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2019 BMW X5 Review

Suddenly, the 2019 BMW X5 SUV gains more off-road ability to complement its superb on-road talents. Actually, the new X5 seems to enjoy more of everything, since this 2019 model represents the debut of a new generation.

This premium midsize SUV is one of BMW’s standout models. It seats five in standard form, while offering a third row to take a total of seven occupants. The new generation brings revised styling, but it’s still unmistakably a BMW. Its dimensions, however, are greater than before, resulting in more space for passengers and cargo. This second aspect was a weak spot in the previous generation.

Drivetrains are not so numerous this year (a plug-in hybrid is expected for 2020), but the two offered in 2019 have been improved for smoother running, optimum fuel efficiency and more power.

For the family, there’s ample security and safety equipment, road-trip ride quality, plus extra seating for little ones. For the enthusiast, the X5 drives like a 5,000-lb crossover shouldn’t — with precision, poise and punch. For the off-roader, an optional package enhances the X5’s abilities way beyond the occasional dirt trail. Technology fans will also find plenty to enjoy, including over-the-air software updates.

There is no high-performance X5 M version this year. When it does arrive, it will be reviewed separately.

What’s New for 2019?

The X5 is completely new for this model year, the vehicle’s fourth generation. See the 2019 BMW X5 models for sale near you

What We Like

  • Sumptuous interior
  • Responsive handling
  • Great technology
  • Third-row seat availability

What We Don’t

  • One of the pricier premium midsize crossovers

How Much?

$61,695-$76,745

Fuel Economy

Both X5 variants have an 8-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive (known as xDrive) as standard. They also have active grille shutters and engine stop-start to maximize fuel efficiency. Total towing capacity is 7,200 pounds.

The xDrive40i employs a turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline-six engine rated at 335 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), fuel economy is estimated at 20 miles per gallon in the city, 26 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg in combined driving.

A twin-turbocharged, 4.4-liter V8 in the xDrive50i develops a muscular 456 hp and 479 lb-ft. Fuel consumption is 17 mpg city/22 mpg hwy/19 mpg combined.

Standard Features & Options

The 2019 BMW X5 is available in xDrive40i and xDrive50i forms.

The xDrive40i ($61,695) comes with 19-in alloy wheels, adaptive LED headlights with automatic high beams, programmable LED daytime running lights, LED fog lights/taillights, a panoramic moonroof with a powered sunshade, aluminum roof rails, keyless entry/ignition with customizable presets, rain-sensing wipers, a power-adjustable tilt-and-telescoping steering column, dual-zone automatic climate control, selectable driving modes, hill descent control, dynamic dampers, a roof spoiler, heated/power-folding side mirrors, self-dimming rearview mirror/driver’s-side exterior mirror, 16-way power-adjustable front seats with driver’s-side memory, simulated leather upholstery, ambient cabin lighting, a powered lift gate, front/rear parking sensors, 40/20/40 split/folding rear seats, a universal garage door opener, dual 12.3-in displays (one for driver information, the other for the infotainment system), a 10-speaker/205-watt audio setup, an HD radio, navigation with real-time traffic information and on-street parking space availability, dynamic cruise control, speed limit information, Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, two USB ports, Bluetooth, natural speech commands, 20 GB of multimedia storage, and emergency response/stolen vehicle location services.

Driving-assistance features, also standard, include forward-collision warning with daytime pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning and active blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.

The xDrive50i ($76,745) upgrades to the twin-turbo V8 and 20-way multi-contour front seats with memory settings for both sides, leather upholstery, quad-zone automatic climate control, a 16-speaker/464-watt Harman Kardon surround-sound system, satellite radio and two USB-C ports.

A Driving Assistance Professional package includes Traffic Jam Assist, allowing the driver to release the steering wheel and let the X5 handle the stop/go drudgery or on a few highways, plus an Emergency Stop feature and help with evasive actions.

The Luxury Seating package brings multi-contour ventilated/massaging front seats. A Parking Assistance package handles the hard work when maneuvering into perpendicular or parallel parking spaces.

The new Off-road package adds an air suspension for both axles with adjustable height settings, an M Sport rear differential, underbody protection, and multi-terrain modes.

The air suspension is also available as an individual option. Other extras include the third seating row, 20/21/22-in alloy wheels, rear-wheel steering, LED headlights with laser light, a trailer hitch, acoustic glass, soft-closing doors, glass controls, rear window sun shades, front/rear heated seats, a heated steering wheel, heated front seat armrests, heated/cooled cup holders, wireless charging, Wi-Fi, a head-up display, gesture control, infrared night vision with pedestrian detection, a rear-seat entertainment system, plus a choice of a 12-speaker/360-watt Harmon Kardon surround-sound system (xDrive40i), or a 20-speaker/1,500-watt Bowers & Wilkins surround-sound system.

Cargo space measures 33.9 cu ft. behind the second-row seats and 72.3 cu ft. with the rear seats folded down.

Safety

The X5 comes with standard stability control, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes and six airbags (front, front side and full-length side curtain). The standard BMW Assist telematics system provides automatic crash notification, emergency assistance and more.

An optional Driver Assistance Plus package adds blind spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, collision mitigation system with full auto-stop capability, driver drowsiness monitor and a 360-degree safety camera system. An infra-red night vision system with pedestrian detection is also offered.

In government crash tests, the X5 sDrive35i took the maximum of five stars overall, with five stars each for front and side impact tests, and four for rollover protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the X5 top scores for the moderate-overlap frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests, and for the optional collision mitigation system.

Behind the Wheel

From the driver’s seat, it’s hard to believe the X5 is an SUV at all. Thanks to the different drive modes, the adaptive suspension spans a range of comfort and control, while retaining control in the most comfortable setting and some comfort in the sportiest setting. Through the corners, the X5 delivers involving, athletic handling. High-speed stability is exemplary, with little road or wind noise. Crossovers don’t get much better than this.

The 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six delivers smooth, strong acceleration, while the 8-speed automatic performs rapid, yet seamless shifts. This should please most people. For those who like their crossovers to pack more thrills, the xDrive50i’s twin-turbo V8 is magnificent.

The standard front seats are supportive and great. However, we’re big fans of the optional 20-way multi-contour seats, which are among the best in any vehicle. Regarding the third row, it’s a nice option, but it’s most suited to the smaller and younger members of the family.

Superb fit and finish in the cabin are complemented by high-quality materials and a well-thought-out design. The infotainment interface is also extremely user-friendly.

Other Cars to Consider

2019 BMW X6 — Just in case you didn’t need quite so much rear passenger and cargo space, and would prefer something with more "out there" styling, consider this. Still based on the previous-generation X5, though.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class — A luxury SUV with a range of models similar to the X5 and the X6. All-new for 2020 and a seriously excellent vehicle.

2019 Porsche Cayenne — Doesn’t have the X5’s 3-row versatility, but delivers awesome performance and undeniable Porsche cachet.

2019 Volvo XC90 — Not particularly a driver’s machine, but comes with its own cool factor and lots of tech. Integrated child booster seats are available.

Used Land Rover Range Rover — There’s nothing like a Range Rover, and a pristine low-mileage example can be acquired for the price of a new X5. Check out Land Rover’s certified pre-owned (CPO) program.

Autotrader’s Advice

Whichever engine you choose, and the 3.0-liter straight six is more than adequate, leave some budget aside for any extra driver assistance/parking features you might require. Check out those multi-contour seats as well. Find a BMW X5 for sale

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