rideXdrive

2019 BMW X5 – The Original SAV

The first X5 produced in 1999 was somewhat of an experiment for BMW. The company acquired Land Rover just 5 years prior and saw an opportunity to use Land Rover’s technology to build an SUV of their own.  BMW used parts from the Land Rover bin and combined some parts from the 5-series bin to make BMW faithful happy.  The end result was what BMW dubbed a Sports Activity Vehicle. Now, 20 years later, the X5 has seen four US presidents and the invention of Instagram. As it continues to compete in a very tough segment, BMW is introducing a new X5 for 2019.

Built using the CLAR architecture, the 2019 X5 is powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged I-6 or 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8. Both are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The six comes with the xDrive40i trim and makes 335 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque. The eight comes with the xDrive50i trim and makes 456 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. Expect a hybrid version to come at a later date

One of the easiest ways to distinguish the new X5 from older models is by it’s restyled and larger kidney grille. The new model also has updated LED headlights and the option to upgrade to laser lighting.  The taillights have a 3-D look to them and the wheel arches have more bulk and angle.

The X5 should be plenty powerful regardless of the trim you decide to go with. In order to slow you from higher speeds, the new X5 has BMW’s integrated brake-by-wire system. This new system can also be found on the 8 series and should lay the ground work for future self-driving and autonomous braking systems.

BMW has packed the 2019 X5 with tons of technology that give it improved off road capabilities. With the optional off-road package, the X5 has modes for snow, sand, gravel, and rocks. A single button allows you to increase ground clearance and there is a locking center diff. The system is sophisticated enough to relieve the pressure off of a flat tire.

The interior also gets a lot of treatment with the debut of BMW’s iDrive 7. The system can be controlled using the touchscreen, the iDrive controller, voice commands, and gestures. Although the gesture controls can be a bit sensitive.  There are two 12.3-inch screens, a head-up display, and an optional Bowers & Wilkins Diamond surround sound system.

Other luxury items include heated and cooled seats with massaging, heated and cooled cupholders, heated steering wheel and armrests, wireless phone charging, and soft close doors. A panoramic roof comes as standard in the North American market. Other markets get BMW’s Sky Lounge panoramic LED moonroof.

Driver assistance features come standard. With extended traffic jam assistant, hands-free driving is available up to 37 mph. A camera monitors the driver’s eyes to make sure they are paying attention to the road. The 2019 X5 also has the ability to adjust to the speed limit, rear collision protection, and memory-controlled parking assist.

The xDrive40i starts at $60,700. The xDrive50i starts at $75,750. The prices quickly climb when adding features such as the optional $3,950 Off-road Package.

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