A luxury crossover with broad appeal, the X5 delivers satisfying performance while coddling its occupants in quiet comfort. We consider it the well-rounded athlete in a class populated by plenty of high achievers.
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2016 BMW X5 Overview
What's New for 2016
V8 models receive some extra standard equipment, and all versions get connectivity updates.
Choosing Your BMW X5
In terms of size, the X5 falls smack in the middle of the crossover segment. You get room for five and up to 66 cubic feet of cargo space. The optional third row provides space for two more, provided both are children.
- The standard 3-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine develops 300 horsepower and can be paired with rear- or all-wheel drive.
- Next up is a 255-horsepower 3-liter turbodiesel six-cylinder that achieves a sensational 27 mpg in combined driving.
- The top choice is turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 with no less than 445 horsepower.
All-wheel drive comes standard with the turbodiesel and V8, and all engines are matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Trim levels correspond to engine and drivetrain:
Any X5 can be outfitted with your choice of design packages: Luxury Line, xLine, and M Sport. All come with line-specific 19-inch wheels and trim throughout. The M Sport also gets sport seats and some extra performance options.
Beyond all that are several specialized option packages. The Cold Weather package gets you a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats. Adaptive LED headlamps with automatic high-beam control come with the Lighting package. The Dynamic Handling package adds an adaptive suspension and revised steering.
Finally, the Driver Assistance Plus package carries all the regular Driver Assistance features, plus adaptive cruise control with automatic braking, a collision mitigation system with pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and a surround-view camera system.
As usual, there are some interesting standalone options, including an adjustable rear air suspension (standard on seven-passenger models), an automated parallel parking system, infrared night vision, and a rear entertainment system with dual screens.
As you can see, the X6 can be dressed up in plethora of ways, which means the price can get away from you quickly. We consider the Premium and Driver Assistance packages (which are already standard on the V8 model) to be most essential n a luxury crossover.
2016 BMW X5 Review
Strong, agile and outspoken, the BMW X5 is the logical choice for BMW drivers with a family. And while its main selling point is spaciousness, there’s a reason that BMW calls it a "Sports Activity Vehicle": It performs like a pro.
Pricing and Equipment
The entry level X5, (the X5i) will run you about $54,000 which is about right for a full–size luxury crossover. It’s powered by a robust 3-liter turbocharged V6 and—unlike higher trims that have all-wheel drive—the X5i is rear-drive only. It comes standard with:
- Nineteen-inch light alloy wheels
- Three-stage heated front seats
- Driving Dynamics Control w/ ECO PRO mode
- Poplar Wood trim
- Navigation with a 10.2-inch high-res screen
We had the X5i as our test model and found it more than accommodating. In our opinion, the true strength of the X5 line lies in its power and handling, not features and technology. One feature that did catch our eye, though, was the Night Vision with Pedestrian Detection ($2,300) package. While expensive, it was exciting to have this kind of technology behind the wheel.
We love the X5i’s 6-cylinder turbo. It moves! You will never tire of the strong acceleration. It feels more like a sports car than an SUV.
- 300 horsepower and 0-60 in 6.1 seconds. Need we say more?
- We found the handling to be exceptional.
- We tried a little (legal) off-roading. Not bad, but the X5i is more in line with the family-oriented Touareg than with the more rugged Range Rover.
- The X5's electric power steering doesn't give much in the way of feedback. This is pretty common in electric power steering systems these days.
- BMW drivers will feel right at home in the X5. We did. The interior offers typical BMW ambiance: sporty luxury with aluminum trim and lots of strong, sloping lines. You can also get upgraded interiors.
- It delivers the BMW cockpit-style controls we know and love.
- Excellent front seating.
The Most Pleasant Surprise
The power! Few things give more pleasure than lots of horsepower and hesitation-free acceleration. That alone makes the X5 a good choice.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
We found off-roading a bit lacking in the X5. We recommend staying on-road with this one.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that the X5i is a performer. It offers very fast acceleration with outstanding handling. On top of that, it has room for the family. We recommend going with one of the all-wheel drive models even if it costs a bit more.
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