The arrival of the fourth generation of the BMW X5 assumes that the showcase on wheels where the brand gathers more technology, is now an SUV. A larger SUV, more roomy, more off road and more technological than ever. We tell you our first impressions about the spectacular and new BMW X5 2019.
Today when I was going to the presentation of the new BMW X5, I thought about the criticism received by the German brand for launching this type of vehicle back in 1999. At that time no one conceived that BMW, a brand that historically had always positioned itself as a manufacturer of sports cars, launched a kind of SUV with more than 2 tons in weight, and tried to sell it to us as a sports SUV.
More than 2.2 million units sold worldwide since the launch of the first generation in 1999 show that BMW’s commitment to this type of vehicle, made all the sense despite the many criticisms received at the beginning.
But time has proved them right, since of the three previous generations of the BMW X5, more than 2.2 million units have been sold worldwide, and not only that, this car was the embryo of a complete family, the X, which today is as big and prolific as the rest of the BMW range together.
So much so, that the X family does not stop growing. This year the new X3, X4 have arrived and the new X7 that will arrive next year as the largest and most luxurious SUV vehicle of the brand has been presented. There will also be the X3 M and X4 M, the high performance versions of the average SUV. But meanwhile, let’s go to the real protagonist of the day, which is none other than the BMW X5.
The new BMW X5 grows in every way. Now it is longer, wider and higher than ever. It measures 35 millimeters longer, thus touching the five meters long. But that increase in length has its most prominent point in the increase in wheelbase, which is now 42 millimeters higher than in the previous generation, which results in a larger and more spacious interior, as well as some benefits at dynamic level that we will comment later.
At the design level the BMW X5, despite having evolved significantly and not simply being an update with respect to its predecessor, still maintains the essence that clearly identifies it as the car that is within the BMW X family. When you have it in front of you, your face is imposing, mainly because of the giant air intakes that preside over the front, the largest ever mounted in a BMW and that are also active: they open to allow the flow of air to the engine when necessary, and they close at other times to optimize aerodynamics, consumption and efficiency.
The line of the shoulders very marked draws its muscular and forceful silhouette, which flows to the back where we find novelties, such as LED optics with three-dimensional housings and a trunk lid that, as a brand of the house, is still divided into two sections, now both with automatic electric drive.
Being larger than before, the tires logically must also be consistent with the size of the vehicle. Of series it rides of 18 inches, but in option and depending on the motorization and finished chosen, they will be able to arrive until the 22 inches , which can seem exaggerated, but as it is seen in the image, it is not it and they even come to seem chords for the exterior size of the car.
If we go inside, the evolution with respect to its predecessor jumps at sight as soon as we open the door. The cabin has nothing in common with the previous X5, and at the visual level and touch, the jump in terms of quality finishes and care for detail has been remarkable, so much so that I dare to say that this is located as the new reference of its segment in terms of luxury and mime sensation.
The most striking at first sight, beyond the glass shift lever with an X laser engraved inside, are the two giant screens that preside over the control panel, clearly aimed at the driver. Behind the wheel is a fully digital control panel, consisting of a 12.3-inch screen that shows all kinds of information and does so with very clear and easy to understand spellings even when, as is the case, you are not familiar with the vehicle.
This main frame is joined on its right side with another screen, tactile in this case, the same size, 12.3 inches that presides over the central part of the passenger compartment and that together, offer us all kinds of information thanks to the advanced operating system 7.0 that It also premieres with this model and will soon reach other BMW.
What I like the most, beyond the quality and quantity of information offered by this type of system, is that the air conditioning is not integrated in these screens, but that it still has its physical air conditioning controls such as a pushbutton positioned just below, a solution much more logical than that adopted by other manufacturers such as Audi, which in the A8, A6 and Q8 integrate air conditioning controls on the screens, which reduces attention to the steering wheel.
The center console that separates both front seats has gained presence and width, and now we find there buttons that have traditionally been in other parts of the car, the most prominent being the start and stop. It is so wide that part of the car that has, in addition to a very large space with a lid to leave objects like the mobile and that this is charged by induction or micro USB, two coasters.
The amplitude offered by the BMW X5 is really good, and is enhanced by a glazed surface that has gained size compared to its predecessor. You can also choose the Panorama Sky Lounge roof, whose glazed surface has an LED system with more than 15,000 graphic patterns that, depending on the light, can make it look like a sky lit by stars.
As standard the BMW X5 is configured with five seats, very wide in both the front and rear, but in option you can configure with two extra seats to complete the seven that both value some customers. These two additional seats, are arranged on the trunk space, which in configuration of 5 seats offers 650 liters capacity, and to access them they can move forward electrically the seats of the second central row.
The new BMW X5 will feature two optional equipment lines, the xLine and M Sport. The first uses metallic finishes to accentuate some details of the exterior, giving it a sophisticated look and enhancing its off-road capabilities. The M Sport on the other hand enhances its sporty appearance, and does so thanks to the wheel arches painted in the color of the body or the front kidneys with profile in bright black as well as the profiles of the windows and other elements of the bodywork.
Of course, as always in this type of car, the catalog of accessories is almost infinite, and we can equip it with many elements developed by BMW Individual to achieve a completely exclusive and almost unique car if no other customer chooses the same options as you.
Another of the highlights of the new BMW X5, is that it is more capable than ever outside the asphalt. It is undoubtedly something to stand out in the current times, since we never think that SUVs of this type leave the asphalt, but the truth is that it is something that BMW has incorporated because it was asked by their customers.
Thus, the new BMW X5 has an optional off road package with four modes: sand, rocks, gravel or snow. Through the pneumatic suspension of both axes, with independent management in each of them, the new BMW X5 promises a capacity of wading water sections up to 50 centimeters high, protecting the most delicate areas of the low in the front and rear as well as better attack and exit angles than any other X5 to date.
