When you plan to buy a luxury 4×4 SUV then the BMW x5 is definitely one of the first vehicles that would naturally come into anyone’s mind. The sport vehicle which you see above is actually the third generation X5 who call themselves SAV(Sports Activity Vehicle) boosting on it’s performance and on road capabilities. Packed with technology and comfort, the BMW x5 is set to exceed expectations. The BMW x5 xdrive 50i with M sports package featured in this review should cost approximately AED 400,000.
To begin with here’s a design comparison for you between the old and the new. Actually it’s no more new as the latest design of the BMW x5 is now approx. 3 years old. The most noticeable difference are the wider front and back lights along with the wider kidney grille giving it a masculine look and a design focused more on aerodynamics. The rear spoiler at the roof edge and the air curtains at the front wheel arches helps in better air flow. There is also an automatic air vent sensor which opens or closes the radiator air vents depending on the engine cooling needs.
The X5 featured here comes with the xDrive50i 4.4 litre Engine which is a BMW TwinPower Turbo V8 combining two turbochargers with Valvetronic. Delivers a massive torque of max 650 Nm with an output of 330 kW (450 hp). It can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.9 seconds. A full tank should give you approximately 600 kms drive.
The xdrive feature(all wheel drive system) actually distributes the power between the front and back wheels which you actually hardly realize but you definitely enjoy the experience as you accelerate, turn, curve and feel it go with the flow. I remember how climbing through the hill with this powerful SAV was such a breeze.
The Servotronic technology controls the power steering agility as per the driving speed and helps you in being total control specially when maneuvering on twisted roads. Also the active steering feature helps by increasing the steering angle at lower speeds which makes it easier to make turns by only having to slightly rotate the steering wheel. At higher speeds, the wheels turn less which gives you a better control of the vehicle.
The Multi functional instrument Display with black panel technology is a screen that doesn’t disappoint. The digital display is sharp and not so much you can customize but it changes as per your driving mode selected. The instrument display theme changes as you toggle between Comfort, ECO and Sport mode, giving the driver a visual experience of it’s own.
Also this vehicle had come with Full color BMW Head-up display which was really useful when navigation is ON. The details(like radio, navigation, phone calls, speed etc) are projected onto Drivers wind screen which helps the driver keep the eyes on the road! But the car navigation can never beat google maps. We were heading to a destination which had a closed road and the BMW navigation was actually directing us to the closed road while google maps was spot on with the only open route available.
The BMW idrive controller found next to the gear is really helpful when navigating through the menu. The circular knob which is a rotate and press mechanism makes it easy for one hand navigation. Also I like the fact that you can actually write on top of the circular knob and it would come up on the screen which is very handy when you are trying to search for keywords.
The luxury on this BMW can only be appreciated. The entire interior is wrapped in top quality leather combined with fine wood which is available in different trims and color. The entire dashboard is stitched leather upholstery and in some cases you can choose to customize your upholstery stitching to give it a better contrast.
The Harman Kardon speakers delivers brilliant crisp sound. Forget about playing the high quality DVD rip, Simply hearing a music from radio station itself was impressive. You are going to love listening to the surround speakers fitted in the BMW x5, It was sound engineering at it’s best.
For all those BMW fans having the M badge is about style and it definitely improves the aesthetic look to the entire design. The good news is even though you don’t have a budget for the high performing M sport tuned Engine, you could atleast opt for their M sports design package which has M badges dotted all around the car giving it a more sporty look. So the Vehicle shown here just has the M sports package without the M performing engine. The typical interior changes that comes when you opt for an M package would be:
- M door sill finishers and M driver footrest
- M leather steering wheel with multifunction buttons and
- Sport seats for driver and front passenger in exclusive Alcantara/leather
- Interior trim finishers in Aluminium Hexagon
- BMW Individual headliner in Anthracite
- Car key with the exclusive M logo
Most noticable difference would be the steering wheel and it definitely feels much better to hold than the classic one.
M Sport Exterior Package changes would include the following:
- 19″ M light alloy wheels Double-spoke style
- M Aerodynamics package with front apron, side skirts, wheel arch trims in body colour
- BMW Individual High-Gloss Shadow Line
- BMW Individual High-Gloss Shadow Line roof railing
- Tailpipe trims in Chrome high-gloss in a design specific to the
M Sport package
- M logo on the sides
- Adaptive M suspension
- Exterior mirror caps in body colour
LED fog lights
About the seats there were comfortable no matter where you sat being it the rear or front passenger seat. Thanks to the plush leather and elevated seating positions. The upper backrest segment, backrest width, thigh support and headrest height can all be adjusted electrically. Considering this an X5, I am not convinced with the leg room for the rear passengers. The third row seats are even worse, even the kids can’t fit in their legs comfortably. The third row seats was not practical.
The BMW has an interesting so called dual section tail gate. The upper tail gate swings up high like other cars but this one also has a lower tailgate which creates a platform to conveniently load and unload your luggage. Also the lower tail gate helps if you want to take out smaller objects. The tailgates close automatically with a push of a button along with locking the doors.
The Control Display presents a clear, easy-to-read overview of all functions that can be controlled using the iDrive controller. This includes information from the on-board computer, the settings for the sound system and radio, directions given by the navigation system, current traffic information and the vehicle’s current service status. LCD presents a glare free crisp display adjusting brightness with the help of light sensors making it easy to read details displayed on the LCD display anytime of the day even with direct sunlight.
When it comes to safety BMW X5 has a neat set of technology driven safety features. Ofcourse, additional safety technology features come with an additional cost. It comes under their category called intelligent driving.
The Lane Departure warning was the most that interfered during my driving. Every time I try to change a lane without any indicators the steering wheel would start vibrating. I kind of liked the feel on the steering wheel that I often would often would do it on purpose :p
The approach warning system can even brake the vehicle on behalf of the driver incase of emergency.
The BMW steering and lane control assistant which includes traffic jam assistant would be the real useful one here in Dubai which actually takes control of the steering wheel and the brakes and keeps the vehicle slow moving in middle of the traffic lane. This is possible with the help of cameras and radars used around the vehicle. It’s interesting to note that the BMW system can steer the vehicle automatically upto 210 km/h.
The Hill Descent control which is exclusive to the xDrive models activates to ensure that vehicle can negotiate the steepest downhill runs automatically and safely at just above walking pace without the driver having to brake.
The Auto Start stop function was an annoying feature to be honest. Everytime the vehicle comes to a halt the engine is automatically turned off and restarts when the driver presses the accelerator again. As per the BMW logic they say when the engine is switched off it can no more consume fuel thereby preserving fuel. But I wonder wouldn’t the car require the same fuel when it restarts the engine again. The frequency of the time the engine is switched off and started while I was on the slow moving roads, as an owner you would feel that your engine might wear off by simply starting and stopping n number of times.
Lane Change Warning system helps the driver by indicating a warning symbol on the side mirrors. Unfortunately the indicator is small to actually notice it during a quick situation. I remember the Audi had a bigger indicator which was obvious and cannot be missed by the driver. BMW probably need to work on the size of the indicator.
Lighting plays an important role inside the BMW luxury lounge. There is a welcome lighting as the driver approaches the vehicle. A combination of orange and blue strip lighting is found on the inside of the vehicle. I love the blue lighting strip which draws a sharp border around the interiors of the vehicle and gives a futuristic impression. Ambient lighting are found on the trim, in the front and rear footwells and in all of the door compartments and panels, among other places.
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