Recently, we attended the launch of the latest generation BMW X5. The X5 is the first ever BMW X model and more than 2.2 million units of the BMW X5 have been sold across its three model generations since launch back in 1999. The X5, although it still does very well, has attracted a lot of competition and as such, we could not help but ask whether the changes that come with the new model will help keep it ahead.
The most striking feature of the front end is the large BMW kidney grille with single-piece surround. The new BMW X5 comes as standard with LED headlights, while BMW Laserlight with Adaptive LED Headlights can be specified as an option. The lines on the bonnet are now more pronounced and the wheel archers have gone slightly hexagonal. At the back, the X5 gains a new design and distinctive LED lights.
In terms of size, the wheelbase becomes longer, and the vehicle length, width and height increase to give the new BMW X5 a sportier look whilst affording generous levels of space for passengers and their luggage.
The new X5 features a fully-digital instrument cluster that shares the same graphics as the BMW infotainment screen Control Display. Moving to the centre console, the newly designed optional gear lever catches your eye. As if that is not enough, a new-look control panel for the heating and air conditioning adds to the charm.
Staying inside, there is a new Vernasca variant for the standard leather upholstery. Like the optional BMW Individual extended Merino leather trim, it is available in five colours. The new BMW X5 is fitted as standard with electrically adjustable and heated sports seats. Customers can also specify optional multifunction seats with massage function and seat ventilation for the driver and front passenger.
One aspect of the new @BMW_SA X5 that we can’t wait to hear about from our @PhumeCarol is the hot new interior. How’s that "crystal" gear shif? 😍 Yes, we’ve seen it elsewhere but also like it here. Adding practicality to the X5, is an optional third row of seats. #BMWX5inSA pic.twitter.com/GBURlGXh0J
— Khulekani on Wheels (@khuleonwheels) November 27, 2018
The xLine and M Sport models also come with specific design features. The two equipment lines stand apart from basic specification with contrast stitching for the seat surfaces and illuminated door sill plates specific to each variant. M Sport trim also includes an M sports steering wheel, BMW Individual headliner in Anthracite, M-specific pedals, driver’s footrest and piping on the seats, plus exclusive interior trim strips in Aluminium Tetragon.
Other luxurious items that have been upgraded included the panoramic glass roof, whose clear surface is 30 per cent larger than on the outgoing car. The new BMW X5 can now also be specified with thermo-cupholders foremost in the centre console; the containers here can be kept cool or warm, as required.
Large families will appreciate the addition of an optional third row of seats. BMW X buyers may also order the rear seats with electric fore-and-aft adjustment. A control panel in the boot can be used to slide the second-row seats forwards or backwards and fold down the backrests of the second and third rows. Plus, the second-row seats can be tilted forward electrically to ease progress into and out of the two third-row seats.
Under the hood
Two diesel engine options are offered at launch in the form of an X30d and X50d. BMW X5 M50d is powered by a 3.0 litres six-cylinder in-line unit that kicks out 294 kW and 760 Nm of torque. The new BMW X5 M50d sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds and has a combined fuel consumption of 7.2 – 6.8 litres per 100 kilometres. The new BMW X5 xDrive30d is also powered by a 3.0 litre straight-six diesel engine with 195 kW of power and 620 Nm of torque. The 30d will do the 0 to100 km/h run in 6.5 seconds whilst its combined fuel consumption is 6.8 – 6.0 litres per 100 kilometres. All of the engines available for the new BMW X5 link up with a new, improved version of the eight-speed Steptronic transmission, whose wider ratio spread and new control electronics help to increase the powertrain’s overall efficiency.
Interestingly, as the forebear of the X range, the X5 will no longer be the biggest X as that honour will now be taken by the X7. The complete X range will include the BMW X2, BMW X3, BMW X4, BMW X6, BMWX5 and BMW X7. The new X5 will no doubt continue to make its mark as being one of the best Xs.
At launch, we drove both the X30d and X50d. Both have an enormous amount of power and the X30d will be the more natural choice for family focused buyers, whilst the X50d will appeal to both family focused buyers and buyers looking for a bit of performance.
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