It’s been almost 20 years since the BMW X5 debuted. What was seen later as a bit of curiosity has now become a mainstay of the brand, with more than 2.2 million units sold.
The X5 always manages to combine a good balance of utility, performance and economy. For the redesigned 2019 BMW X5, not only were there new off-road capabilities in the mix but also the latest BMW iDrive entertainment interface. For most buyers, technology may be as important as the way vehicles drive. Can the X5 maintain its critical balance for 20 years?
The first thing you notice is the bigger BMW grille. It’s bold and immediately distinguishes the 2019 BMW X5 from the previous model. More subtle changes are the increases in width, length and overall height, which range from 1 to 2 inches. All of this is added with a considerable visual presence, even with standard trims. The headlights you see in the photos are trick laser headlights, but LED fog-, head- and taillights are standard.
The xLine trim is the most recognizable by the black wheel arches, 19-inch wheels, silver front and rear accents. The M Sport package is available both on either the xDrive40i or xDrive50i, offering unique front and rear bodywork, 20-inch wheels, black window trim, and body-colored wheel arches. A 21 and 22-inch wheels are available, and thanks to the 2019 BMW X5 size, it doesn’t look out of place.
Under the hood
The 2019 BMW X5 available in two versions, the xDrive40i and the xDrive50i. The xDrive40i is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six that produces a decent 335 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque (35 hp and 30 lb-ft more from last year). It’s an excellent engine and will be more than enough for most buyers even need. BMW estimates the xDrive40i will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. EPA fuel economy rating stands at 22 mpg combined (20 city/26 highway).
For those who want something more robust, the xDrive50i redesigned twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 now delivers 456 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque (up 11 hp and down 1 lb-ft from last year). BMW estimates the xDrive50i will perform 0-60 mph in just 4.6 seconds. Fuel economy estimated at 19 mpg combined (17 city/22 highway).
Both engines come standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. To maximize efficiency, the all-wheel-drive system automatically decouples the front wheels when they aren’t needed. But if you’re tackling difficult terrain, a new optional Off-Road package adds a locking center differential and air suspension. Both models are rated to tow up to 7,200 pounds. Like most new cars today, the 2019 BMW X5 has an auto start/stop system that cuts engine power at stoplights to save fuel. If you think the restarts rough or annoying, the system can be disabled.
As soon as you go inside, you will immediately notice the twin 12.3-inch digital screens (BMW Live Cockpit Professional), one for the instrument panel and one on the dashboard for vehicle setting, multimedia and navigation.
The instrument panel is very easy to configure, displays traditional measuring devices, audio sources, navigation maps, and efficiency readings as the driver desired. Completing the digital instrument panel is an optional and configurable head-up screen that can show navigation and speed information.
The 2019 BMW X5 is a two-row SUV with an optional third-row, and the extended wheelbase gives the second row a little extra legroom. When equipped with a third-row, the second-row becomes power-adjustable and can be tilted forward for easy access to the third row. Despite the increase in legroom, the third-row is more suitable for children.
At the back, the rear hatch is divided horizontally to include a tailgate. There is a hands-free option that allows the split tailgate to open when you swing your foot under the rear bumper. Cargo capacity is measured at 33.9 cubic feet with the second-row up. It increased to 72.3 cubic feet with them folded down, which is more than the Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne offers.
It should not surprise if 2019 the BMW X9 is filled with lots of advanced technology. The most impressive is the latest iDrive entertainment system that is faster and more customizable than before. The rotary controller now has haptic feedback, and the center screen can also be controlled by hand gestures or touch.
There is no luxury SUV that comes without serious audio hardware. While standard stereo or even the optional Harman Kardon settings are hard to fault, there is an optional mega system. Created by Bowers & Wilkins, Diamond’s surround sound system uses 20 speakers and 1,500 watts to satisfy even the most experienced audiophile.
Other notable tech features include heated and cooled front cupholders, multiple USB and USB-C ports, and an optional rear-seat entertainment system with a DVD player, two 10.2-inch monitors and HDMI jack. There’s also the optional remote-start capability, ventilated and massaging seats and four-zone climate control system.
Release date and price
The 2019 BMW is on sale and arriving now at dealers nationwide. But all this capability and technology don’t come cheap. The 2019 BMW X5 xDrive40i starts at $61,695 and the xDrive50i at $76,745 (including destination fee).
Adding options such as the Driving Assistance Plus, with features such as adaptive cruise control will quickly push you to excess of $80,000. At these prices, the 2019 BMW X5 is priced above rivals like the Audi Q7, Acura MDX, Infiniti QX60 and Lexus RX.