The third generation BMW X5 is here in India; launched with a price tag of INR 70.90 lakhs (ex-showroom). This is the only SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle) of BMW which is intentionally not marketed as an SUV due to its brilliant on road capabilities, despite having typical SUV type body dimensions. This new X5 is only launched in a single variant and promises more power, style and features than ever before. Has BMW been able deliver its best in the form of new the X5? Let's find out.
The new X5 is only available with a 3.0 litre, in-line six-cylinder, turbocharged diesel engine. BMW has made few changes to this engine as a result of which, the power and torque output of this diesel unit is up by 10 bhp and 20.6Nm respectively. This same diesel engine also does duty in other BMWs including the 530d and the 730Ld. The new power output of this engine is 258 bhp which comes at 4000rpm, making it an extremely powerful premium luxury SAV as BMW says. The massive torque figure of this engine is 560 Nm, and it is available from 1500rpm and promises a strong mid-range grunt. BMW claims this X5 reaches 100 kph in less than 7 seconds and hits a top speed of 230 kph. The company has also made few changes to the underpinnings of this car which has resulted in lesser weight than before, thus directly enhancing the ride and performance quality of this new car. The X5 now comes standard with BMW xDrive system that supplies power to all four wheels making it a capable off-roader. The car rides on 18 or 20 inch alloy wheels. This engine is equipped with an eight speed auto gearbox which responds brilliantly to your throttle inputs and shifts accordingly. Whenever you feel a need to downshift or upshift, the gearbox does that on time making this car fun to drive in the city as well as on highways. The car now comes standard with air suspension, self levelling rear suspension and electronic damper control which makes it a very sophisticated and controlled SUV when you drive it at high speeds; although a few of the bigger potholes do manage to upset the ride a little. This vehicle runs in three modes, namely Comfort, Sport and Sport+. The quickness and agility keeps increasing as you move from Comfort to Sport and from Sport to Sport+. The electric steering also responds according to the ride mode and feels weighted differently whenever you change the mode.
The new X5 is longer and wider than its predecessor and has received noticeable changes. Yet, it looks quite familiar because of its overall body proportions and styling. The car also retains its previous wheelbase but with a foldable third row seats, it now gives you access to a 650 litre boot. The car gets new stretched adaptive LED headlamps which merges well with the new BMW front grille, giving the X5 a much more dynamic and aggressive presence than before. The silver finishing on the chin of the front and rear bumpers reduces the visual bulk of the vehicle and also looks nice with the different colour schemes of the X5. The raised ground clearance and the new design of its 20 inch alloy wheels also add to the muscular feel of this car. It certainly grabs your attention when seen from either side. Step inside the X5 and the list of subtle changes continues which includes the addition of a new strip of wood on the new dashboard and door pads which gives a premium feel to this new car. The driver oriented controls also makes it much easier for the driver to operate numerous functions in this car. It's a sever seater SUV which offers nice and comfy seating with the new set of seats inspired from the 7-series. However, there is less legroom for the passengers seated in the third row. The list of comfort features in the new X5 includes a 10.25 inch iDrive screen, BMW apps option, tune-in radio, Harman/Kardon sound system, four zone climate control, Bluetooth connectivity with a touch screen iDrive controller, rear parking camera with sensors, a panoramic sunroof, lumbar support for front seats and lots more. Even when it comes to safety, the X5 comes equipped with advanced safety features such as six airbags, ABS with EBD and Brake Assist, Hill Descent Control, Dynamic Stability Control, Traction Control, a crash sensor and Cornering Brake Control.
The new X5 might not be completely different from its previous generation in terms of looks, performance and features, but the fact can't be denied that this is the most appealing, powerful and contemporary form of X5 launched till now. The car is now surely more competent than ever and can be expected to put up a good fight against its competitors in our market.