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BMW X5 interior, tech and comfort

2018 onwards (change model)
Comfort rating: 4.2 out of 54.2

Written by Keith Adams Published: 22 December 2022 Updated: 19 April 2023

  • Luxurious cabin with commanding driving position
  • Easy to get comfortable with leather upholstery
  • Electric adjustment for front seats

How is the quality and layout?

The X5 features BMW’s last-generation interior design, which has been superseded by the cleaner, screen-dominated set-up as found in the 3 and 4 Series. It’s still a design with a noticeable lack of buttons on the dashboard and centre console, but dominated by a pair of large screens and various colour and trim options.

Interior quality is excellent – there’s a strong sense of solidity to everything inside, with higher-spec models featuring leather-clad dashboards, while even the ‘entry’ models feature plush materials and luxurious leather seats with electrical adjustment as standard.

2019 BMW X5 dashboard
2019 BMW X5 dashboard

Infotainment and tech

Ahead of the driver is a digital instrument panel shared with the last-generation 3 Series, with a large touchscreen sitting alongside. This is controlled via touch, a rotary iDrive controller on the centre console or via voice, simply by saying ‘Hey BMW’.

The infotainment system is excellent. It has a sensible interface, a high-quality screen, and loads of functionality. It’s if anything easier to use than most rivals because of the rotary controller, which we find an easier way to operate the screen on the move than reaching out and touching it.

The heating controls are simple to operate with a neat screen for the temperature, while the iDrive controller for the infotainment comes with a selection of buttons around it for shortcuts to certain functions. Over time you’ll learn where everything is, but with a flat, shiny surface it can be tricky to quickly decipher what you should be pressing.


  • Supremely comfortable seats
  • Lots of adjustment
  • Feels big from behind the wheel

The X5 is a big, luxurious SUV, so it’s good to see that comfort is key and that BMW hasn’t focused too much on the Sport in Sport Utility Vehicle in this regard.

The seats in particular are excellent – with a huge amount of adjustment in both front chairs, cushioning and supporting you in just the right way. All models barring the M50i and M50d models come with air suspension for a more comfortable experience and as long as you stay away from the largest 22-inch alloy wheel options, it impresses with its wafting abilities.

Even with a large panoramic sunroof fitted, the X5 offers a good amount of headroom, plus the high ride height and large windows help with a sense of airiness, as well as visibility. We do, however, recommend opting for a light-coloured interior, as it really helps with the feeling of space.

2019 BMW X5 seats
2019 BMW X5 seats