SUVs are already big cars in their own respect. But the new BMW X5 makes most SUVs on our roads look like bug smashers in comparison. This is a properly huge vehicle in every way you measure it - be it length, width or height. This means, while driving it from your commanding position up high, you get immense road presence. But it also means you get immense worries while driving down crowded roads with annoying bikers weaving around inches away from you.
Pop the bonnet of the new X5 and you find a 3.0 litre, 6 cylinder, turbocharged diesel engine that makes a cracking 258 hp and the best part of 560 Nm of torque. This motor, working together with an 8 speed automatic gearbox, can hurl the vehicle off the line to 100 kph in just 6.9 seconds and take it all the way to a top speed of 230 kph. But thanks to its variable turbine geometry turbocharger and fuel injectors controlled by some high-tech wizardry, the car manages to be very efficient as well.
This is where the big Beemer really comes into its own. The massive features list includes gizmos like a 10.2 inch LCD screen that displays infotainment, 3D maps, navigation information and video feed from the reversing camera, a high end Harman/Kardon surround sound system, bluetooth and USB connectivity, the latest BMW iDrive system with touch control and handwriting recognition and heaps more. Also present are features such as automatic start-stop function of the engine, brake energy regeneration, BMW EfficientDynamics and the assistance systems of BMW ConnectedDrive.
You would definitely want your big, expensive X5 to be safe and BMW has seen to that. The vehicle is loaded with kit such as 6 airbags, ABS, EBD, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Hill Descent Control (HDC), Side impact Protection, Electronic vehicle immobiliser, a crash sensor and Park Distance Control (PDC) at the front and rear. Another feature called Adaptive Suspension Package works in conjunction with Dynamic Damper Control and air suspension to provide a very comfortable yet stable and safe ride.
The interiors of the new X5 are, no surprises here, extremely spacious. The seats for driver and front passenger feature lumbar support and a memory function. Comfort seats in the rear can be individually adjusted in numerous ways. The third row of seats enables the interior to be used more flexibly and include two individual fold-down seats facing the direction of travel. To facilitate entry, the second row of seats can be folded down using the Easy Entry Function. The vehicle also comes with a two-part tailgate and the lower section opens up to create a platform capable of supporting up to 250 kg. The rear seat-back can be reclined in a 40:20:40 split and can also be completely folded down to increase the compartment capacity to a massive 1870 litres.
Best of all, every single thing in the new X5 is built with materials of the finest quality and that makes it a very nice place to be in. Already a very capable car, BMW has given their latest X5 all that it needs to take on the extremely competitive premium luxury SUV segment and has ended up with one of the best SUVs on the roads today.