Review: BMW X5 (2014 – 2018)
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.
Sheer size means it's not always easy to park. Aggressive looks not universally popular.
BMW X5 (2014 – 2018): At A Glance
With its huge road presence and aggressive styling, the latest BMW X5 is no shrinking violet. In fact this third generation model makes even its predecessor seem like a bit of a wallflower. That big grille along with those angular headlights give it a purposeful look and there's no hiding the fact this is a big car at almost five metres long.
Compared to the previous X5, this model is designed to be more comfortable, upmarket and efficient. The latter is a key reason why for the first time there's a two-wheel drive only version of the X5 in the shape of the sDrive25d. This uses a four-cylinder 2.0-litre diesel engine with twin turbochargers to produce 218PS yet economy is an impressive 50.4mpg and CO2 of 149g/km.
Of course the xDrive30d engine continues and is expected to be the most popular model. The six-cylinder engine is one of the best large diesels on the market and with 560Nm of torque offers incredibly strong low down grunt, yet is still refined and civilised. The same engine is used, albeit with power tweaks, in the xDrive40d and even the incredible M50d which boasts 381PS and a 0-62mph time of just 5.3 seconds.
The interior quality of the X5 has improved over its already impressive predecessor, with a wonderfully luxurious feel and amazingly comfortable seats. For long distance driving, the X5 is the perfect choice and despite its bulky size there's little wind or road noise. In fact it's incredibly serene. There's plenty of passenger room and a big boot too.
While this X5 may not look especially different from its predecessor, it has massively moved the game on in terms of quality and refinement. It's the closest rival to the impressive Range Rover Sport and while not cheap, it does have the premium feel and luxury edge to justify the price tag.
What does a BMW X5 (2014 – 2018) cost?
BMW X5 (2014 – 2018): What's It Like Inside?
- Boot space is 500–1870 litres
While there's never been any question mark over the quality of BMW interiors, the X5 adds a touch more style and an element of luxury that was perhaps missing in the previous version. The design is nice and clean with an easy to use layout and well placed controls.
The dash is dominated by the 10.2-inch high resolution screen with all the key functions such as sat nav and the stereo operated by a new iDrive Touch Controller situated next to the gear lever. The system is easy to get to grips with and the Professional Multimedia sat nav - which comes as standard - is one of the best systems around with clear mapping and quick routing.
The quality of the finish is impeccable as is the feel of the plastics uses throughout. Everything works with a lovely precision while the different leather upholstery choices and various interior trims, either wood or metal, give it that upmarket edge.
The front seats are newly designed and offer exceptionally good comfort while there is the option of comfort or sports seats, the latter coming with bigger side bolsters for better lateral support. The rear seats are very spacious with generous legroom and are now even available as heated seats. The X5 is available as a seven-seater and access to the extra row has been made easier with an easy entry function and a handle on the rear pillar.
The third-row seats lower into the floor individually and the folding backrest in the middle row is now split 40/20/40 as standard for greater versatility. In terms of boot space the X5 is enormous with 650 litres as standard and 1870 litres with all the seats folded. There is also more storage throughout the cabin while the useful split tailgate has been retained and includes electric opening of the top section as standard.
The X5 is available with two design packages as alternatives to the standard specification of SE and M Sport. The exterior and interior parts of these design packages can be ordered as a total package or independently and can be combined with standard specification.
Design Pure Experience has brushed stainless steel underbody protection, kidney grille and air intake bars plus a titanium effect rear trim strip. The exterior mirror bases and pillars are in high-gloss black and there is a matt aluminium trim around the side windows. The exhaust tailpipes have a matt chrome finish. Inside, there is Nappa leather with contrast stitching in dark mocha and black, black leather on the instrument panel and upper arm trims with nut brown contrast stitching and an interior trim in Fineline Pure textured wood. The lower area of the instrument panel is in mocha. The Design Pure Experience package costs from £1,760.
Design Pure Excellence gets underbody protection and wheel arch surrounds in the body colour, while the kidney grille bars are black with highgloss chrome fronts. There are T-shaped bars for the outer air intakes and louvres for the lower aperture, a chrome strip adorns the rear apron and the side windows have chrome line trim. The mirror bases and pillars are in high-gloss black. The Nappa leather interior features extensive areas in ivory white with contrast stitching, American Oak interior trim and atlas grey leather instrument panel and door panel coverings with contrast stitching. The lower part of the instrument panel is in ivory white. The Design Pure Excellence package costs from £1,160.
