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View all BMW X5 reviews
Parkers overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 4.4

Imposing SUV is luxurious and great to drive

BMW X5 4x4 (18 on) - rated 4.4 out of 5
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PROS

  • Good to drive for such a big car
  • Comfortable and luxurious 
  • Practical and spacious
  • Well-equipped on all models

CONS

  • Feels big to manoeuvre
  • High running costs
  • Even higher list prices
  • Rear legroom could be better
  • Feels big to manoeuvre
  • High running costs
  • Even higher list prices
  • Rear legroom could be better
  • Feels big to manoeuvre
  • High running costs
  • Even higher list prices
  • Rear legroom could be bette

PROS

  • Good to drive for such a big car
  • Comfortable and luxurious 
  • Practical and spacious
  • Well-equipped on all models

CONS

  • Feels big to manoeuvre
  • High running costs
  • Even higher list prices
  • Rear legroom could be better
  • Feels big to manoeuvre
  • High running costs
  • Even higher list prices
  • Rear legroom could be better
  • Feels big to manoeuvre
  • High running costs
  • Even higher list prices
  • Rear legroom could be bette

BMW X5 4x4 rivals

Mercedes-Benz
GLE SUV
4.2 out of 5 4.2
Volvo
XC90
4.4 out of 5 4.4

The BMW X5 SUV is a hugely important car for the brand, having been on sale for nearly 20 years with 2.2 million models shifted. However, this new X5 faces the strictest environmental regulations and even higher expectations when it comes to luxury, technology and driver assistance features.

That’s why the fourth-generation car is new from the ground up, rather than a gentle evolution of an already-winning formula. It may well look similar to a used X5, and while it uses the same engines as before, they've been heavily tweaked and upgraded.

Competition from talented all-rounders like the Audi Q7Volvo XC90, Mercedes-Benz GLE and Porsche Cayenne means the BMW has to work even harder to offer all things to all drivers - and even more so when cars like the Volkswagen Touareg offer the same set of skills for less cash. 

Powerful engine line-up

All of the X5’s motors have six cylinders whether you pick the most powerful quad-turbo M50d, the refined and powerful xDrive40i petrol, or the bestselling xDrive30d diesel. The latter is a proper Swiss Army Knife of an engine with loads of torque on tap and decent running costs (relatively speaking), plus a smooth power delivery. We also rate the 40i – it’s faster and much quieter at low speed, plus more evocative at higher revs. It’s a decent alternative to the much more expensive but cheaper-to-run M50d, clocking an only-just-slower 0-62mph time, and a much lower list price.

2019 BMW X5 interior

Choice of two trims; both well-equipped

There are two trim choices but BMW says 80% of customers will ignore xLine and pick M Sport – gaining 20-inch alloys, an M Sport bodykit and badges. The standard car comes with a decent amount of kit – automatic gearbox, all-wheel drive, air suspension, and BMW Live Cockpit Professional.

The latter is the same dual 12.3-inch screen set up from the 8 Series and it’s very pleasing to the eye, but not quite as forward facing as the system you’ll find in a Mercedes-Benz, which looks like one long screen.

What about driver assistance and connectivity?

A big improvement this time around - you can now programme your sat-nav from your smartphone and it’ll warn you about traffic and other delays on route to your next appointment even when you’re not sat in the car. We also like the sound of using a smartphone as the car’s key, and being able to send access to up to four friends to do the same.

Key options include the M Sport Plus Package, which adds a load of styling upgrades and a Harman Kardon stereo, and the xOffroad Package, which gets you a mechanical diff, sump guard, and off-road modes for xSand, xRocks, xGravel and xSnow. A high level of safety is assured, as evidenced by the X5's five-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating.

Luxurious and high-tech interior

BMW’s old climate control panel has gone, replaced by a much more modern and decluttered centre console. Visual highlights include knurled switches and a crystalline gearshift, which brighten things up in the cabin no end.

Rear passengers get loads of room thanks to a low transmission tunnel and the 650-litre boot is square, with minimal intrusion. You get a split tailgate as standard too, something of a BMW X5 tradition.

BMW X5 4x4 rivals

Mercedes-Benz
GLE SUV
4.2 out of 5 4.2
Volvo
XC90
4.4 out of 5 4.4

Other BMW X5 models: