In-depth reviews

BMW X5 review - Reliability and safety

There’s plenty of safety tech, but BMW didn’t impress owners in our Driver Power satisfaction survey

As one of the flagship SUV models in BMW’s range, the latest X5 unsurprisingly comes packed with advanced safety tech. The most impressive kit is part of the BMW Driving Assistant Professional pack, which offers autonomous features like intelligent cruise control with lane-keeping assistance and the ability to keep pace with flowing traffic – including making allowances for vehicles merging into your lane. Other innovations include autonomous emergency braking and an aid that steers into clear space if the system senses an imminent collision with a car or pedestrian.

There are plenty of airbags around the cabin – including knee airbags up front – and all X5s get a crash sensor that activates the central locking release, hazard lights and fuel cut-off. You also get piercing LED headlamps, a speed limiter and the usual chassis dynamic systems like Electronic Brake-Force Distribution, Stability Control and ABS. It’s a comprehensive safety package, as you would expect, and Euro NCAP has awarded the BMW X5 a full five-star safety rating.

BMW finished a disappointing 27th out of 30 manufacturers in our 2020 Driver Power survey. While plus points included strong interior build quality, impressive engines and gearboxes, the brand received criticism for high running costs including servicing and insurance premiums. Perhaps, more significantly, a higher-than-average proportion of BMWs were reported as having had technical faults. 

Warranty

The warranty BMW provides for all its models is competitive, if unexceptional. You get unlimited-mileage cover for the first three years of ownership, which is better than VW Group products, which are subject to a mileage cap.

Servicing

Fixed-price servicing plans help you spread the cost of keeping your BMW X5 maintained, but the servicing schedule is variable depending on how the car’s on-board sensors think your driving style has affected oil quality. High-mileage drivers putting less strain on their engines should get a ‘service required’ message from their car less frequently than urban motorists covering low mileages in stop-start traffic.

Most Popular

BMW 5 Series vs Audi A6 vs Volvo S90
BMW 5 Series vs Audi A6 vs Volvo S90 - main
Car group tests

BMW 5 Series vs Audi A6 vs Volvo S90

Can plug-in hybrid power create a clear winner out of the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6 or Volvo S90
23 Jan 2021
Best small 4x4s to buy 2021
Dacia Duster ford
Best cars & vans

Best small 4x4s to buy 2021

Need 4x4 capability without big SUV fuel bills? Take a look our top 10 small 4x4s instead
6 Jan 2021
New Lotus ‘Type 131’ due in 2021 as Elise, Exige and Evora bow out
Lotus range
Lotus

New Lotus ‘Type 131’ due in 2021 as Elise, Exige and Evora bow out

A new look Lotus line-up is teased with heavy influence from Evija hypercar expected
24 Jan 2021