Child seats that fit a BMW X5 (2014 – 2018)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the BMW X5 (2014 – 2018) like to drive?
The previous X5 was one of the best large SUVs on the market yet BMW has managed to improve things further for this third generation model. That's particularly evident in terms of refinement. The engine is less audible in the cabin, there's less road noise on the move and better refinement throughout. As a result it's one of the most comfortable and serene SUVs around, matching even the latest Range Rover Sport.
The ride is exceptionally good, gliding over rough surfaces and cat's eyes with zero fuss. There are several suspension options available on the X5 - adaptive comfort suspension, adaptive M suspension, adaptive dynamic suspension and adaptive professional suspension.
This is somewhat complex but essentially the comfort suspension does what it says on the tin, using air springs and automatic self-levelling to give a soft and forgiving ride. The M suspension comes as standard with the M Sport package and includes Sport and Sport+ modes. It's designed for drivers who want a 'dynamic' driving style according to BMW. What it does do is firm everything up and means less lean in corners but impressively it's not too harsh although you're unlikely to put it in the most extreme mode with your mother-in-law in the back.
The dynamic suspension goes one further by optimising roll stabilisation and directional stability. If you're going for a high performance X5 and want to be able to throw it into corners then this is the one to go for. Finally there's Professional suspension which is designed to combine the best of all worlds with the qualities of the comfort and dynamic set-ups.
There's no getting away from the fact that the X5 is a big and hefty car - it weighs around two tonnes - yet on the road it belies this bulk with an impressive agility. The steering is nicely weighted with reasonable feel so you can happily tackle twisty roads with confidence. There is obviously some body roll, but it's kept well in check.
The sheer size isn't ideal in supermarket or multi-storey car parks though and it's all to easy to damage the alloy wheels. Fortunately the raised driving position means a good view out the front and the X5 comes with front and rear parking sensors as standard. Surround-view is available which cleverly gives the driver a 360-degree view of the outside of the car using cameras mounted in the exterior mirrors. There is also Parking Assistant as an option which will identify suitable parking spaces and not only steer the X5 in but also operate the accelerator and brake.
Interestingly, this X5 is the first to be available as a two-wheel drive model. The sDrive25d is powered by a 2.0-litre diesel engine which, like all the engines in the X5 range, gets twin turbochargers. It develops 218PS but of more importance is the 450Nm of torque. Claimed economy is 50.4mpg while CO2 is as low as 149g/km (depending on trim) so it will have plenty of appeal to company car drivers for whom an X5 was previously out of reach.
The xDrive30d should continue to be popular with plenty of low down power thanks to 560Nm and a characterful engine sound. The same engine powers the xDrive40d and the top diesel, the M50d. This boasts 381PS and an immense 740Nm which is good enough for a 0-62mph time of just 5.3 seconds. It's thunderously quick as you'd expect although the sheer size of the X5 means it doesn't feel as quick as the figures suggest.
|M50d||36 mpg||5.3 s||173 g/km|
|sDrive 25d||48–52 mpg||7.7–8.2 s||139–156 g/km|
|X5 M||25 mpg||4.2 s||258 g/km|
|xDrive 25d||50 mpg||7.7 s||148 g/km|
|xDrive 30d||40–41 mpg||6.8 s||156–162 g/km|
|xDrive 40d||40–41 mpg||5.9 s||157–164 g/km|
|xDrive 40e||83 mpg||6.8 s||77–78 g/km|
|xDrive 50d||36 mpg||5.3 s||177 g/km|
|xDrive 50i||29 mpg||4.9 s||224–244 g/km|
Real MPG average for a BMW X5 (2014 – 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.
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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What Cars Are Similar To The BMW X5 (2014 – 2018)?
Key attributes of the this model are: Comfortable seats, Family friendly, Four-wheel drive, Generous head room, Good for towing, High quality interior, Large boot, Modern technology, Motorway cruiser, Petrol engine, Raised driving position, Room for a buggy and SUV.
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