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Car Review

BMW X5 review

£79,210 - £108,560
710
Published: 16 May 2024
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Driving

What is it like to drive?

The X5 is certainly not a driver’s car in the classic sense, but you don’t feel short-changed behind the wheel. There's loads of grip and overall body control is remarkable for a 2.1-tonner: you even feel an entertaining tingle of rear-drive action if you belt out of a bend in Sport mode. BMW’s engineers have clearly worked very hard to disguise all that mass.

The ride, although well damped, still verges on the firm; this isn’t a wannabe limo. The adaptive air suspension is a welcome addition, swallowing up disturbances nicely. Hit a speed bump and you'll forget about it instantly, instead of pogoing down the street for hundreds of yards.

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Is it automatic only?

Yup. The X5 only comes with a super-attentive eight-speed automatic gearbox, which never feels like it’s playing catch-up. Only occasionally do you have to wait for it to kick down, but that’s easy enough to drive around.

Diesel or petrol?

The 294bhp 30d and 347bhp 40d are both 3.0-litre in-line 6cyl diesels. They're flexible enough for daily use, getting to 62mph from rest in 6.1 and 5.5 seconds respectively. Official fuel economy is rated at 36.7mpg and 35.8mpg; reasonable for a car of this size, but in reality you can expect high 20s. Technically they're mild hybrids, as is the M60i.

The 482bhp 50e is also a 3.0-litre in-line six, except the engine is petrol-powered and joined by a 25.7kWh battery and e-motor. 0-62mph takes 4.8s and BMW claims you'll get 59 miles of range from the battery (we got about 50). Fuel consumption is officially 283mpg, which is nonsense: once the battery runs out you’re looking at around 25–30mpg. Keep it topped up (there's rapid-charging functionality) and you'll vastly improve on those numbers.

The 523bhp 4.4-litre V8 M60i is the headline-grabber with its 4.3-second 0–62mph sprint and (limited) 155mph top speed. That of course has an impact on fuel consumption: the WLTP figure is 23.4mpg.

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What about the fancy steering?

We’ve driven G05 X5s fitted with four-wheel steering and we'd advise caution here. The system, like nearly all of its type, does counter-steering for urban parking smarts, and for agility in tight corners. Then it goes to same-phase steering for high-speed stability. Clever in theory, but in practice we found the setup a little unpredictable.

Highlights from the range

the fastest

xDrive M60i MHT 5dr Auto [Ultimate pack]
  • 0-624.3s
  • CO2
  • BHP523
  • MPG
  • Price£108,560

the cheapest

xDrive50e M Sport 5dr Auto
  • 0-624.8s
  • CO2
  • BHP482.8
  • MPG
  • Price£79,210

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