Saturday 20 January 2018

BMW cuts price and weight of new X5

(And first rear-wheel drive version is on its way)

Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

FOR a car costing the guts of €80,000, a couple of grand here or there might not seem that much.

In the case of BMW's new iconic Sport Activity Vehicle (SAV), the X5, it means dipping the €80,000 entry-level price mark. At €79,450 (on the road) that puts the xDrive30dSE nearly €2,000 below the price of its immediate predecessor €81,540 (on the road).

And the German marque holds out the prospect of an even lower-priced version within a month of launch when a rear-wheel-only-drive model with a four-cylinder diesel (the first time in an X5) and road tax of just €390 is due.

The X5, which arrives here in November, is lighter and more frugal, BMW claims and will have three engines to start with.

The biggest seller here at launch will be the xDrive 30d (162g/km, €570 road tax). Its claimed 45.6mpg is 7.4mpg better than its current equivalent and its 33g/km lower emissions means it drops by €630 from a previous yearly tax of €1,200.

Quicker of the two diesels will be the M50d (see chart for details) but the xDrive 50i with its 4.4-litre V8 (449hp) powerplant will beat the lot. But we'll all be waiting for the 2-litre four-cylinder version sDrive25d – not too long after launch.

Preliminary figures for this rear-wheel-drive version suggest 50.4mpg and CO2 emissions of just 149g/km. Sold alongside it will be an xDrive 4x4 version.

CHASM

It will be really interesting to see how buyers react to the rear-wheel model. There is quite a chasm between the 30d and M50d models, so BMW plan to add an xDrive 40d (3-litre, 313hp). An eight-speed automatic gearbox with 'Eco Pro' mode is standard.

As well as the engines being developed for more miserly fuel consumption, better aerodynamics and a cut in weight (80kg) help shrink emissions.

Despite this, a Drive Dynamic Control switch will be standard. This allows you to fine-tune throttle, steering and transmission responses.

They are promising more room inside. There's a 40:20:40 split for the middle row of seats. With the rear seats upright, there are 650 litres of boot space (up 30 on the current one).

If you flatten the middle row you get 1,870 litres (up 120 litres).

You have the option of ordering a third row of seats, which folds into the boot floor when not required.

To allow for a third row, the car would come with a newly developed 70/30 split bench that can slide forward to give more legroom for those in the third row.

To look at, there does not appear to be major changes in design but you can get a design package (there are two) as an alternative to the SE (standard) and M Sport specs.

Indeed you can settle for a complete package, individual bits or do a mix and match.

Advanced options included a head up display, night vision, 360deg surround-view parking assistant and collision warning with an automatic braking function.

And Attention Assistant warns if your driving and behaviour suggest fatigue.

The X5 is expected to make its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

The motor is 4,886mm long (+32), 1,938mm wide (+5mm), 1,762mm tall (+14mm) taller. It has the same wheelbase (2,933mm) but front and rear tracks have been shortened by 4mm (to ,).

As part of its ConnectedDrive (we'll have a report on that next week), BMW say the X5 offers full internet access.

Irish Independent

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