BMW goes bigger and bolder with fourth-gen X5 luxury "SAV"
BMW has rolled out the fourth generation of its ever-popular X5, revealing an adventure-ready "sports activity vehicle" (SAV) that overshadows its predecessor ever so slightly. With four drivetrain options and a slew of driver-assist technologies, the new X5 packs a few firsts for the German automaker and is expected to start hitting showrooms before the year is out.
From the outside looking in, the design of the fourth-generation X5 isn't a huge departure from the previous model introduced in 2013. This echoes the subtle restyling between the second- and third-generation X5s, with marginally smoother lines and reimagined tail lights among the tweaks. BMW's signature kidney grille has also grown a little thicker up front.
The new model has been lengthened by 3.6 cm (1.4 in), widened by 6.6 cm (2.6 in) and stands 1.9 cm (0.74 in) taller than its predecessor, with overall dimensions of 492 x 200 x 174 cm (193 x 79 x 68.5 in). The wheelbase has also been extended by 4.2 cm (1.6 in) to 297 cm (116 in), and boot capacity is listed as 1,860 L (65.7 cu ft) with the seats folded down, and 645 L (22.7 cu ft) with them left up.
At the top end of the engine options, all of which are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, is a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 pumping out 340 kW (456 hp) of power and 650 Nm (479 lb-ft) of torque. This xDrive50i variant of the X5 won't be available in Europe, but completes the 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) sprint in 4.7 seconds and has a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph).
The other gasoline-powered drivetrain option is the xDrive40i, with a turbocharged inline six that produces 250 kW (335 hp) of power and 450 Nm (332 lb-ft) of torque, completing the 0 to 100 km/h sprint in 5.5 seconds and hitting a top speed of 243 km/h (151 mph).
Then there are the two diesel variants. The first is the xDrive30d that runs on a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six for 195 kW (261 hp) and 620 Nm (457 lb-ft) of torque, shuttling the car to 100 km/h in 6.5 seconds and onward to a top peed of 230 km/h (142 mph). The other is the M50d which benefits from a quad-turbo version of the same engine for 294 kW (394 hp) and 760 Nm (561 lb-ft). It completes the 0 to 100 km/h sprint in 5.2 seconds and has a 250 km/h top speed.
Inside the new X5 is restyled leather trim available in four color options, a Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System and optional glass finishings for the shifter, start button and audio controls. A pair of 12.3-inch displays serve as the driver's instrument panel and central infotainment unit, with seating coming heated as standard but customers able to opt for massaging and cooling as extras.
Other optional extras include upgrading the standard LED headlights to adaptive laser lights, 22-inch light-alloy rims (the first BMW model to come with wheels that size), an Off-Road package with air suspension and stability control tuned for rugged terrain, along with a set of new parking-assist technologies. Perhaps the most interesting of these is the Reversing Assistant, which enables the car to autonomously reverse over a path that has recently been covered going forwards, up to a distance of 50 m (164 ft).
BMW says Active Cruise Control has been upgraded, as has the steering and lane control assistant, side collision protection and wrong-way warning. The new X5 also marks the debut of BMW's Emergency Stop Assistant which, when activated, will autonomously slow the vehicle and bring it to a stop safely on the side of the road.
On the X5, all-wheel-drive and adaptive dampers come as standard, with air suspension available as an option, which allows the vehicle height to be adjusted by up to 80 mm (3.1 in).
There is no word yet on pricing for the new X5 SUV, though we expect to learn more as we get closer to the official launch in November this year. In the meantime, there are plenty of photos in the gallery.
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