The new X5 marks two decades of BMW’s reign over the SUV concept
In 2018, BMW’s portfolio featured seven SUVs, which proves beyond doubt that this is the favoured car type in today’s market. From X1 to X7, BMW has an SUV for every client niche, but it was really the X5 that started this paradigm shift for the brand.
In fact, the first X5 from 1999 was the originator of the modern SUV, which blends traditional off-road abilities with the comfort and precision of an everyday car. In the late 20th century, BMW held the rights for Land Rover, and took advantage of this synergy to combine the British brand’s off-road component with German engineering.
The X5 from two decades ago was such a resounding success that every manufacturer realised this was the future. The result is an impressive proliferation of SUVs and crossovers that were once inconceivable.
Now in its fourth generation, the X5 maintains the prestigious image that always characterised it and offers the latest technological innovations, both mechanically and in the onboard information and entertainment systems.
Essential Algarve tested the top-of-the-range diesel version, named X5 M50d. This titan has an inline, six-cylinder engine supercharged by no less than four turbochargers, resulting in 400 horsepower and 0-100km/h in 5.2 seconds for a car weighing 2,275kg. In contrast, it is possible to see averages under nine litres on the on-board computer if you are careful with your right foot.
The eight-speed Steptronic transmission is fabulous and the permanent all-wheel xDrive system ensures maximum performance and safety on any type of road. Inside, the quality has noticeably improved from the previous model, with more customisation options, more solutions for on-board comfort and many more available functions on iDrive, one of the best, if not the best, infotainment system on the market.
The new X5 continues BMW’s investment in diesel, but with a comprehensive range and adapted to present times. The hybrid version should be here soon and the X5 will surely take BMW’s original SUV to performance levels never seen before. The original is (almost) always the best, and in this case, it really is.