Believe it or not, but the BMW X5 is approaching its 20th birthday. The first-generation model went into production in 1999 as a 2000 model year vehicle. Today, BMW has taken the wraps off the fourth-generation X5, and it’s appealing as ever for those looking for a premium, mid-size crossover vehicle.
As seems to be the case with every new generation of vehicle launched these days, the 2019 X5 is larger than before, and comes packing in even more technology and luxury features that you would expect (from a BMW). The vehicle is 1.1 inches longer than the outgoing model, and rides on a wheelbase that is just fractionally longer than before. It’s built using BMW’s Cluster Architecture, which currently underpins the smaller X3 and the upcoming gargantuan X7. So, in terms of size, the X5 is the “just right” member of the family.
Stylistically, the 2019 X5 is easily identifiable as a BMW with its signature twin kidney grille up front, which is now larger than ever before. To our eyes, it looks like a supersized X3, although the character line that runs along the doors and flows up into the rear haunches is a nice touch. Out back, the new X5 looks a bit generic, losing its signature taillamp shapes in favor of a more conservative design. Overall, it’s a handsome vehicle from all angles, especially when riding on the optional steamroller 22-inch wheels (19-inch wheels come standard).
Inside are where things have changed the most, with a forward-looking design complete with a two 12.3-inch digital displays. One sits behind the steering wheel, while another sits atop the dash to handle infotainment and navigation duties. Ambient lighting adorns the cabin with “piped” LEDs flowing along the dash, along the transmission tunnel and across the doors. BMW is now rolling with iDrive 7.0, which has seen dramatic improvements over the years. It supports over-the-air updates along with touch and voice controls (gesture controls are optional).
On the powertrain front, there will be two engine options for performance fanatics. The base powertrain remains a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 that pumps out 335 horsepower (an increase of 20HP) and 330 lb-ft of torque. The turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 now generates a generous 456 horsepower and 479 lb-ft or torque. Both engines are backed by a ZF 8-speed automatic transmission. The base inline-6 will hustle that X5 from 0-60 in just 5.3 seconds, while the optional V8 will do the deed in 4.6 seconds. That’s not bad for a vehicle that can approach 5,000 pounds depending on options.
The 2019 BMW X5 goes on sale in November, and pricing will be revealed closer to that date. The current 2018 X5, however, starts at $57,200.