BMW entered the sport utility vehicle market with a bang in 2000, introducing its very first model of the sort. Now in its third generation, the BMW X5 continues to be a solid offering in a very competitive segment. The X5 shares its platform with the X6, but supplies a more traditional and popular all-wheel drive layout than its stablemate.

Pricing and Equipment

BMW X5

The 2017 BMW X5 is a four-door SUV with a power rear liftgate. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available. The current X5 has been with us since 2014.

The standard engine is a 3-liter twin-turbo six-cylinder making 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. Also available is a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 making 445 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque. A 3-liter six-cylinder turbo-diesel is another choice and makes 255 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. All three engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Pricing for the X3’s trim is as follows:

The X5 sDrive35i starts at $55,500. The all-wheel drive xDrive35i costs $57,800. The xDrive40e Performance comes in at $62,100, and the XDrive50i will set you back $72,300.

Standard equipment includes alloy wheels, heated front seats, electric power steering, driving dynamics control, navigation with a 10.2-inch screen, and poplar wood trim. Safety features include lane departure warning and collision avoidance with automatic braking.

Upgrades include an M Sport package ($3,550) featuring an aerodynamic body kit. The Dynamic Handling package ($4,500) brings in performance control and active roll stabilization. Other add-ons include a Cold Weather package ($550), a Premium package ($2,700), a Driver Assistance package ($1,400), and a Driver Assistance Plus package ($1,700).

Other options include a leather-trimmed dashboard ($1,200), multicontour seats ($1,300), a third row and rear air suspension ($1,700), and night vision with pedestrian protection ($2,300).

Package prices may vary according to trim and are subject to change. Vehicle prices do not reflect a $995 destination charge.Other options include a leather-trimmed dashboard ($1,200), multicontour seats ($1,300), a third row and rear air suspension ($1,700), and night vision with pedestrian protection ($2,300).

Performance Pros

  • The rock ‘em, sock ‘em xDrive50i is the performance leader here, delivering 445-horsepower and 480 pound-feet of driving satisfaction. Nearly everyone else will find the six-cylinder and its 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque sufficient.

Performance Cons

  • All that power under the hood of the xDrive50i means one thing: fuel efficiency is lacking. Combined fuel economy is a tepid 17 mpg, and premium fuel is required.

Interior Pros

BMW X5
  • High quality materials, excellent fit and finish, and a smartly designed cabin are hallmarks of this handsome SUV.
  • Upgrading the interior to include one of the two Nappa leather packages amplifies an already superior interior. The contrasting wood trim only enhances the X5’s visual appeal.

Interior Cons

  • The available third-row seats seem like an afterthought. They're large enough for pre-teens only, and not handy enough for booster seats.
  • Rearview cameras will soon be mandated by the federal government, but the BMW X5 isn’t staying ahead of the competition here. Instead, you need to move up the trim order to have one included with your model.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

In addition to gas- and diesel-powered models, the BMW X5 now offers a plug-in hybrid variant. Known as the xDrive40e, it carries a turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder gas engine and an electric motor, which together produce 308 horsepower. The all-electric driving range is 14 miles.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

At the top end of the price range, the X5 can get quite expensive. We put together several sample builds and found that fully loaded models can top a jaw-dropping $85,000.

The Bottom Line

The BMW X5 is for people who love everything about the 5 Series, but prefer the higher profile and versatility of an SUV. We’re not especially keen on the PHEV’s 14-mile range. It seems that BMW could've done better with that. Regardless, the other trims offer some beautiful examples of what BMW has done for this segment and for these reasons the X5 should occupy a spot on your short list.