Styling changes are minimal, limited mainly to a larger version of the signature kidney grille, now with a single-piece surround, while the tail lights are said to have a ‘3D’ look. Firsts on this model include a 22-inch wheel option and the ‘BMW Digital Key’ which enables the vehicle to be unlocked with a smartphone.
If there’s a word to sum up the new X5, it’s ‘bigger’. The fourth-generation X5 has grown in all dimensions: at 4922mm x 2004mm x 1745mm, it’s 36mm longer, 66mm wider and 19mm taller than the current model. The new X5 rolls on a 42mm longer wheelbase of 2975mm, too.
The surprise with this swelling in dimensions is that it hasn’t been matched by cargo capacity. Minimum/maximum volume of 845lt and 1860lt is down 5 and 10 litres, respectively, compared to the current X5, but BMW still claim “enviable interior space”. BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system will be the sole drive option available on the new range, with no 2WD sDrive variants to be offered, but that may change during this generation’s lifespan.
While xDrive remains, it’s been improved for the upcoming X5, with the ability to more efficiently split torque between front and rear axles, according to BMW.
The X5 engine lineup has been revised and simplified, now divided across two petrol and two diesel engines, all of which feature BMW’s TwinPower twin turbocharging technology. The starter petrol is the xDrive40i 3.0-litre inline six, which delivers 250kW and 450Nm.
The equivalent diesel is the same capacity, but in xDrive30d form outputs are listed at 195kW and 620Nm. The ‘M’ performance X5 is only available as a diesel from launch, with the M50d using the same 3.0-litre six base as the other variants, but extracting 294kW and 760Nm thanks to multi-stage turbocharging.
The range-topper in terms of power is the xDrive50i, which uses BMW’s familiar 4.4-litre V8, but this latest version is said to be newly developed. As applied to the new X5, maximum outputs from the petrol V8 are 340kW and 650Nm. Across all engine options, the familiar 8-speed Steptronic automatic is standard, but this transmission has been updated to offer “sportier shift characteristics” and increase powertrain efficiency.
A range of standard and optional tech additions aimed at enhancing the mid-size SUV’s off-road performance have been added to the new X5, starting with an electronic rear diff lock. Standard on the X5 M50d and optional as part of the all-new ‘Off Road Package’, this essentially adds a torque vectoring function that improves on-road grip and off-road traction.
A new ‘Adaptive M suspension Professional’ air suspension system, also standard with the M50d and optional with the Off Road Package, enables ride height variances up to 80mm. Assisting this is Integral Active Steering, a four-wheel steering function which is making its first appearance on a BMW SUV with the X5.
In addition to the diff lock, air suspension and four-wheel steering, the Off Road Package also includes underbody protection and four selectable driving modes. Each is designed to handle a particular surface condition (sand, rock, gravel or snow, according to BMW) and adjusts the ride height, throttle response, transmission shift speed, xDrive performance and level of Dynamic Stabiity Control intervention to suit.
An expanded range of driver assistance technologies offered on the new X5 starts with the optional Driving Assistant Professional (DAP) package that features Lane Change Assistant that actively turns the wheel when lane changing, but only when sensors determine it’s safe to do so. The system also enhances steering assistance when a potential collision is detected.
Also in the DAP package is Emergency Stop Assist, which automatically changes lanes and engages the parking brake in situations where the driver is determined to be incapacitated. This system also engages the hazard lights and activates the Intelligent Emergency Call function for emergency services.
Parking Assistant is standard, offering fully automatic parallel parking, while the Reversing Assistant controls steering when reversing into or out of a conventional parking space and can store the steering movements required. The optional Parking Assistant Plus adds a 360-degree view for easier reversing or parking in confined areas. More details, including pricing, will be revealed closer to the new X5’s local launch.