BMW X5 xDrive40i M Sport review: X marks the spot

BMW X5 xDrive40i M Sport review: X marks the spot
PHOTO: Motorist

The BMW X5 continues to be a strong, robust, and stable option for families looking for space, comfort, practicality, and a great driving experience.

Soccer moms worldwide rejoice! The latest in upmarket-children-ferrying has arrived in strong form with the new BMW X5. The German SUV has gotten a new lease of life both inside and out, now becoming even more polished and refined than before.

On the exterior, the new X5 gets several M Sport design elements as standard, though frankly, it still looks the same as the last X5 despite the fancy new Matrix LED headlights and updated kidney grille. That’s not a bad thing though, the X5 looks powerful and full of stature on the roads, ready to take the lunch money of hatchbacks, roadsters, and other small cars. 

Under the hood, the X5 gets a brand-new turbocharged, three-litre, straight-six engine mated to an equally new eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission. This updated powertrain now puts out more power and torque than before, boasting 381hp and 520Nm of torque sent to all four wheels. The X5 has also now been electrified with a 48V mild-hybrid system that has an electric motor attached to the transmission. The electric motor alone can contribute up to 12hp and 200Nm of torque to the overall power output of the X5 as well which helps with a smooth, linear power curve and increased efficiency.

Combined, the petrol-electric power-unit gives the X5 enough grunt to get from 0 to 100km/h in just 5.4 seconds, no mean feat for a car this size. Power delivery is incredibly smooth, effortlessly pushing you along even if there are five passengers and lots of luggage in the boot, the X5 simply doesn’t notice any extra weight.  

At highway speeds and even well above, the X5 is brilliantly stable and inaffable. This gentle giant’s suspension simply wafts over bumps in the road, barely even recognising that the road surface may be imperfect. It’s a serene place to be, with great insulation sheltering the occupants from the trivial matters of the outside world. 

You sit way high up, really giving you the feeling that you’re sitting over the road and towering over everyone else around you. The X5 is huge and it feels that way when you drive it too. You’re aware of the substantial heft that you’re carrying around and less confident drivers may feel intimidated behind the wheel. The inclusion of a 360˙ camera and a reasonably tight turning circle makes it much easier to navigate tighter areas despite the size though. 

The X5 is also loaded to the gills with all the assorted driver assistance and safety features you would expect. It has (non-active) cruise control, collision warning, rear crossing traffic warnings, and even automated parking that can be remotely activated from your phone. The X5 works with you to help you make your driving experience one that’s as safe and easy as possible. 

Inside, the occupants are more than comfortably outfitted with loads of leather and space aplenty. It’s got a decidedly massive boot which can fit multiple check-in bags with ease although the high load floor may make loading heavier items a bit tougher. There is a split tailgate though, so you can sit on the back and have a nice picnic. 

Like a good, practical SUV should, there’s also heaps of interior storage space and useful features. There’re both Type-C and Type-A ports in the car, as well as a wireless charging pad. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto also come as standard and can be accessed through BMW’s Operating System (OS) 8 on the curved 14.9-inch display in the centre.

Unfortunately, BMW’s new interior has done away with physical buttons for the most part, instead opting for the ever-frustrating in-screen icons. They work well enough and have permanent places on the UI for the buttons but I still abhor this trend of doing away with physical buttons, I abhor this design choice in all cars and its no different in the X5. It is unsafe and much harder to use than physical buttons and I wish nothing more than for it to be wholly done away with, but as you’ll see in our upcoming BMW 520i review, it’s only gotten worse. 

Quibbles with the user interface aside, the X5 is a well-engineered and beautifully smooth cruiser, perfect for getting your kids to their (or their parents) enrichment class of choice in no time at all and in outstanding comfort. As such, I foresee many (well-to-do) families making the X5 a treasured addition to their home. 

BMW X5 xDrive40i M Sport
Price (at time of publishing): $498,888 including COE  VES Band: C2

Turbocharged inline-six mild hybrid


2,998 cc

Power & Torque:
381 bhp @ 5,200 - 6,250 rpm 
& 520 Nm @ 1,850 - 5,000 rpm

8-speed Steptronic Sport automatic

Driven Wheels:

10.8 km/L

0-100 km/h:
5.5 seconds

Top Speed:
250 km/h

Fuel Tank Capacity:

Dimensions (L x W x H):

4,945 mm x 2,004 mm 
x 1,765 mm


2,975 mm

Cargo Capacity:
650 - 1,870 litres

This article was first published in Motorist.

ALSO READ: Mercedes-Benz showcases the EQG Concept and launches the updated GLB

This website is best viewed using the latest versions of web browsers.