It's been 14 years since the first BMW X5 rolled off the assembly line. That's two generations and 1.3 million vehicles, to be exact, and now the all-new third generation X5 is here to set new standards for luxury, versatility and driving dynamics.
While the X5 itself started a new vehicle segment, the Sports Activity Vehicle, this newest generation will have another first in the X5 sDrive35i, which marks the first time an X5 model will be offered in rear-wheel drive. Of course it'll house the multi-award winning 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline-six. The X5 will also come in its standard xDrive all-wheel drive wit the 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo six and the 4.4-liter TwinPower Turbo V8 in the X5 xDrive50i. These models will arrive in US showrooms in the fourth quarter of 2013.
All models will come equipped with BMW's latest 8-speed automatic transmission and will be produced exclusively at BMW's production facility in Spartanburg, SC.
This new model has been entirely redesigned, inside and out. For customers looking to add some extra flavor and individuality to their new X5, the Luxury Line, xLine or M Sport will be available, as will two interior Design Packages - Ivory White and Mocha Brown.
xLine: presence and robustness
The underbody protection elements are finished in brushed stainless steel while newly designed air intake bars are in matte silver and a rear trim strip is finished the same. The xLine adds distinctive touches to the exterior and emphasizes the SAV character of the X5. The xLine also includes 19-inch Orbit Grey wheels or 20-inch Y-spoke wheels as an available staggered upgrade. The roof rails are available in Satin Aluminum or high-gloss finish and inside you're met with the ever-loved BMW sport steering wheel.
Luxury Line: modern and distinctive
Wheel arch surrounds are paint-matched to the exterior and the underbody is adorned by stylistic elements. Black kidney grille bars are surrounded by high-gloss chrome. The exterior mirror bases, B-pillars and C-pillars all feature high-gloss black trim. Roof raise are available in Satin Aluminum or high gloss finish and the same sport steering wheel and wheel packages are available as in the xLine.
M Sport: provides the right look and feel for the performance-oriented driver.
Of course, if we were outfitting our new X5, the M Sport package would be check marked. It offers the M-aerodynamic body kit; Shadowline trim, high-gloss roof rails and 19-inch M-Double Spoke light allow wheels. 20-inch M-Double Spoke wheels in staggered sizes are available as an upgrade. The interior has M foot rest and door sills, Aluminum Hexagonal trim and sport seats. Multi-contour seats can be specified as an alternative. An M Adaptive Suspension is also an available upgrade we recommend taking advantage of.
Seating up to seven.
Newly designed front seats ensure a high level of long-distance comfort and impressive lateral support. Comfort seats are now available for rear passengers as well as seat heating. The folding backrest of the second-row seat can now be slipt 40:20:40, which has increased load capacity to 66 cubic feet. The tailgate is again a split two-section unit and can be open and closed via the remote.
The xDrive35i and sDrive35i are powered by the 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline-6. It makes 300hp and 300 lb-ft, giving the X5 a 0-60 sprint in just 6.2 seconds (0-.2 seconds quicker than its predecessor. Thanks to a lower curb weight and other EfficientDynamics measures it is also expected to be more efficient.
The 4.4-liter V-8 in the xDrive50i has been upgraded with Valvetronic variable valve timing. Now making 445hp and 480 lb-ft, the newest TwinPower Turbo V8 hits 60mph in 4.9 seconds, 0.4 seconds quicker than the outgoing model.
Don't fret, there's still a diesel option, too, in the xDrive35d. It features an all new inline six 3.0-liter engine with TwinPower Turbo technology developing 255hp and 413 lb-ft. The diesel model reaches 60mph in 6.9 seconds, which is still quite impressive.
The standard Driving Dynamics Control switch on the center console lets you select a chassis setting for the condition and your mood. Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Eco Pro modes are available. From accelerator response to power steering characteristics and transmission characteristics to Dynamic Damper Control, you can really customize the ride of the new X5. The suspension packages offered are suited to either comfort-bias or sporty-bias driving styles. With the Dynamic Damper Control and automatic rear self-leveling suspension option, electronic control logic adapts the damping characteristics to changing road conditions and situations. If you've got the Adaptive M suspension, as part of the M Sport package, the Sport and Sport+ modes are extra firm.
All in all, we can't wait to drive the new X5. It has invented its own segment and as far as cars in this class go, they're hard to beat. The third generation looks to be the best, without a doubt.