BMW X5 (2018) Review

BMW X5 (2018) At A Glance


+Excellent interior with plenty of space for front and rear passengers. Available with seven seats.

-Lots of buttons in the cabin and no Android Auto.

On average it achieves 71% of the official MPG figure

The BMW X5 competes with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GLE, Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90. It's now in its fourth generation with a new platform (shared with the BMW X7) and gets modest styling updates.

We'll address those styling updates first, as you could be forgiven for thinking the new X5 looks very much like its predecessor. But those larger front kidney grilles make it appear almost as aggressive as the new X7 (almost), while the rear bears more than a passing resemblance to the smaller X1.

It's huge, too - longer, wider and higher than the old model, meaning there's all the interior space a modern family could possibly want. That includes 645 litres of boot space, while dropping the 40:20:40 split rear seats increases that to 1860 litres.

A split rear tailgate aids access, while the optional Comfort Access feature allows you to open both sections hands-free. Even the boot floor drops electronically when required to increase space, while an optional extra pair of seats can be fitted in the boot.

Of course, BMW's once-flagship SUV isn't short of technology. Adaptive cruise will now sit in stationary traffic for up to 30 seconds before the driver has to nudge the accelerator to move forward, while the new Lane Change Assistant will hold the steering in your lane until you indicate to initiate a lane change.

There's even a Reversing Assistant, which controls the steering to manouvre the X5 back along a path recently negotiated forwards. It can retain the steering movements made during the car's last forward manouvre for long periods, meaning the system can reverse the new X5 out of a parking position that it drove into forwards the day before.

Buyers can choose from one petrol and two diesel engines, with a plug-in hybrid version expected at a later date.

Most buyers will opt for the xDrive30d, which is our choice of the range. It offers plentiful performance, reaching 62mph in 6.5 seconds, while returning respectable fuel economy. The current top-spec model, meanwhile, is the M50d, with its 400PS providing a 0-62mph time of 5.2 seconds.

No matter which engine you choose, all X5 variants are good to drive. It's a big car, yet surprisingly agile - especially with the adaptive suspension of the M50d. Technology makes it easy to drive around town, too, and there's not much on the market that'll provide a more relaxing drive on the motorway.

The interior feels as upmarket as you'd expect from a BMW, although there are more buttons than you'd find in rivals. This might take a bit of getting used to and means the cabin looks a bit cluttered.

Our biggest grievance with the X5 is BMW's refusal to offer Android Auto - which says a lot about how good the car is. It's great to drive, with a premium interior and plenty of space for the family.

Real MPG average for a BMW X5 (2018)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

23–39 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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Can you advise me on buying a hybrid SUV for long journeys?
"I'm seeking a reliable hybrid (possibly electric) SUV 4WD that is sufficiently comfortable, economical and powerful to use chiefly for lots of 600-mile journeys on motorways. I don't really know where to start. Should I go for an older Porsche Cayenne, a Honda CR-V, a Kia Sportage, a Range Rover Sport? I don't want an Audi or BMW but would look at anything else. I could spend £30,000 or more but would prefer to compromise a bit and spend closer to £20,000. Ideally, I'd want to be able to sell it again having put 30,000 miles on the clock in four years time for a decent residual value too. Your advice would be much appreciated, please!"
I wouldn't buy a hybrid for those sorts of journeys. They're very inefficient at that sort of range, they make the most sense for short journeys in town. Cars worth looking at in your budget include the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, BMW X5 PHEV and standard hybrids like the Lexus RX and Toyota RAV4.
Answered by Russell Campbell
Which hybrid SUV would you recommend purchasing new or nearly new?
"I'm an engineer and if I were designing an electric vehicle, it would have an electric variable speed motor in each hub, some onboard electrical charge storage, an intelligent hub to manage and deliver power, and also control traction, along with a lightweight petrol engine to deliver additional charge when required. Is that what the motor industry is delivering? Also, which hybrid SUV would you recommend purchasing new or nearly new? Many thanks."
Motor-on-each-wheel technology is expensive but ultimately where the industry will go because of the limitless handling possibilities. That said, expect a motor on each axle to remain for a long time to come, I've heard the industry has barely scratched the surface of what it can do with torque vectoring etc. The BMW X5 PHEV has excellent real-world electric only range – although the battery's have been recalled due to fires... Not so good. For reliability, you can't go wrong with the Toyota Prius PHEV or, indeed, any Toyota HEV – the current Corolla and Yaris are both excellent.
Answered by Russell Campbell
Why does my new car veer off course if I go onto the raised white lines?
"I have a brand new BMW X5. I got a big fright when, at around 60mph, on a dual carriageway the steering wheel was suddenly jerked out of my hands. It felt like the wheels were stuck in rail tracks and I had to wrestle the car back into my lane. I finally worked out the car does this, without warning, if the wheels go onto raised white lines, or the "join" line on the tarmac. The dealership is currently closed. I will not drive the car until this is resolved. Is this an issue you have come across before? I would appreciate your advice."
This will be the activation of the Lane Change Departure warning system - it's designed prevent the car from drifting out of its lane on the motorway. You can switch it off or lessen the impact via the BMW iDrive controller. The owner's manual will also show you how to do this.
Answered by Dan Powell

What does a BMW X5 (2018) cost?