0-liter twin-turbo, 6-cylinder/335-hp
Recommended Fuel: Premium
Standard Fuel Mileage: 18-city/25-hwy
What’s New: The fourth-generation X5 is all-new for the 2019 model year. In addition to an all-new design, a plug-in hybrid will be joining the line up too. The popular SUV is being produced at BMW’s only U.S. assembly plant, which is located in Spartanburg, SC.
This year’s all-new X5 is about one-inch longer and close to three inches wider than the model it replaced. The additional size equates to more interior room for the occupants, better handling and an improved ride.
In addition to the space, the stately, but stylish BMW appearance and ride capabilities can be altered by literally optioning out the X5 with 21 or 22-inch wheels.
Why: The X5, which is only available in an all-wheel drive configuration, can be powered by a 6-cylinder or an 8-cylinder engine. The 6-cylinder engine is more than adequate for this stylish, but contemporary designed SUV.
However, for those seeking more performance in the roomy midsize SUV, they can step up to the hearty 8-cylinder, which offers a beefier look and an altered suspension system.
The redesign X5 is longer and wider than the previous model. With its signature BMW twin kidney grille, the vehicle has a more athletic appearance. The all-new X5 is a commanding vehicle that standout from most SUVs.
Inside the X5, occupants will notice a class-leading gigantic 12-inch infotainment screen, which houses the audio, navigation and rear camera. The screen can be activated via touch, the iDrive operating system and/or the duplicate steering wheel controls.
Also adjustments have been made to the seats this year. The power operated front seats, which include manual seat extensions, have been raised to provide an optimal view of both the instrument gauges and the road. The seats in the all-new BMW X5 are some of the most comfortable and supportive seats we’ve experienced in a BMW. Unlike a number of other BMWs we’ve reviewed, the seating in the X5 were not too firm or too harsh. Unfortunately, this seems to be an atypical trait for a number of the German built vehicles.
The X5 also offers an optional third row seat system,too. It is available for those buyers who are not necessarily dependent upon a full-time, fully-functional seat, as in the case of the brand’s all-new flagship X7.
And for those stepping into the more expensive X6, which has a sexier more curvaceous coupe-like roofline, the X5 has more usable utility space and is capable of accommodating additional passengers for a short drive.
In addition to the many comfort features we’ve come to expect in a BMW, this year the all-new contemporary designed X5 can also be outfitted with such premium features as laser lights, heated front center armrests (which is packaged with the heated steering wheel) and heated (and cooled) cupholders.
And, we can’t forget, the X5 is also ready for the next level of inching toward becoming a fully self-driving system, with such features as an optional CoPilot assist system. This system eases the driving experience, allowing for the driver to lightly keeps its hand on the steering wheel, while the X5 follows the markings on the road. The CoPilot system works in harmony with such standard safety driving aids as a lane departure warning system, a lane keep assist system, a city collision mitigation system and a frontal collision warning system.
Lastly, for those seeking an off-road experience, the X5 has an optional package available that places this vehicle in the same league as a Jeep or Land Rover. The X5 now has the capacity to be driven in sand and muddy conditions too. Why would anyone yearn to take this German machine off-road continues to baffle us.
But: Being that our X5 stickered for $90,000, shouldn’t a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats and heated rear seats be included in the price? This is the downside of owing a German vehicle. The brand nickel and dime its customers for features that in our opinion should be standard.
Added to that, as of now, none of the BMWs are compatible with android smartphones. Currently, the vehicle is only set-up for iPhone connectivity.
Furthermore, for those vehicles equipped with the optional Driver Assistance Plus Package, there could be a drawback. In the event of an emergency, when the system is activated, it will keep the driver from crossing the line, when attempting to steer clear of people or objects in the path of the X5. Unfortunately, this feature could be more of a safety hazard as opposed to a safety aid.
And despite the additional horsepower that comes along with the X5, when outfitted with the eight-cylinder engine, the six-cylinder is more than adequate for most and the smaller, but extremely powerful engine brings the price point of the X5 down to a more attainable level for those seeking a midsize, five passenger German-designed crossover/SUV.
Verdict: Up until the 2019 model year, the X5 was BMW’s flagship SUV/crossover. However, now that the massive X7 has joined the line up, as a true three-row crossover, it has taken the crown. Being that the X7 starts out in the $75,000 range, for those on a budget and not in need of the fully functional third row seat, but still seeks the look and drive BMW owners have become accustomed to, the X5 is the perfect gap vehicle.
The X5 is still a flagship SUV, with the exception of the elimination of additional weight and length required of the larger X7 to carry around the third row. The X5 is available in a variety of trims, depending upon if one is seeking pure performance or the combination of both fuel-efficiency and luxury.
So, while we didn’t have an off-road package on our review vehicle, our performance-oriented X5 was designed to offer an engaging and spirited driving experience, without losing the element of luxury one expects in this price point. The X5 offers an experience one can expect to find in most of today’s SUVs. Owning one of these SUVs is as close as one can get to being behind the wheel of a BMW car or sedan. The X5, as we found, is great for short or long haul trips.
50i Competition: Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT; Mercedes-Benz GLE, Land Rover Range Rover Sport; Maserati Levante; Porsche Cayenne; and Volvo XC90
40i Competition: Acura MDX and Lexus RX
About The Writer: Jeff Fortson is the host of SiriusXM’s only multicultural automotive show, Auto Trends with JeffCars.com. The weekly show, which includes one-on-one conversations with many of today’s pioneers and influencers, can be heard on HURVoices channel 141, Fridays at 12 PM ET. For additional air times, a new-vehicle pricing guide, used car tips, recall updates and a car-payment calculator, cruise over to JeffCars.com.