2019 BMW X5

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Updated: October 7, 2019

2019 BMW X5

The 2019 BMW X5 luxury crossover SUV is completely new, with more space, a new body with sharper character lines and a cockpit worthy of any luxury vehicle, utility or no.

For 2019, the lineup includes two all-wheel-drive models: the turbo-6 xDrive40i, and the xDrive50i with a twin-turbo V-8. A plug-in hybrid edition is coming soon.

In the 2019 X5, overall length increases by 1.1 inches to 194.3 inches. The wheelbase is 117.1 inches. It weighs 4,813 pounds with its inline-6, or 5,170 pounds with the V-8. 

The xDrive40i is EPA-rated at 20 mpg city, 26 highway, 22 combined, while the xDrive50i gets 17/22/19 mpg. 

The new X5 has not been crash tested yet, but each version gets automatic emergency braking, parking sensors, blind-spot monitors, run-flat tires, LED headlights, automatic high beams, and active lane control. An option package called Active Driving Assistant Pro adds lane-change assist and traffic jam assist. Other safety options include a surround-view camera system, night vision, and a head-up display.

Model Lineup

The X5 xDrive40i costs $61,695 including destination, and comes standard with power features, synthetic leather, run-flat tires, a panoramic roof, power heated front seats, wood trim, LED headlights, navigation, and 19-inch wheels. Standard audio includes AM/FM/XM with Bluetooth audio streaming and USB connectivity, with Apple CarPlay compatibility that’s free for the first year. A third-row seat is available. 

The xDrive50i is $76,745, and adds leather upholstery, multi-contour front seats, a universal garage door opener, four-zone climate control, and satellite radio.

Options include Bowers & Wilkins 1,500-watt, 20-speaker surround-sound audio system, open-pore wood trim, and a digital key that enables a smartphone to lock and unlock the vehicle.

An off-road setup gets a sport differential, air suspension, and underbody protection. 

There is also a separate Dynamic Handling package, with sport brakes, 21- or 22-inch wheels, the sport differential, an adaptive M-tuned suspension, active roll stabilization, and active steering.

Other options include 20- and 21-inch wheels, remote start, air suspension, cooled and heated cupholders, and a leather-upholstered dash. 

Exterior

BMW has styled the X5 with chunky fenders that lend it an athletic stance. Massive air intakes in front are nicely offset by the twin-kidney grille and LED headlamps. 

On the sides, the lines are more pronounced, with shoulders that suggest the 5-Series sedan. At the rear, LED taillights draw the eye to the split liftgate. 

The exterior trim is satin aluminum with black wheel lips. The M Sport package includes an aerodynamically distinctive nose, unique alloy wheels, and body-colored wheel arches.

Interior

The new cabin is warm and modern. The screens and switchgear are framed by metallic trim across a wide and shallow dash. It gets more interesting as it gets more optionally expensive, for example the crystal-tipped shifter and iDrive controller and the digital gauge cluster.

There are plentiful storage cubbies of different sizes, including in the door pockets for half-gallon bottles. The center console has a split lid and can fit a tablet computer inside. There’s a wireless phone-charging spot that can also hold change. The cabin is quiet, but can be made more quiet with optional acoustic side glass. 

The latest iDrive infotainment system uses a lovely 12.3-inch touchscreen that can be enabled with gesture control, so you can turn down the radio volume by pointing at it. 

Equipped with the optional multi-contour seats, the X5 has an excellent driving position with plenty of adjustment. The second row has nearly as much legroom as the first row, 37.4 inches versus 39.8 inches; it’s the same with headroom, with 38.7 and 40.8 inches, respectively. The available third-row seat is best for small passengers; there’s also the three-row X7 for those who need a big third row.

The X5 provides 33.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row, and 72.3 cubic feet with it folded flat, with enough length to sleep there. The split liftgate opens with a wave of the foot under the bumper; the top three-quarters of the liftgate swings up, and a small tailgate drops down. On X5s with air suspension, a button lowers the suspension for easier loading.

Driving Impressions

The xDrive 40i is so perfectly sweet it’s difficult to imagine wanting another engine, or transmission for that matter. Its turbo-6 makes 340 horsepower, which is enough for any real world we know. It can find and reach gaps in freeway traffic without thinking twice, while making classic BMW inline-6 sounds along the way. 

The 8-speed automatic transmission will be with you every sharp step and upshift of the way. Sometimes the steering can be too eager, but the X5 is still outright joyful to drive. 

The twin-turbo V-8 in the xDrive50i is even more powerful, with 456 horsepower, and a 0-60 mph time of 4.6 seconds with a top speed of 155 mph. 

Both X5s provide a smooth, controlled ride, even with rigid run-flat tires. The suspension uses control arms in front and five links in rear, with electronic dampers. And both use a brake-by-wire system that mutes the vibration at the pedal of anti-lock brakes when they’re anti-locking.

The available air suspension (helpful for towing, up to 7,200 pounds) has six positions of ride height; it automatically lowers the chassis at speed, and can be set to deliver a softer ride around town on bumpy streets. 

An available sport differential uses clutch packs to move power across the rear axle for torque-vectoring control, while an electronically controlled rear differential can act like a lock to ensure more even acceleration.

There’s also a sport-tuned suspension (called Professional on the options list) with active roll stabilization, which counters cornering force with opposing pressure to yield a flat ride through corners. It takes grippy 22-inch tires that are staggered at 275/35 front, 315/30 rear. In Sport mode, there’s more rear bias to the all-wheel drive. There’s even an off-road package with its own traction modes.

Final Word

The 2019 BMW X5 underscores an unbelievable idea: BMW’s best known for sport sedans, but it builds wonderful sport-utility vehicles. The new X5 may be best as the well-balanced xDrive40i, with a handful of options.