BMW X5: X Marks The Spot?


Well, if you watched any movie about seafaring pirates, there is usually a quest for treasure jotted down on a map. BMW will pat themselves on the back, as they’ll feel like pirates having successfully jumped on to a body style that wasn’t their forte. Now the X5 was the first SUV BMW ever made. They executed it brilliantly and have been at the top of this luxury mid-size SUV class. Well, X currently doesn’t mark the top spot for BMW, as the Cayenne have ran away with this. Seems Porsche have borrowed a leaf from BMW as the Cayenne is also their first SUV.

Starting a Trend

The X5 can be considered iconic in that it gave birth to other crossovers all adorning the X. In 2003, the X3 which was based on the 3-series sedan was born, while in 2008 the X6 which was based on the 6-Series luxury sedan came to being. Thus, it’s safe to say that the X5 brought the X to BMW.

The History

It debuted back in 1999, and was an instant hit. BMW in typical pirate-like fashion benefitted a lot from the technology they were afforded by their ownership of Land Rover at the time. It shared components with the Range Rover HSE model, particularly the Off Road Engine Management system and Hill Descent system. BMW didn’t name their new creation as a SUV, but rather they named it SAV (Sport Activity Vehicle). Just a marketing antic, making a distinction isn’t that what marketing is all about?

The Current Model

Currently, we are on the third generation of the X5, which by the way is based on the 5-series sports sedan. This crossover was launched in 2013 and featured the same chassis and wheelbase of its predecessor.

The Variants

There has been a high performance version of the X5 known as the BMW X5 M. Obviously, BMW M had to get involved. The X5 M car has been in production since 2010. However, if you are looking for the regular X5 you can pick from one of these variants:

  • sDrive35i
  • xDrive35i
  • xDrive35d
  • xDrive40e
  • xDrive50i


The Powertrain

There are a number of engines that give this crossover all the power it needs, here is a list:

  • a turbocharge inline 6 giving out 300 hp (Standard)
  • a twin-turbo V8 producing 445 hp
  • a turbodiesel inline 6 churning out 255 hp
  • a turbo inline 4 coupled with an electric motor delivering 308 hp (hybrid)

The Interior

When has BMW ever gone wrong when it comes to the cabin? Never, that’s when, if you don’t know by now, this are the guys along with other European automakers that are responsible for bringing luxury to cars. Great upholstery, styling and the latest tech of course.

The Exterior

The BMW hasn’t changed that much over the years. Well if it isn’t broken then don’t fix it, however I believe there is always a facelift here or there that will just give us that right eye candy.

Our Verdict

If you like BMW’s sport sedans than you’ll totally fall in love with this crossover. It handles just like a BMW should, fan to ride no matter the terrain. The right word for this crossover is flexibility, strong when it needs be and swift when it needs to be.

Great car no doubt, but has it fallen of the horse a little with the introduction of the Porsche Cayenne? Have your say, leave a comment.

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Cris Shaki

Passionate about cars, tech, people, business, history, art & writing. I also enjoy being a graphic designer and web designer.

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