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In-depth reviews

BMW X5 - Practicality, comfort and boot space

As before, the BMW X5 is available with seven seats, meaning it’s hard to fault for family-friendly appeal

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

Practicality, comfort and boot space Rating

4.5 out of 5

Price
£69,800 to £113,050
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The BMW X5 is available as a five-seater as standard or with an optional third row of seats. That said, this rearmost row is best suited to children, so if you want to carry lots of grown-ups on a regular basis, then the bigger BMW X7 might be a better choice.

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The driving position of the X5 is excellent, with the usual great BMW ergonomics and a vast range of adjustment, particularly from the standard sports seats with electrically adjustable lumbar support, plus a memory function. As part of the Comfort Pack, the optional front comfort seats add additional electric adjustment, such as extendable thigh support. You get a commanding view of the road ahead, too, thanks to the X5’s height, although you’ll be relying on the front and rear parking sensors and rearview camera when parking. You’ll need to add the Technology Plus Pack to get a top-view, 360-degree camera system, which is a little bit of a shame when a similar system comes as standard on the Range Rover Sport.

The interior of the X5 provides plenty of storage, with a large lidded bin between the front seats, a good-sized glovebox and spacious door bins. The front cupholders can even be heated or cooled to either keep your coffee warm or your bottle of water cool, if you add the aforementioned Comfort Pack.

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Equally useful is the split tailgate; the lower section provides somewhere to rest your shopping before arranging it in the boot, or somewhere to sit when changing into walking boots or cycling shoes, for example.

Size

The latest-generation X5 is a little bigger than its predecessor and is usefully boxy in its outline, measuring up at 4,922mm long, 2,004mm wide and 1,745mm tall.

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The Range Rover Sport is even bigger at 4,946mm x 2047mm x 1,820mm, while the Porsche Cayenne is a touch smaller at 4,918mm x 1,983mm x 1,696mm.

Leg room, head room & passenger space

Legroom and headroom are excellent all around in the BMW X5, and the small transmission tunnel is especially impressive, meaning a third central passenger can sit comfortably on the rear bench seat without making too many compromises. There’s also plenty of shoulder and hip room because the X5's cabin is pretty cavernous.

A worthwhile option is an electric adjustment for the second row of seats; this brings a control panel in the boot, allowing you to slide the bench forward or fold the seatbacks to maximise space as you’re loading.

Boot

The X5 offers a handsomely spacious boot, although the 650 litres of total volume is beaten by the 690 litres in the Mercedes GLE. The plug-in hybrid xDrive50e reduces this to 500 litres, whereas the Range Rover Sport P460e maintains its capacity at 647 litres. The rear bench in the X5 splits 40:20:40, which is great for passing long luggage items up between the two rear passengers with just the centre section folded.

Alternatively, you can fold everything to release a whopping 1,870 litres of space. The Mercedes gives you over 2,000 litres with everything folded flat, but the rear seat only splits 60:40, so it isn’t as versatile. BMW’s Comfort Access option provides hands-free control of the upper and lower tailgate sections and the retractable load cover.

Towing

With its powerful range of engines, most versions of the X5 offer more than enough towing ability for most buyers. The xDrive30d is a tad disappointing for an SUV of this size with just 1700kg of braked towing capacity, but the xDrive40d ups this to a healthy 2500kg. The plug-in hybrid xDrive50e and M60i can pull even more at 2700kg.

We’d suggest you consider the Range Rover Sport if you need even greater capacity because the P460e can tow 3000kg, while the rest of the range can pull up to 3500kg.​

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