BMW X5 (2013-2018) review - Interior, design and technology
Evolutionary styling should please fans of the BMW brand, plus there’s no shortage of tech inside the X5
The first two generations of the X5 were a huge success for BMW, making the car one of the most recognised premium SUVs on the planet. In total, it clocked up combined global sales of 1.3 million across its first two incarnations.
It's no surprise, then, that BMW played it safe with the third generation. It's described as "deliberately evolutionary" and, while the looks are unlikely to offend anyone, it's certainly less distinctive than its predecessors.
The squat stance and flared wheelarches have been toned down, having been replaced by slab sides and a front end reminiscent of the BMW 3 Series. The rear end looks a little bland, but the squared-off exterior styling has led to an increase in interior space – making room for comfortable seats, big windows and first-rate quality.
The X5 M adds massive 20-inch wheels (and 21-inch rims are optional), plus a beefier bodykit and M-specific 'breathers' behind the front wheelarches.
Inside, the dashboard design is a familiar X5 feature and in line with models from across the BMW range, but the smart switchgear and LED ambient lighting are impressive.
The latest version of the company’s iDrive cabin control system is matched to a superb 10.2-inch screen, while standard equipment includes an attractive three-spoke M Sport steering wheel, memory seats, cruise control and two-zone climate control.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
The X5 has the latest 10.2-inch infotainment screen, and while it's not a tocuhscreen, the iDrive control wheel next to the gearlever is easy to use. The top surface of this works as a touchpad that allows you to enter characters and numbers with your finger without having to twiddle the dial.
As you would expect, the X5 comes with a pretty comprehensive package of infotainment tech. The list includes Bluetooth, an advanced sat-nav, BMW online services, music streaming and various apps.
Sound system upgrades are available from Bang & Olufsen and Harman Kardon.
In this review
- 1VerdictThe third-generation BMW X5 is an imposing and well built SUV, but there are faster and more spacious rivals
- 2Engines, performance and driveNo longer a dynamic benchmark, but fine diesels in X5 offer a combination of efficiency, performance and refinement
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsMainstream X5 models won’t break the bank, but you’ll need deep pockets if you’re looking at the faster versions
- 4Interior, design and technology - currently readingEvolutionary styling should please fans of the BMW brand, plus there’s no shortage of tech inside the X5
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceLimo-like passenger accommodation and lots of luggage space make the latest X5 a supremely practical choice
- 6Reliability and SafetyA full house of safety tech will protect the family, but the X5’s reliability reports aren’t exactly glowing