If you’re looking for a luxury family SUV, the BMW X5 possesses the rare combination of performance and functionality hard to find elsewhere. This is a luxury midsize-crossover SUV built for you and your family. It has many options to personalize the vehicle and tailor the driving experience to your lifestyle, whether you are looking for a family hauler or a high-performance powerhouse. Its talents are many and varied. While you will certainly enjoy driving it, your passengers will want to come along for the ride, and that means you don’t have to sacrifice performance for family utility.
BMW X5: Fast and Efficient
The 2020 BMW X5 offers a base engine that the majority of buyers will not feel they need to upgrade. But if you do want more power, there are two variants to choose from, and they’re sports-car-like options. Standard is a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 with 335 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque. This engine returns 21/26 MPG. So not only will you have plenty of power at the ready, but you will also have the ability to use your sport-minded SUV (or SAV) as a daily driver for your family. This is the perfect combination of power and efficiency, an engine built with everyone in the family in mind. It is one of the most fuel-efficient powertrains you can find in the luxury midsize SUV class.
The next and more spirited option brings an impressive 456 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. This twin-turbocharged V8 displaces 4.4 liters and returns 22 MPG on the highway. Can you imagine taking this out on the open road for a family vacation? It would certainly make for a thrilling experience all around. Winding your way through the mountain roads on a warm summer day, with the standard panoramic sunroof open and the wind in your hair, sounds like an experience everyone should have at least once and their life. Your kids will undoubtedly be looking forward to family vacations, and so will you, though not necessarily for the off-road attractions, such as the standard Grizzly Bears and geysers, but for what lies ahead. This engine powers the xDrive50i trim.
Powering the M50i model is an even more powerful version of the 4.4-liter V8. This engine puts out 523 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. It also adds better brakes and a sportier suspension and differential tuning. It gets the “M” treatment, which means it’s built to go fast and handle like a sports car. Even with 523 hp, it returns 22 MPG on the open road, so fuel-efficient road trips are still on the table. All powertrains include an 8-speed automatic transmission and have an automatic stop/start feature, which cuts the engine when idling to save fuel.
Its talents are varied, for sure, as it can also tow up to 7,200 lb. All of these fantastic characteristics make it as enjoyable to drive as it is practical for day-to-day living. It’s already starting to sound like the perfect vehicle, but what if you live somewhere where you have off-road concerns or experience inclement weather? The X5 has an off-road package that includes air suspension to improve ground clearance and various terrain modes to adjust for sand, snow, rocks, and gravel. The air suspension not only improves comfort, but it also adds even more sportiness and off-road ability with the raising and lowering of the X5’s ride height according to the conditions.
Inside the BMW X5
The BMW X5 comes with a 2-row seating standard and the option to add another row, which allows for seven passengers. So if you need to use the X5 for carpool or find your family outgrowing two-row offerings, this gives you the flexibility to accommodate your family’s needs. The X5 also has a large cargo area, with 72.3 cubic feet of cargo space when the seats are folded down, and 33.9 cubic feet behind the second seating row. You’ll also find the front seats are very comfortable, with available 20-way-power adjustment with memory settings.
Once you all settle in, you can enjoy the ride. Luxury abounds in this cabin. Materials are of high quality, and the dashboard is convenient and easy to use. A 10.2-inch touchscreen features high-definition technology, and a 12.3-inch digital driver-information display replaces the traditional instrument cluster. There’s even a rear-seat entertainment system, and an available Bowers & Wilkins 20-speaker, 1,500-watt surround-sound system. While the remote start is nice, wait until you see the other features. Heated and cooled cup holders? A night vision system? And adaptive LED headlights with a laser light? Yes, these are all options for the X5, though they might sound like how you’d expect a vehicle from a science fiction movie to be outfitted.
Don’t forget about the ventilated and massaging seats. Luxury seems to be everywhere you look. And just so you make sure you’re always connected, there’s Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, Wi-Fi, and wireless charging. Navigation with real-time traffic updates is also available, so you’ll always have the most up-to-date information to make your drive home even more relaxed. Luxury clearly matters to BMW, and the X5 is an excellent example of this.
Safety is another priority as the X5 is loaded with the latest features, and driver assists to keep your family safe. Active blind-spot detection warns the driver of objects in their blind spots. At the same time, automatic emergency braking applies the brakes when needed, and a two-axle suspension manages heavy loads when towing. Of course, there’s also adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistance. But even more impressive is how the X5 can drive itself at lower speeds when you find yourself in traffic. Traffic Jam Assist is what it’s called, and it sounds like something that’s not only convenient but necessary.
BMW X5 M and Plug-In Hybrid
New for the 2020 model year is an M model that incorporates BMW’s fabled race program for high performance. This takes the M50i model to another level. With this X5 variant, you’ll find BMW’s S63 V8, a turbocharged 4.4-liter, that makes 600 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. An 8-speed automatic transmission brings power to all four wheels. This brings you from 0 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, and the Competition model of the X5 M takes 0.1 off that time, adding 17 ponies.
The M treatment had been reserved for BMW’s coupes, convertibles, and sedans, but now it is being offered for the first time for X5. This is exciting, and you can expect it to arrive at dealerships this spring. While some buyers will clearly be excited at the X5 M’s 600 hp, others will also be excited at the possibility of a plug-in hybrid variant. This will come with a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six making 286 hp and paired with an electric motor providing an additional 112 hp. The total output will be 394 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque with a 0-60-mph time of only 5.6 seconds. Both are exciting additions to the X5 family and will be something to look out for in the coming months.
Regardless of whether you are looking for a traditional family hauler, a plug-in hybrid, or a high-performance beast, the BMW X5 has something for everyone. What sets the X5 apart from competitors in its class is its combination of functionality and high performance, a rare feat when you consider how effortlessly it achieves this distinction.