Used BMW X5 4x4 (2013 - 2018) Driving & Performance

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.
4.5 out of 5

Performance

No matter which model you choose, BMW X5 performance is impressive – even the entry level four cylinder diesel boasts 215bhp and 450Nm of torque. And all come with the firm’s excellent eight-speed automatic gearbox, which swaps cogs quickly and smoothly.

Diesel Engines

There are four diesel engines to choose from here, starting with the aforementioned 2.0-litre 25d, moving through the 3.0-litre straight six 30d and 40d and culminating in the fantastic X5 M50d. The latter uses a triple stage turbocharger to produce 375bhp and 740Nm, the torque available early on but the power arriving between a heady 4,000 and 4,400rpm.

It even sounds good, and driven with enough careless abandon the X5 M50d will sprint from 0-62mph in only 5.3 seconds. But then the 40d can complete the same in only 5.9 seconds, and it costs over £10,000 less.

The core model in the range – it accounted for over 80 percent of all X5s sold in the previous generation car – is the X5 xDrive30d which has 254bhp and 560Nm and can return 45.6mpg while emitting only 142g/km. Despite the impressive economy and efficiency figures, even this mid-spec engine helps the X5 complete the 0-62mph sprint in only 6.9 seconds.

Petrol Engines

If you want a petrol X5 then your choice isn’t just limited; there’s only one available. In the UK it will likely account for less than one percent of sales too, thanks to its 27.2mpg and 242g/km CO2 output. But the X5 xDrive50i does pump out 443bhp and 650Nm of torque.

That last figure helps it sprint from 0-62mph in 5.0 seconds, the only thorn in its side being the cheaper and drastically more fuel efficient X5 M50d that can do the same just three tenths slower. Like that car the rather irrelevant, in this country, top speed is electronically limited to 155mph.

Plug-in Hybrid version

Late 2015 saw the arrival of the xDrive40e, a plug-in petrol-electric hybrid version of the X5.

Combining a 2-litre TwinPower turbo four-cylinder with an electric motor delivered 309bhp and 450Nm of torque, yet in spite of its impressive 6.8second time to sprint from 0-62mph, BMW still claimed it was capable of 85.6mpg and CO2 emissions of just 77g/km. It could also travel for up to 19 miles on electric power alone.

4 out of 5

Handling

Even when you’re behind the wheel of the X5 M50d with the optional Adaptive Dynamic suspension you quickly realise this is no sports car – but then it does weigh around 2.2 tonnes, and gifted though BMW engineers are they cannot defy physics.

Inevitably if you drive it hard the weight comes into play, and with the heavy diesel engine up front the nose will eventually wash wide. There’s loads of grip across both axles up to that point though, and you have to be driving very quickly indeed to upset the X5 in anything but the slipperiest of conditions.

However the suspension is best left in Comfort mode, where the ride is slightly more supple and there’s a negligible amount of extra body roll – the steering weight feels more natural too. Torque vectoring at the rear, where power is split across the driven wheels to improve grip, makes it more stable in high speed corners too.

Considering most X5s will be carrying someone’s precious pre-pubescent cargo, taking life at a slightly slower pace is probably a better idea anyway.

And while the X5 isn’t strictly aimed at the ‘country set’ it proves capable enough off road, even with large alloy wheels and road-orientated tyres. There’s the usual hill-descent control and the X5 can apportion up to 100 percent of its power to a single wheel. The most impressive aspect is just how fuss free, and quiet, the four-wheel drive xDrive system is.