The new 2019 BMW X5 may not look too different from the outgoing generation, but it's better than ever. This year sees a brand new chassis with more power at every trim level, a spacious interior, loads of tech, and trimmings that justify the price of entry – even the base model gets an envious number of standard features. All of this combines to make the X5 a true benchmark for luxury SUVs.

Best Value

While a twin-turbocharged V8 is almost always a welcome sight in our driveways, the best value lies with the base xDrive40i trim. It costs almost $15,000 less than the xDrive50i trim, and is still capable of some serious hustle for an SUV. We'd also stick with the base xLine Design over the extra M Sport Design trim and save $5,850 for some styling accents.

Since we're already spending over $61,000 on our X5, the $4,550 Executive Tier doesn't seem like a bold leap considering it adds a variety of features, while the Luxury Seating Package and leather upholstery bring more creature comforts.

  • Model:2019 BMW X5 xDrive40i xLine
  • Engine: 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder
  • Output:340 hp / 330 lb-ft
  • Transmission:Eight-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain:All-wheel drive
  • MPG:Not yet rated by the EPA
  • Options: Executive Tier ($4,550, keyless entry, four-zone automatic climate control, satellite radio, head-up display, wireless charging with Wi-Fi, gesture control, enhanced USB and Bluetooth connectivity, remote engine start, rear manual side window shades, soft-close automatic doors, heated and cooled cupholders, adaptive LED headlights), Coffee Vernasca leather upholstery ($1,450), leather dashboard ($1,200), multi-contour seats ($750), Luxury Seating Package ($1,600, ventilated and massaging front seats), front and rear heated seats ($350), heated front seat armrests and steering wheel ($250)
  • Base Price:$61,695 (including a $995 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price:$71,095

Performance

BMW X5

The BMW X5 is offered with two engines, and neither are slouches in any way. The base xDrive40i gets a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder making 340 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque. This allows it to hit 60 mph in just 5.3 seconds, which is quite a bit faster than many smaller cars. The xDrive50i gets a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 with an output of 456 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque, which allows it to hit 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds. For an SUV that weighs almost two-and-a-half tons, those are some impressive numbers. Both of these engines are some of BMW's best, and pair excellently with the eight-speed automatic transmissionand standard all-wheel drive that can send extra power to the rear wheels for enhanced on-road vehicular dynamics.

The X5 has a good suspension set up at base trims, but it really can shine with the optional air suspension. The system constantly adapts, lowering the X5 as speeds increase to improve aerodynamics and lower the center of gravity. The suspension will also help in hauling applications, helping the X5 achieve a max towing weight when properly equipped is an oddly specific yet impressive 7,209 pounds. It also helps the X5 as a standard feature of the Off-Road Package, giving the SUV the ability to ford up to 20 inches of water, and adapting alongside the transmission and differential to give the best traction depending on what drivetrain terrain setting is chosen, be it snow, sand, gravel, or rocks.

Style

BMW didn't choose to push the boundaries of SUV design, instead opting for a fairly generic shape. That being said, it's a refreshing departure from the latest trends of heavily styled SUV rooflines that try to make the vehicle look sleek and aerodynamic, often to the detriment of interior volume and practicality. The generic shape doesn't mean it's completely plain looking, as careful thought was clearly given to the smaller details of the X5's exterior. The effect is an SUV that is handsome, but not something that'll turn heads when you drive by.

Once you open the door, you immediately see where BMW's design budget went. The interior is filled with high-quality materials, including available premium leather, open-pore wood trim, and a crystal-tipped shifter and iDrive controller for those without strict budget considerations. Multi-contour seats are available with seemingly endless configurations and advanced luxury features like ventilation and massaging functions. All of this contributes to the X5 feeling like it's worth every penny when you're sitting inside.

The Best and Worst Things

The X5's interior is easily one of the best in the business, with almost every luxury you would expect at this price point available. It's able to insulate you from the harsh realities of the outside world, which is really the point of a luxury vehicle. Additionally, the power available from the V8 in the xDrive50i trim is enough to entertain without necessarily subjecting yourself to the sacrifices typically associated with high-performance SUVs.

On the other hand, the X5 doesn't exactly have any fuel-efficient options. While the EPA hasn't released official fuel ratings, the outgoing six-cylinder model got around 18 miles per gallon in the city and 24 mpg on the highway, so we can probably expect similar numbers. A four-cylinder turbocharged engine with about 250 hp similar to the ones found in other BMWs would likely provide adequate acceleration for most luxury car drivers, and it would allow better fuel economy as well as a more palatable entry point. While BMW is working on a plug-in hybrid variant, this probably won't arrive until 2020 at the earliest.

Right For? Wrong For?

BMW X5

The X5 is perfect for a well-to-do family of four. It works great for driving around town, and the niceties provided to the driver and front passenger will help to prevent the stresses of life from soaking in. Those who want performance need not worry, as all engine options offer some serious get-up-and-go.

However, the X5 is probably a bit too small for families larger than four. The back seats have plenty of room for kids, but the third row is cramped and hard to get to. Instead, wait for the upcoming BMW X7.

The Bottom Line

The 2019 BMW X5 is an incredibly good luxury SUV, even if it isn't the flashiest. It packs some serious performance alongside a fantastic interior and excellent build quality, making it a solid choice for anyone shopping in the space. It won't attract attention for better or for worse, but that shouldn't matter to you at all once you're behind the wheel.