By the point the 2019 X5 was introduced, the 2018 X5 felt behind the instances within the face of newer, prettier, extra tech-forward competitors. Clearly, BMW’s engineers had been paying consideration this complete time, as a result of the most recent era of BMW’s O.G. SUV makes up for all that, leading to a bundle that is not solely aggressive, but in addition simply able to gunning for the highest of the pops as soon as extra.

A brand new coiffure, however the roots are displaying

I wish to name the 2019 X5’s styling by-product, however the one design it is ‘borrowing’ is its personal. The entrance finish could have barely thinner lights and a extra hunkered-down look than earlier than, however it appears largely the identical because the X5 it replaces — save for the grille, which has continued to swell like a dying star.

Issues are a bit completely different on the rear, the place BMW’s new company taillights give the X5 a bit extra dimension. I imply that actually — the taillights have some very good 3D traits that assist to interrupt up what would in any other case be monotony ‘spherical again. My tester’s 20-inch wheels add to the SUV’s appears, however not with out tacking an additional $600 onto the value tag.

The inside is specified by a simple method. Do not get me incorrect, there are a great deal of buttons in right here, however they’re grouped collectively sensibly — all of the local weather controls are subsequent to one another, whereas all the things associated to driving is down by the shifter. It would not take me lengthy to commit most of those positions to reminiscence, making it simple to alter settings on the fly. My main gripe right here is storage — other than the middle armrest cubby, which is not very giant, there aren’t many locations to cram issues, which might be a difficulty if this can be a family-first automobile.

My tester’s brown leather-based seats are the correct quantity of snug and supportive, providing bolstering that will not depart bigger drivers feeling cramped. I am pleased with the visibility, due to tall home windows and a rear finish that is fortunately devoid of any type of stylistic taper (that is what the X6 is for). A barely longer wheelbase means rear-seat area is plentiful, with sufficient legroom for tall passengers to sit down behind tall drivers. It additionally maximizes cargo capability, however my favourite a part of the cargo space is the clamshell tailgate, which appears correctly cool each time it opens electronically.

For as large because the doorways are, the storage is surprisingly sparse.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Tech-forward, however not all of it impresses

The primary tech-related bits you will most likely discover within the X5 are its screens. The usual 12.Three-inch gauge show and 12.Three-inch infotainment display screen are each giant and in cost. I’m not the largest fan of the gauge cluster’s “map,” which actually solely works when navigation instructions are turned on, because the roads aren’t labeled. In any other case, I do recognize that every one the related data is displayed prominently on both facet, and the colours and structure change relying on the mode, which is a pleasant contact. Sport and Consolation modes get crimson motifs, whereas Eco Professional turns the entire thing blue.

The most recent iteration of BMW’s iDrive works effectively, with a house display screen that shows many of the related data by default. With the ability to bounce between touching the display screen and utilizing the bodily dial under is appreciated. That mentioned, there are a great deal of menus and choices on there, which might be daunting at first. Altering sure issues, just like the optionally available head-up show’s brightness, requires diving by means of a number of menus, which might be awfully distracting. Apple CarPlay is included, however BMW costs a subscription for it, which is silly. You get the primary 12 months free, no less than.

My tester additionally packs BMW’s optionally available gesture management, a function I believe is frivolous and really detrimental from a distraction standpoint. But, it is a part of a $2,050 Premium Package deal that features issues like wi-fi system charging, a Wi-Fi hotspot and a surround-view digital camera system, so I believe the bundle is value it, even if you happen to by no means as soon as try to alter the quantity by swirling your finger round like Harry Potter’s wand. Followers of cable-based charging shall be excited to see USB-C ports in each rows.

Normal driver-assist programs abound and embody automated braking, lane-departure warning and blind spot monitoring. My tester one-ups that with the $1,700 Lively Driving Assistant Professional improve. This brings lane-keep help and full-speed adaptive cruise management into the fold. The system works effectively on the freeway, maintaining the X5 centered in its lane with minimal jerkiness. It is a hands-on system, and there is a intelligent set of lights built-in into the steering wheel that flash yellow if it would not detect palms on the wheel for a sure time period. I am usually a fan, however after I’m not utilizing the total system, I flip off the lane-keep help, as a result of I discover it a bit too heavy-handed in its corrections throughout each day use.

