BMW X5 (2014 – 2018) Review

BMW X5 (2014 – 2018) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
If you can live with the slightly aggressive image, you’ll love the BMW X5. It’s an SUV for all seasons, all reasons and all roads.

+Impressive interior quality and exceptionally comfortable, handles very well for such a big vehicle, available as a two-wheel drive 25d model with strong fuel economy.

-Aggressive looks not universally popular, expensive to buy, thirsty petrol engines, high running costs.

Insurance Groups are between 37–50
On average it achieves 72% of the official MPG figure

The BMW X5 is the family SUV that appears to have it all. A practical and cavernous interior. The option of seven seats. Ride and handling that would shame a low-slung hatchback. Plus a cabin that’s rich in quality and loaded with technology. Launched in 2014, the X5 takes on cars like the Audi Q7, Mercedes-Benz GLE and Land Rover Discovery, but the way it drives gives the BMW the edge in the crowded luxury SUV segment. The diesel engines provide decent fuel economy, not to mention a huge dollop of punch. It’s not cheap, but the X5 is a hugely appealing SUV.

This is one of the most desirable premium SUVs on the planet. For 20 years, the BMW X5 has been the go-to car for buyers who aren’t prepared to sacrifice ride and handling when buying a tall and slab-sided vehicle. There were SUVs before the original X5, but none drove as well as the BMW.

Launched in 2014, this era of X5 took BMW’s large SUV to new heights: better to drive than ever before, more refined, yet still hugely practical. Most new car buyers opted for the supremely spacious five-seat version, but there’s a seven-seat X5 if you need extra people-carrying capacity. As a seven-seater, the X5 boasts a small boot and two third-row chairs that are suitable for children.

It makes a stronger case for itself as a five-seater. The boot is massive, even more so if you fold the rear seats. Meanwhile, there’s enough room for five adults, with those travelling in the back enjoying the luxury of reclining rear backrests. The cabin is finished to the highest quality and loaded with neat details.

As is common for BMW, new car buyers were encouraged to select from an array of expensive options. The good news is that they’re unlikely to add to the cost of a used X5, so you can grab a bargain.

Indeed, used prices start from around £16,000. Admittedly, this is based on a 2014 car with intergalactic miles on the clock, possibly with a history at the hands of a traffic cop. Upping the budget to £20,000 will deliver an upshift in quality and provide a greater choice of cars. The BMW X5 sold in big numbers, so you can afford to be picky.

There were some significant changes for this X5, most notably the launch of a rear-wheel-drive version powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine. The sDrive 25d is the X5 to choose if you’re after a lower price and reduced running costs. However, it lacks the depth and breadth of talents offered by the xDrive four-wheel-drive models, so it’s hard to recommend.

It’s also hard to mount a serious case for buying a BMW X5 with a petrol engine. The X5 M and M50i are great fun, but the cost of insurance and fuel will be less enjoyable. If you’re after the pace and performance, but without the thirst, opt for the rare M50d.

Elsewhere, the xDrive 40d six-cylinder diesel is arguably the most relevant BMW X5, offering a terrific blend of performance, economy and efficiency. No matter what the weather, this is a car that feels surefooted and secure, inspiring confidence on all roads.

And we do mean all roads. On a B-road, the X5 feels light and agile, but it’s equally happy to sit on a motorway for hours on end. No wonder it’s so popular with the nation’s traffic cops. It’s almost as good to drive as the BMW 5 Series.

Ask Honest John

Could you recommend a comfortable car for my next lease?

"I have a BMW X5 40e. The lease is coming up for renewal and the new version is much more expensive. I'd like to know what you think of the nearest equivalent cars which may cost less. The main reason I've gone for the X5 is the comfortable seats as I have a back problem. Thank you very much."
Do you need a car as big as the X5? A Volvo XC60 could be a good choice. It's still a premium car, with very comfortable seats and a plug-in hybrid option. If you're happy with something less premium, consider a Citroen C5 Aircross. It's probably the most comfortable mainstream SUV. There's a PHEV option, too.
Answered by Andrew Brady

How can I keep my new car safe from being broken into?

"My BMW X5 (less than a year old) has been broken into twice recently. The second time I had definitely locked the car and both keys had been in faraday pouches. It seems that the people who clone the key signal can retain the information and repeatedly enter the car. All BMW tell me is that this is an industry wide problem and that I should use a wheel lock to prevent the car from being stolen. The alternative is to change the locks and keys at a cost of around £2000 + VAT. Is there any solution to this?"
That's very alarming but the logic makes sense. Unless the keyfob has rolling codes, once they have cloned it they have the security codes to enter and drive the car away whenever they want. Suggest a Disklok from Halfords at about £100. Clunky and inconvenient, but more so to a thief. Also necessitates leaving nothing of value inside the car. Of course, if you have BMW's or Mercedes latest key systems, you can start or stop the car by disabling it from your mobile phone.
Answered by Honest John

What's the best tracking device?

"What's the best tracker for a BMW X5?"
We hear very good things about a company simply called "Tracker". It has a variety of options for different budgets, with most versions using more than one method of tracking to give the best chance of recovery.
Answered by John Slavin

What good SUV hybrids would you recommend?

"I have a BMW X1 and am looking for an SUV hybrid with good performance and ride. Which cars would you suggest I consider?"
There are quite a few forthcoming, but not in the UK yet. As it is we have the Kia Niro, the Toyota RAV4 hybrid, the Lexus NX hybrid, the Lexus RX450h, the BMW X5 40e, the Audi Q7 e-tron diesel hybrid, the Volvo XC90 T8 and the Porsche Cayenne hybrid. More to come include a Volkswagen Tiguan GTE, a new BMW X3 petrol hybrid and an Audi A5 petrol hybrid.
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What does a BMW X5 (2014 – 2018) cost?