Saturday 19 January 2019

FIRST LOOK: Bigger BMW X5, starting from €94,325 - and you can order third row of seats

First Look: BMW X5 SAV

BMW X5 - extra level of spec
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

BMW's new X5 sports activity vehicle (SAV) gets here in November and prices start at €94,325 on-the-road for the 3-litre xDrive 30d.

he car has five seats in two rows as standard, but you can order an optional third row (two seats) if needs be. There is growing demand for such configurations.

At this stage just two engines matter for Ireland - both diesel. There is also a 3-litre petrol, if you so wish, in the line-up.

All have the newly upgraded 8spd Steptronic transmission and the latest version of intelligent all-wheel-drive, xDrive.

BMW X5 - extra level of spec
BMW X5 - extra level of spec

The new car doesn't look radically different from the current one, which I think aged quickly, but we'll have to wait to see it in the flesh before saying more.

However, the wheelbase stretches 42mm further, and the SAV itself is 36mm longer, 66mm wider and 19mm higher.

Standard are 19in alloys (on entry-level xLine models), 20in on M Sport versions and 22in on M Performance variants.

The 3-litre M50d (400bhp, €121,445, 179g/km, €750 road tax,0-100kmh 5.2 seconds) is powered by a 6cyl in-line diesel, but the bigger seller for here will surely be the 6cyl xDrive30d (265hp, €94,325, 0-100kmh 6.5 secs, 158g/km, €570 road tax).

Other engines may come on stream by the November launch, I'm told, but as of now the two diesels and one petrol make up the range.

I'm sure there will be electrified hybrid versions coming down the track too.

It is difficult to see how much of a price increase is involved with the new car as direct comparisons are nigh impossible.

There is no xLine in the outgoing model, for example, so spec would not be the same. However, the base price for the outgoing 30d xDrive SE is €91,485 on-the-road.

Given the extra level of spec and trim on the new one, it doesn't seem like a mad leap.

The on-the-road price for the current M Sport xDrive is €98,405.

Inside, electrically adjustable and heated sports seats are standard.

The digital instrument cluster and control display share the graphics and design. The centre console anchors the controller, transmission selector lever and all driving-related controls.

And there is a new-look panel for heating and air con. Four-zone air con and panoramic glass roof feature too. There is an adaptive navigation system, hard-drive-based multimedia system (20GB) and two USB ports.

Elsewhere, the dynamic damper control system is standard, with a chassis based on a double-wishbone front axle and a five-link rear.

Two-axle air suspension is standard on the xDrive30d.

When you select SPORT driving mode, ride height is lowered 20mm.

You can also adjust ground clearance for off-road driving. If you wish you can also order a special off-road package.

Folding the 40/20/40 split rear (second-row) seat boosts boot space from 645 litres to 1,860. You can also slide them for more passenger/luggage room.

A two-section tailgate makes loading easier.

Options include a new driving assistant professional (active cruise control with stop and go, lane change warning, crossing traffic warning and rear-end collision warning).

They also have a parking assistant to take the hassle out of negotiating the tight spots.

The X5 has always been credited with having super-sharp handling, as befits a BMW motor.

This fourth-generation X5 has a reputation to live up to as 2.2million of its predecessors have been bought since it was first launched in 1999.

The level of competition has also soared since then, so it will be very interesting to see how much of a step forward it is on the current one.

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