The house display screen lays all the things out in a simple method that is simple to learn at a look, and it is configurable if this is not your cup of tea.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

The correct quantity of sport

In the event you’re after essentially the most pliant journey within the section, you will not discover it within the X5. BMW has by no means been shy about making its autos fascinating to drive, and that all the time comes with trade-offs. Whereas my tester packs a $1,000 air suspension improve, the journey borders on stiff even with the suspension in its cushiest mode. It’s going to absorb the occasional pothole effectively sufficient, but when the street turns into a washboard, you are going to bounce round a good bit. Thicker tire sidewalls would possibly assist, however the 275/45R20 Pirelli Scorpion Zero winter tires on my tester are already decently meaty.

The powertrain, however, is rattling close to velvety. My tester’s xDrive40i trim means it carries BMW’s Three.Zero-liter turbocharged I6 gasoline engine, good for 335 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque. It produces a pleasant little growl after I lean on the gasoline, however I recognize its usable torque band extra. The eight-speed automated works effectively along with this engine, shuffling by means of the gears easily. Throwing it into Sport mode sharpens all the things up, however I discover the usual Consolation mode to be the very best mix of thrift and shifts.

The rest of the driving expertise is equally effectively bolted collectively. The steering is direct and responsive, aligning itself with a number of the sportier SUVs within the section just like the Porsche Cayenne. The throttle is simple to modulate, and in my particular case, that made for straightforward donuts and drifts within the snow with the soundness management set to its sportier, let-you-have-a-little-fun setting. The brakes are constant, though sprightly downshifts from the transmission under 20 miles per hour make it a bit tough to return to a cease easily each time.

On the gasoline financial system entrance, the EPA charges the 2019 X5 xDrive40i at 20 miles per gallon metropolis, 26 mpg freeway and 22 mpg mixed. Most of my week was spent tackling annoyingly excessive inclement climate, which left me with figures Three-5 mpg decrease than the estimate. Nevertheless, with some clear roads, I believe the EPA’s numbers would not be too powerful to match.

The tracks you see on the bottom right here aren’t mine, however I undoubtedly left a number of extra after taking these images. It was simply too tempting, and it is easy to tear sno-nuts on this man.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

How I would spec it

My tester begins at $60,700, however BMW’s dear choices ship the value by means of the ceiling, ultimately settling at $72,530 (together with the $995 vacation spot cost).

I will begin with the identical trim, as a result of V8-equipped fashions do not begin till $75,750, which is ludicrous. Alpine White is free, and it is a superb shade, so I will go for that over my tester’s $550 Mineral White paint job, which I assumed was Alpine White anyway. Avoiding the $600 20-inch wheels affords me a bit extra sidewall for a softer journey (ideally). Choosing my tester’s brown leather-based provides one other $1,450, which for some cause was discounted again all the way down to $Zero on its window sticker, however that is not the case on BMW’s shopper website.

I like keyless entry and four-zone local weather management, so I will keep on with my tester’s $1,150 Comfort Package deal, in addition to the $2,050 Premium Package deal that provides a head-up show, wi-fi system charging, a hotspot, a surround-view digital camera and gesture management. I will skip over my tester’s $2,050 Government Package deal, as a result of I do not care that a lot about soft-close doorways, window shades and distant begin. Nevertheless, I will maintain onto the $1,700 Driving Help Professional bundle for its stable driver’s aids. By way of particular person choices, I will plunk down $1,000 for two-axle air suspension and $250 to warmth each the steering wheel and the entrance armrests.

That leaves me with a barely extra palatable $68,595 price ticket, once more together with vacation spot.

All the way down to brass tacks

The BMW X5 could be brand-new, however it has to take care of the Mercedes GLE-Class and Porsche Cayenne, each of that are additionally new. Barely older competitors just like the Volvo XC90 and Audi Q7 are nonetheless kicking, and each are lots pleasurable in their very own rights, however I favor the BMW’s driving dynamics to the XC90 and Q7.

Had the last-generation X5 continued on by means of 2019, it would not be in an excellent place. However this new one packs a great deal of the most recent tech, and it is bolted to a chassis that is rewarding to drive, if you happen to’re into SUVs with sporting pretensions. It may not look all that completely different from earlier than, however similar to your dad and mom have been telling you for many years now, it is what’s on the within that counts.

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