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Willis Kuelthau
Automotive Editor - October 18, 2018


A standby in the world of luxury SUVs, the 2019 BMW X5 is back for a new generation. It’s stronger than ever, with excellent practicality and more BMW athleticism. This X5 may set the standard for the segment.

What's New for 2019

In short…almost everything. The 2019 BMW X5 is built on a new architecture and uses a new chassis system. The previous generation’s V6 is replaced by a V8, and trims gain power across the board. Exterior design is new, and the interior sees plenty of new tech for both entertainment and safety purposes.


Choosing Your BMW X5

All BMW X5s will roll of the line with all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission. Two engines define the lineup at launch. The first is a turbocharged inline six-cylinder powering the xDrive40i, which produces 340 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque. The more powerful xDrive50i houses a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 pumping out 456 hp and 479 lb-ft.

The EPA hasn’t yet tested the fuel economy of the 2019 X5. For reference, last year’s most popular X5, the xDrive35i, achieved an estimated 18 miles per gallon city, 24 mpg highway, and 20 combined. BMW hasn’t provided final word on whether a turbodiesel powertrain will reach American shores, but it did confirm that a plug-in hybrid is on the way for 2020 or 2021.

Standard features are excellent, even on base models. They include keyless entry, a panoramic moonroof, heated front seats, wood trim, ambient lighting, navigation, and sharp LED headlights. In what may become a trend, more features are becoming subscriptions – Apple CarPlay will cost owners extra the first year.

The remaining features are divided across the two trims: xDrive40i and xDrive50i.


Starting at $61,695 (all prices include the $995 destination charge), the X5 xDrive40i is the cheapest way to take home an X5 at launch. It rolls on 19-inch wheels and includes some nice luxury touches like memory settings for climate control, seat, and mirror positioning. On the other hand, upgrades like leather upholstery and gesture control cost extra.

After selecting trim, BMW buyers select a “Design,” which dictates the exterior appearance of their X5. The xLine Design is the standard, no-cost option, but for $5,850 extra, the M Sport Design will add aggressive styling accents.

Next up are Tiers, which are essentially bundles of stand-alone options that aren’t unified enough to be called packages. The Convenience Tier ($1,150) adds BMW’s Comfort Access system, four-zone automatic climate control, and a one-year subscription to XM radio. The Premium Tier ($3,200) includes all Convenience features plus automatic parallel parking, more USB and Bluetooth connectivity, a surround-view camera, wireless charging, a Wi-Fi hotspot, gesture control, and a head-up display. Finally, the Executive Tier ($5,250) includes all of the above plus remote start, soft-close doors, heated and cooled cupholders, rear window shades, and adaptive LED headlights.

As far as actual packages go, BMW offers four. First up is the Driving Assistance Plus Package ($1,700), which gives BMW’s Active Driving Assistant capabilities like traffic jam autopilot and collision avoidance. The Luxury Seating Package ($1,600) is exactly what it sounds like, with ventilated and massage-capable front seats. An Off-road Package ($3,950) prepares the X5 for adventure by swapping in a two-axle air suspension system, an electronically controlled locking rear differential, and four driving modes for optimum configuration on various surfaces. The last is the Parking Assistance Package ($700), which adds automatic parallel parking and a surround-view camera.

Standalone options are plentiful and include most of the options in packages. Other notable options include rear-wheel steering ($1,150), rear heated seats ($350), heated front armrests and steering wheel ($250), soft-close doors ($600), a leather dash ($1,200), a head-up display ($1,100), a Harman Kardon surround-sound system ($875), and night vision with pedestrian detection ($2,300).


A BMW X5 xDrive50i will set buyers back $76,745 at a minimum. In return, it gets the V8 engine and more standard features. These include leather upholstery, multi-contour front seats, a universal garage door opener, four-zone climate control, and satellite radio. On this trim, the M Sport Design costs just $3,800. Convenience Tier features are included, but the Premium and Executive Tiers still include the non-standard features for reduced prices. All packages remain unaltered except the Luxury Seating Package, which now costs $1,200 because multi-contour seats are standard. Standalone options remain the same as well.

CarsDirect Tip

Although BMW’s take on a V8 is surely excellent, the base engine is more than capable enough for most. The options list also doesn’t require a heavy hand – even lightly optioned, the 2019 BMW X5 is an effective machine.

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