Car Buyer Labs

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A blue 2025 BMW X5 M60i is shown from the front.

Which BMW X5 Model Is Right for You?

The X5 is BMW’s original SUV—or a Sports Activity Vehicle, as the brand markets it. A quarter century and counting after its debut, it remains the manufacturer’s standard for on-road smoothness and light off-roading adventure. Since the original 2000 model, the lineup has expanded, and the technology underneath it has flown forward, meaning there are options for everyone who wants to enjoy high-end performance and luxury. With the last two years seeing the highest sales numbers in the vehicle’s history—82,373 units in 2022 and 72,574 in 2023—the X5 remains full-speed ahead.

With a major refresh having recently rolled out for the 2024 model year, it seems like a good time to look at the current offerings for prospective X5 buyers. Your BMW dealer will have no less than four new X5 models to choose from, meaning many options in terms of power, performance, handling, and interior comforts. In this guide, we’re going over the 2024 BMW X5 models so you can get maximum enjoyment from the next chapter of crossover SUV luxury while staying within your budget.

X5 sDrive40i and xDrive40i: Core Performance and Style

The base sDrive40i and xDrive40i models have all the essentials that make the X5 one of the leaders in the luxury SUV market. With an MSRP starting at $65,700 for the 2025 model year, they’re also the most accessible X5 luxury crossovers. The only difference between them is that the X5 sDrive40i is rear-wheel drive (RWD) while the X5 xDrive40i is all-wheel drive (AWD).

Powering these two options is a turbocharged 3.0L inline-six engine that uses BMW’s eBoost mild hybrid (MHEV) tech, which was a new addition for 2024. This involves functions such as regenerative braking and battery-powered coasting to conserve fuel and improve start times. The result is a powertrain with 375 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque that gets an EPA-estimated 25 MPG combined. With a double-wishbone front suspension, multi-link rear suspension, Hill Descent Control, and Dynamic Damper Control, you’re looking at a very comfortable ride. The eight-speed automatic transmission can be used in Sport mode or switched to Manual mode with paddle shifters.

If you like bringing equipment and toys on your adventures, this SUV has one of the best towing capacities in the midsize crossover class, peaking at 7,200 lbs. That’s more than enough for a large boat or small camper. You also get 33.9 cu.ft. of cargo space with the seats up and 72.3 cu.ft. with the seats down, far more than competitors such as the Porsche Cayenne. Other goodies include a 14.9-inch infotainment touchscreen, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, wireless charging, and a panoramic moonroof. Overall, while the X5 sDrive40i and xDrive40i won’t jump off the line like the higher trims, they are fine luxury crossovers, especially if you don’t have quite as big a bankroll.

A silver 2024 BMW X5 is shown from the rear at an angle.

X5 xDrive50e: A New Take on Plug-in Hybrids

Replacing the xDrive45e as part of the 2024 refresh, the BMW X5 xDrive50e represents a big leap forward for BMW plug-in hybrids (PHEVs). It pairs the turbocharged I-6 engine of the sDrive40i and xDrive40i with a revamped electric motor and a 25.7 kWh battery that can power the vehicle as an EV for an estimated 40 miles. The engine and motor combination generates 483 hp—94 hp more than the xDrive45e had—and 516 lb-ft of torque, sending you from 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds.

The X5 xDrive50e has a few other notable differences from the sDrive40i and xDrive40i. The towing capacity is lower at 5,952 lbs, likely due to the added weight of the PHEV system. On the plus side, BMW has added a self-leveling air suspension for even more smoothness and stability on all terrains. The driving dynamics modes are adjusted as well, with Electric, Hybrid, and Sport replacing the Eco Pro, Comfort, and Sport options. Because of the battery, the xDrive50e has one less cubic foot of cargo space than other X5 models, though this will be academic for most drivers.

Otherwise, the X5 xDrive50e is much like the base model, from the eight-speed automatic transmission to the Sensafin interior upholstery and entertainment technology. For the added performance and all-electric range, you’re looking at a starting MSRP that jumps to $73,100 for the 2025 model year.

X5 M60i: Performance Steps Up

Here’s where things go to the next level for serious performance enthusiasts. The track-inspired BMW X5 M60i gets a substantial powertrain upgrade to a 4.4L twin-turbo V8 engine that also boasts mild hybrid tech. This provides the vehicle with 523 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque, going from 0-60 mph in a slick 4.2 seconds. Predictably, fuel mileage takes a hit, dropping to an EPA-estimated 18 MPG combined.

To improve handling and ride quality, the X5 M60i receives an adaptive M suspension and an M Sport differential developed by the BMW Motorsport division. The latter actively adjusts power distribution to the rear wheels for more traction when cornering and on slick or rough surfaces, keeping you on the move. There is also rear-axle steering to boost agility at low speeds, a special aerodynamic kit to cut through the air, a quad-tip exhaust system for a throaty roar, and M Sport brakes to stop on a dime.

Finally, BMW has spruced up the style and functionality with a Harman Kardon high-fidelity sound system, star-spoke aluminum wheels, remote engine start, an M Sport three-spoke steering wheel, and black accents. It won’t be cheap—the starting price tag sits at $90,000 for 2025—but if you’re looking to have a blast behind the wheel, this crossover SUV will deliver.

A grey 2024 BMW X5 M Competition is shown from the front at an angle after leaving a BMW dealer.

X5 M Competition: Experience the Highest Thrills

If the M60i is inspired by the track, the BMW X5 M Competition is made for the track. The twin-turbo V8 power plant has been further massaged to reach 617 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. BMW also adds a Drivelogic mode to the transmission; this lets you choose how aggressively you want the transmission to shift when you hit the paddles. You’ll shoot from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds—the same time as the 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse! EPA-estimated efficiency is only 15 MPG combined, but if you’re getting an M vehicle, we’re guessing you’re not concerned about fuel mileage.

Other tuning has been done to the suspension, the chassis, the AWD system, and even the power steering. The X5 M Competition comes with a rear air suspension and active roll stabilization for maximum grip on the windiest of roads. The all-season run-flat tires on the other models have been replaced with performance tires on staggered 21-inch front and 22-inch rear wheels.

You even get more to love inside with a leather dashboard and upholstery, velour carpeting, a power tailgate, and competition-grade seat belts. There’s also something called “Gesture Control” that lets you take phone calls, pick a navigation address, change audio volume, and more by making hand gestures captured on a 3D camera. The 2025 X5 M Competition begins at $124,800, making it prohibitive for many—but if you have the cash, you’re getting a sports car in a crossover SUV body.

A Statement-Making Luxury SUV in Any Guise

No matter which BMW X5 you buy, you’re getting an excellent vehicle. Every version comes with features like BMW’s Active Driving Assistant, a 12.3-inch digital cluster, an integrated navigation system, cornering brake control, roof rails, and snazzy chrome exhaust tips. The 2024 model year refresh brought a new front kidney grille as well as new exterior colors like Skyscraper Grey and Marina Bay Blue. It’s a safe vehicle as well, with the 2025 model being named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Ultimately, the choice comes down to how much power, sporty handling, and fun accessories you’re willing and able to pay for. Interestingly, apart from the powertrain, many of the high-end features can be added to the entry-level models. For example, you can get an M Sport Package for the X5 sDrive40i and xDrive40i with adaptive suspension, an aero kit, and more. This gives you even more ways to put together the perfect BMW luxury crossover.