Used BMW X5 4x4 (2013 - 2018) Comfort

Review by Graeme Lambert on
Last Updated: 23 Jun 2015
4
This is the third generation of the popular BMW X5 off-roader, a car that once represented 10 percent of all BMWs sold in the UK. Hoping to re-create that sort of sales success it promises major advances in design, luxury, comfort, safety, efficiency and driving enjoyment.
4 out of 5

Comfort

You don’t have to spend long behind the wheel to realise that BMW X5 comfort is one of its highlights – there’s plenty of space, the driver’s seat has lots of adjustment and the seats are trimmed in leather as standard.

We’ve only experienced the optional (£475) comfort front seats, which offer electric adjustment for almost everything – including headrest height, under-thigh support and even how tightly the side bolsters grip you. The ability to tilt the upper half of the backrest independently of the lower section means you can’t fail to find your desired seating position and despite their price we can only recommend them.

Thankfully it’s not just the seats that make the X5 such a comfortable companion; there’s very little wind noise and it’s clear that sound insulation has come under close scrutiny – you’ll struggle to hear more than a muted engine note on the move. There is some tyre roar at high speed, but that’s on account of the wide 20-inch wheels fitted to the models we drove.

The standard 18-inch alloys on SE models will likely yield an even more forgiving ride – despite making do with steel springs and conventional dampers as standard. Adaptive Comfort and Adaptive Dynamic suspension are optional, while the Adaptive M Suspension is fitted as standard to the M50d and all M Sport models except the sDrive25d.

At the top of the suspension chart is the Professional Adaptive Suspension package which combines the variable damping control and self-levelling rear suspension of the comfort suspension to the active roll stabilisation and dynamic performance control of the Adaptive Dynamic set up.
For those employing their X5 as a children carrier we’d suggest the huge panoramic glass sunroof is a good move too, helping stop children being car sick – even if it does cost £1,295.

4 out of 5

Practicality

As standard it comes with five seats, but BMW X5 practicality can be boosted with the addition of an extra pair in the boot, turning it into a proper seven-seater.

Access to the rearmost row is improved with the Easy Entry function that sees the middle seats tumble forward, while the handgrip on the pillar allows occupants to literally pull themselves into the car.

With the seats in place the boot is understandably small, but when the chairs are not in use they slide neatly into the floor and out of sight. Order your X5 without the extra pair of seats and boot space is 650 litres with the middle row in place and 1,870 litres when folded. That’s an increase of 30 and 120 litres respectively over the previous car, and the middle bench splits in a 40/20/40 configuration for maximum flexibility.

It’s a big car the X5, so it’s no surprise that occupant space is on the generous side – both up front and for those sitting behind a tall driver – and there’s plenty of head, shoulder and legroom available. There’s also plenty of storage with doorbins of a decent size, a deep cubby under the front armrest, a pair of cupholders at the base of the centre console and usefully-sized glovebox.

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How does the boot space compare?

690 litres
BMW X5 4x4 (13-18)
500 litres
330 litres
221 litres
3.5 out of 5

Behind the wheel

It’s fair to say that if you’ve sat behind the wheel of the previous BMW X5 then the current car will feel instantly familiar to you – in fact it took us a few minutes to spot what are in effect subtle changes. Don’t take that as a bad thing though, as it means the layout is intuitive and clear, with all of the controls just where you’d expect them.

Of course i-Drive still features, and can control more than ever before. There’s the touch sensitive pad on top, allowing you to trace letters and numbers with just your fingertips for sat-nav input and Connected Drive now comes with Professional sat-nav, real time traffic information and BMW online services. Even if you struggle with i-Drive at first, after only a few hours behind the wheel it’ll likely click and become the most intuitive system that you’ve ever used.

The sat nav screen now sits on top of the dash, like a tablet or flatscreen TV, the main dashboard moulding is now stepped into different layers and LED ambient lighting hides below the top level – you can even change the light’s intensity or colour.

As before quality is without question, the surfaces in our test example almost completely swathed in leather and high-gloss plastics. The instrument dials follow suit from other models in the BMW range with a multi-configurable electronic display below the speedometer and rev counter, which is also used to show when the car is in Eco Pro mode.

Thanks to part electric adjustment of the front seats, and plenty of movement in the steering wheel position finding a comfortable driving position is a matter of moments.