BMW admits that the technological evolution in its cars is so great that, although only 4 years ago we were talking about the 7 Series as its maximum technological standard, with the passage of time that position has been occupied by the new Series 5 and now the X5, which it is situated as the most of the most in technology.
It is difficult to summarize everything that the new BMW X5 offers, but I do want to emphasize that the series complement seemed quite complete, including elements such as the LED headlights in front and behind, the fully digital Live Cockpit, the interior LED lights with different shades, control by gestures or leather upholstery.
From my point of view, the most interesting technological options offered by the BMW X5 are the following. On the one hand, the arrival of the Laser lights to the BMW SUV family is done in the X5, which will have this system as an option. Aesthetically identified by the front optics with a bluish-hued X on the inside, and have an intelligent beam that reaches 500 meters away in front of the car.
I also liked the BMW Digital Key. We do not talk about the key with screen and active control of different functions of the vehicle that we already knew about the i8, Series 7, 5 and even X3, but a virtual key that can be used by mobile phones with NFC technology and that allows to open and Close the car without having any kind of physical key in your possession.
This Digital Key can also be shared with another person, so that for example if you have gone on a trip and you have taken the keys, you have the car in the garage and a family member needs it, you can share the virtual key with it and you can use it with total comfort. No more apology that you’ve taken the keys and that’s why you cannot leave it.
On the other hand, the BMW X5 has semi-autonomous driving. All the exterior of the car is equipped with different radars, sensors and cameras, some visible and easily identifiable and others not, that allow to do things like that the car when it has activated the active cruise control system, stops in situations of heavy traffic and re-start by itself when the traffic resumes, all without having to touch the steering wheel except when you ask us to verify that we are still awake.
It also allows you to do things like go by road with the active cruise control, signal with flashing light that we want to overtake the car that we are approaching by our lane, and the car will automatically make the maneuver of lane change and return to the origin if the traffic situation allows it.
As if that were not enough, he has assistant director and lane control and lane maintenance assistant with active side collision protection. Of course, the automatic parking system does so both in battery and online without the need to touch a steering wheel or pedals or a gearbox. It does so automatically, much faster than before and with greater precision.
Another interesting element of the infinite technological endowment is the BMW Personal CoPilot system, which helps the driver in different unpleasant situations.
For example, and this is relatively common when you move around a city in a car of this size, if you get to a point where you are not sure that the car fits, you can press a button and the car will automatically travel backwards the last 50 meters doing exactly the same movements that you have made forward.
This way you can leave a parking lot where you have gotten in and where the car does not fit, or leave that street that narrows too much without the need to touch a steering wheel or brake or accelerator. The car takes care of getting you out of there.
It also has remote updates of the software through its Internet connection, something that Tesla released at the time and that keeps the car up to date with news despite the years pass.
The BMW X5, whose first units will be delivered to customers at the end of this month of November, starts with a range of engines composed of two diesel and one gasoline. Later on, the X5 xDrive 45e will arrive, the hybrid plug-in version with 80 kilometers of autonomy in electric mode.
During the presentation of the BMW X5, we had the chance to do about 150 kilometers at the wheel of two different engines. The first we could try was the M50d, the most performance version of the X5, with its all-powerful engine with four turbos and spectacular 760 Nm of torque.
We did it at the wheel of this version that the first thing that it gives us, is a hoarse sound and that transmits sport sensations, in spite of being diesel. Without going to select any of the different modes available (ECO Sport, Sport or Sport Plus) and moving simply in the normal mode, what this engine is capable of offering is literally incredible.
You have to be affectionate with the accelerator pedal if you do not want to have problems with the authorities, since the rate at which it allows you to go to the point of gas is more than enough to make radars jump. All this thanks to a well-tuned chassis, which clearly rewards ride comfort with respect to other aspects.
The silence that takes over the interior, the ability of the suspensions to absorb all the irregularities of the terrain, the aplomb that gives the rear axle directional, capable of making the wheelbase seem larger than it really is or the torque 760 Nm available throughout the range of revolutions makes the miles behind the wheel of this car pass with astonishing ease, while the on-board computer does not mark figures higher than 9 l / 100 km of consumption, which makes it an authentic devours kilometers.
All this is logical if we take into account that we are behind the wheel of the ‘top of the range’ version, which has a price of 111,900 euros plus options. But then it was time to make the road back to the wheel of the xDrive 30d, the version that most probably covers the sales in our country if the diesel demonization does not go ahead, and again the surprise was capitalized.
If the M50d is able to hit the seat in acceleration, thanks to its huge torque and 5.2 seconds in the 0 to 100 km / h, the 30d is not far behind in terms of sensations. The sound of the engine is a little less thick, less sporty, but equally pleasant and has nothing to indicate that we are driving a diesel.
It is capable of leaving you equally attached to the seat, and the ability to recover when we demand on the road is beyond doubt. It offers 620 Nm of torque and excellent riding comfort. Once again what has surprised me most is the excellent acoustic insulation of the passenger compartment, perhaps thanks to the acoustic glass that for the first time are part of the optional equipment, and that without a doubt are highly recommended to improve ride comfort.
In twisty stretches, it emphasizes the precision with which it moves. It is circumscribed in the curves with extreme certainty, thanks to a very direct and precise steering, with an excellent touch, which is complemented by a body that stays flat in curves thanks to the active stabilizers and the engine, which has active supports that compensate their movements, making the X5 dynamic level is a weapon almost impossible to beat by any competitor.
The part of dynamic driving was a bit short to put the new model to test in all kinds of circumstances, so we will have to do a full test of a whole week to tell you, for example, how to defend off the asphalt, which is one of its strengths.