The BMW X5 Guide: The Luxury SUV

Introducing the BMW X5

Guide Version: 1.1. This guide was updated on 08-27-2015

Total confidence and crisp handling has never been easier than with the BMW X5. Though not as sporty as the previous models, the BMW X5 maneuvers with ease head-on in all remotely road-based surfaces and all weathers.

As BMW contemplates new luxury mid-sized SUV’s, their 2015 BMW X5 sets off as another benchmark product for the German automaker. Though its on-road manners heavily outweigh its off-road-ability, the automaker claims that it is, indeed, on purpose. After all, it is a family wagon that’s specifically design for comfort and meant for-gated community garages. Engineered in Germany, the BMW X5 is then built in South California.

At its essence, the BMW X5 is still the SUV sport that enthusiasts have seen way back in 1999. Others have also noted that it is too much like its predecessor; the restyle still retaining the aesthetics, lacking much imaginative flourishes. No need to worry though. Its design is still outweighed by the sheer improvements when it comes to the BMW X5’s performance.

What You Need To Know About the BMW X5


The BMW X5 comes with the base sDrive35i. It is a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine capable of producing 300 hp. The xDrive35d and xDrive50i models comes with a turbodiesel 3.0-liter six cylinder engine that produces 300 hp and a turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine that makes 445-horsepower, respectively. Every BMW X5 model comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The sDrive35i gets 19/27 mpg according to the EPA. The diesel-powered xDrive35d on the other hand can be classified as some of the best fuel economy in its class, getting 24/31 mpg.

Drivers that tested all the X5 models remarked that it had quick acceleration, plenty of power for the highway, and an excellent power delivery. They also noted that the turbodiesel engine is powerful as much as it is economical. Some also say that the eight-speed transmission always finds the correct gear and that it shifts smoothly.


All drivers that tested the BMW X5 attested to the fact that it feels stable around corners and that it has an excellent handling when it comes to sharp turns. BMW X5’s strong brakes are appreciated as much as the comfortable ride it provides. Every model comes with a standard rear-wheel drive while offering an optional all-wheel drive. There is also an available feature called the Dynamic Damper Control system which can add selectable suspension settings that adapts the suspension to driving whenever the conditions call for it.

Using Eco Pro to lighten the heft and effort engineered in the X5, every model now has power steering throughout. But like most of the SUVs along their lines, it doesn’t offer much in way of feedback. The steering dithers on-center whether it’s in Eco Pro or comfort setting. However in Sport and Sport+, there is a meaty feel that’s notable to most BMWs. If you’re going to pause the wheel at a point when turning, expect an immediate build up that you must return a force to unwind it. With Active Steering, speeds and cornering forces become varied. While others consider this as an unwelcome variable in their sports cars, others feel that it’s more applicable for sports-ute vehicles like the BMW X5. That way, the overall length and size becomes less of a liability whenever driving around town or parking.


Built with top-notch materials, the interior of the BMW X5 also features an elegant cabin. Front seats are exceptionally comfortable while the second-row seats provide more room for adults. The intuitive iDrive infotainment system as well as the straightforward controls of the X5 also gives a driving pleasure unparalleled by most SUVs. For the base of the BMW X5, it can provide seating for five with an optional third row that can increase capacity to seven.

Features that come standard in the BMW X5 includes push-button start, moonroof, front and rear parking censors, Bluetooth, satellite radio, and BMW’s iDrive infotainment system that comes with a 10.2 inch display. Like any other BMW, it comes with a long list of extensive and pricey optional features. This includes a heads-up display, surround view camera system, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, night vision system with pedestrian action, active park assist, a rear-seat entertainment system, soft-close automatic doors, and the well-loved 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen surround-sound system.


Similar to any other BMW, the BMW X5 has all the available safety gear that comes standard with your purchase.

Behind the wheel of the X5, visibility is excellent. Paired together with the standard parking sensors, moving very close to garage walls or parking in tight spaces has never been easier. It’s also worth getting the optional surround-view and rearview cameras for the BMW X5, which can produce the 360-degree view of surroundings thanks to the mounted cameras in the tail and nose of the side mirror housings. Drives can toggle views alternately between the cameras, which they can use to check for obstacles behind the car or for perfectly parking in tight spaces. When you opt in for that additional feature, it comes bundled in a package with speed limit information, collision-alert systems, lane-departure warning, and blind spot monitors; and on top of those features, the adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability can also be added for and additional $1,200. But what makes the BMW X5 stands out in terms of safety is the new Traffic Jam Assistant feature.


ENGINE TYPE: turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve diesel inline-6, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection

HORSEPOWER255 hp @ 4000 rpm

TORQUE: 413 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm

FUEL ECONOMY- 22/31 mpg

TRANSMISSION- 8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode



DRIVE TYPE: All wheel drive


0-60MPH- 7.3 sec

Price: $57,525 (base)


While the BMW X5 can be seen as just a fresh redesign of last year’s make, the all-new 2015 BMW X5 has done quite a lot in terms of improving its performance while honoring the soul of the company. An added cargo space, elevated driving position, and the all-weather capability are just some notable improvements to the current X5. The elevated driving position, as reviewed by some, is such a great appeal for crossover owners. Its sporty soul together with a great handling capability and the quite, supple ride it provides still holds weight even when against pockmarked freeways and city streets.

Mentioned earlier, the X5 stands out in terms of its advanced safety technology. The Traffic Jam Assistant keeps the vehicle at the center of its lane by providing steering input that’s based on the following distance. The IIHS has given the BMW X5 a ‘Good’ score in categories they ranked in overall while getting a ‘Superior’ score for front crash prevention.

The BMW X5 is certainly more polished as compared to previous crossovers manufactures by the German automaker. However the BMW X5’s mix of sporting performance, luxury trimmings, big cabin comfort, all-weather security, and the accomplished manners remain stagnant. Although the V8’s lazy step-off and flawed steering feedback.

Although the diesel-fuelled performance of the 4×4 has some potential, the justification of the engine might not be pretty evident when in the saloon. For a big SUV, the X5 is surprisingly agile. The good fuel economy and strong performance is a strong selling point of the BMW X5, not to mention that its rear space is better than most crossovers.

Like always, the BMW X5 stands out as another testament that BMW can, and still is, the go-to automaker when it comes to luxury crossovers that offers power, refinement, and undeniable presence in the asphalt.


√ Simplified iDrive

√ Smooth and quiet transmission

√ Warm cabin trims

√ New Traffic Jam Assistant

√ Emphasis on handling, driving dynamics


× Down on power

× Stiff ride quality

× Low second-row seat cushion

× Some turbo lag

× Options can be very expensive



bmw fun fact 4

They Raced in Formula 1, and won the championship with a 20-year-old motor design.

Hitting the streets in 1962, the M10 was BMW’s four-cylinder engine that has 75 hp. And by 1983, BMW had managed to squeeze out over 1,400 hp out of it. Nelson Piquet won the world driver’s championship using the M10.