The BMW X5 is a mid-size SUV that has the distinction of being one of the first 4x4s to be focused on the road rather than the off-road. This third-generation has continued very much in the same way to the point where some versions of the 2017 BMW X5 don’t even have four-wheel drive. Of course, there's a lot more competition in the luxury SUV market these days than there was when the first X5 was launched, so is this 5-door SUV still one of the very best?
Although there are some reasons why people buy vehicles like this, the way they look has a very big say in why they're as popular as they undoubtedly are. It shouldn’t be too controversial to say the X5 isn’t perhaps the most modern, cutting-edge and contemporary design in its class, but it's no ugly duckling either. A few years ago BMW went very aggressive and somewhat polarizing with the styling of models like the 5 Series, but the X5 didn’t really get involved with any of that and instead it's stayed fairly true to its origins. It's not angular and covered in sharp edges, but it's not all round and bulbous either. Basically, if you've ever liked the way the X5 has looked it's more than likely you'll love the current model.
There's certainly no shortage when it comes to engines in the X5, and even the least powerful four-cylinder unit doesn't feel underpowered in the slightest. Obviously, the six-cylinder engines are more powerful, smoother and more effortless, but the four is so good there's no desperate necessity to pay the extra for the bigger powerplant. But if you’re a company car buyer, there's also the xDrive40e, which is a plug-in hybrid that can even manage around 20 miles on electricity only and is nicely predictable and easy to enjoy the rest of the time too. And if you really are a power junkie, BMW still offers a rip-roaring petrol V-8 that develops 330 Kw (450 horsepower) and 650 Nm of torque. Alternatively, there's, even more, the torque available from the M50d and its six-cylinder diesel with 740 Nm.
This isn’t a sports car by any means, but what you will find with the X5 is that it's easily one of the best handling large SUVs you can buy right now. There's certainly no lack of grip in bends and corners, and the BMW remains flat and composed throughout all but the most violent manoeuvres. Even the entry level sDrive25d with its two-wheel drive set-up and less traction is great to drive for a vehicle of this type. In fact, some so-called luxury saloons could take a lesson or two.
The choice of suspension has a big bearing on how comfortable the ride is in the BMW X5, and you have the choice between the standard suspension, adaptive comfort suspension and the adaptive dynamic suspension. Although it costs a decent amount extra, the adaptive comfort suspension is the one to go for if you can as it's noticeably more forgiving than the standard and the Dynamic alternatives, while still keeping the X5 under tight control in bends and corners. The petrol V-8 is unsurprisingly the most refined option, but the hybrid is also very quiet and even almost silent in electric-only mode. As for the quality of the interior build and materials; this is a BMW, and an X5 at that, so it's no surprise the cabin is simply sumptuous.
The 2017 BMW X5 is available right now from Kearys BMW, so get in touch today for more information and to arrange a test drive in what is still one of the very best luxury SUVs you can buy.