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BMW X5 4x4 review

2013 - 2018 (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 4.3 out of 54.3
” Nimble handling belies the X5’s enormity “

At a glance

Price new £43,600 - £95,045
Used prices £10,276 - £43,082
Road tax cost £0 - £695
Insurance group 37 - 50
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Fuel economy Not tested to latest standards
Range 467 - 991 miles
View full specs for a specific version

Available fuel types




Pros & cons

  • Imposing styling
  • Quality interior
  • Loaded with technology
  • Plug-in hybrid version
  • Expensive to buy and run
  • Doesn't feel as special as some rivals
  • Feels very large to drive around town

Written by Graeme Lambert Published: 6 June 2019 Updated: 6 June 2019


The popular BMW X5 SUV is the Munich marque’s challenger to premium-badged, sporty off-roaders such as the Audi Q7, Mercedes-Benz GLE and Range Rover Sport. It has been replaced by the fourth generation version, which arrived at the end of 2018 with a more aggressive look and more technology available than ever. The X5 forms part of an ever-growing range of SUVs with BMW badges, with the compact X1 and X2 models kicking off the line-up, while the X7 sits at the top of the range offering 7 Series-levels of luxury in an accomplished off-road body. The X5 doesn’t come cheap – even as a used car – but punchy yet frugal diesels mean it might not be quite as costly to run as you might expect, while a plug-in hybrid X5 xDrive40e was also available with temptingly low tax costs.

BMW X5: practical but pricey

While the X5 retained the chunky silhouette of before, the third-gen model lacks some of the visual clout which marked out its predecessors. If you want more aggression, then find one with the desirable M Sport package. Inside, the focus is on luxury with a choice of ambience packages and the option of comfort or sports seats, as well as comfort and entertainment options for rear seat passengers. Access to the optional third row of seats is easier, too. Convenience features such as an electric tailgate make the X5 easy to live with, while a 40:20:40 split to the middle row of seats increase its flexibility further.

BMW X5 engines

As per modern BMW conventions, the engine sizes hinted at by the badging are just that in the majority of cases – a hint. Whether you choose petrol, diesel or petrol-electric plug-in hybrid, all of the motors are turbocharged to boost both power and efficiency. Diesels remain the most popular choices for the X5, so these will be easiest to find on the used market. Both the rear-wheel drive sDrive25d and four-wheel drive xDrive25d feature a 2.0-litre engine producing 231hp, while the xDrive30d, xDrive40d and M50d all pack 3.0-litre motors mustering 258hp, 313hp and 381hp respectively. If you want a petrol engine, you have a restricted choice of a pair of 4.4-litre V8s. The first powers the xDrive50i with 449hp, meaning 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds.

BMW X5 interior

High-performance BMW X5 M

At the very top of the tree is the X5 M, producing 575hp and capable of scorching from 0-62mph in just 4.2 seconds. This sort of performance eclipses Audi’s monstrous SQ7 and the Range Rover Sport SVR, but doesn’t quite match the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, which is 0.1 seconds quicker over the benchmark sprint. As you might expect the X5 M also benefits from an impressive array of standard kit.

BMW X5 xDrive40e

Lowest emissions in the range are delivered courtesy of the xDrive40e plug-in hybrid, with a 2.0-litre engine working in conjunction with its electric propulsion. Choose the version with smaller alloy wheels and CO2 output is quoted at just 77g/km, with an electric-only range of up to 19 miles. The clever trick here is that the plug-in X5 still boasts relatively impressive performance figures, cover 0-62mph in 6.8 seconds.

Technology aids ease of use

Under the skin BMW has included a raft of clever gizmos, including suspension firmness that can be personalised to the driver’s taste at the touch of a button and Parking Assistant, which seeks out suitable parking spots and then parks the car for you by controlling not only the steering but the accelerator and brake too. There’s also an excellent – but optional – Head-up Display (HUD), while Concierge Services allows you to access a call centre for information and sat-nav route downloads.