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. 


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.


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.

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