Home / Home / BMW X5 xDrive30d Test Review – 5 Series on X


The new BMW X5 looks sharp and drives even sharper. Have the Bavarians managed to build an all-road 5 Series the best way yet?

BMW X5 action

Story: Jim Gorde
Photography: Apurva Ambep

Making something big feel small is no small feat. Just ask the girlfriend. Anyway. SUVs are a popular lot these days and for good reason. The equipment and capability are high and the chance of suffering underbody damage from prevalent bad roads is low. Very low. In a luxury SUV, one gets all the equipment of a premium luxury sedan, but with added versatility and peace of mind.

BMW X5 hero

The new BMW X5 has seen a number of updates that have properly invigorated the popular “mid-size” luxury SUV. Stunning design meets eye-catching detail with the package being given a proper boost thanks to the new-spec “30d” mild-hybrid engine finally arriving in India with 286 hp and 650 Nm—up from 265 hp and 620 Nm—with significant strides in refinement made as well as more advanced technology for optimum combustion and emission control. However, it’s how the package comes together to provide the drive experience it does that truly makes it worth talking about.

BMW X5 headlights

As mentioned, making something huge look aesthetic and feel much smaller than it is takes a lot of effort and engineering prowess—something Bavaria have in bucketfuls. The BMW X5 looks stunning. The new LED headlamps with “< >” signatures, sort of bracketing the dipped and main beams, look sharp and identify this one as the new G05-generation model. The five-metre long and two-metre wide boxy proportions have been masked well and it looks lithe and molten from some angles. The large grille is quite huge—not 7 Series huge—and features all the hardware for the intelligent driver assistance systems. The grille itself features active vents for optimized cooling.

The side profile is respectably chunky with big doors and large wheels. Though 18-inchers are standard in Europe on the 30d, the India-spec 30d with the M Sport trim gets 21-inch M light alloy wheels with mixed-size runflat rubber: 275/40 front and an even wider 315/35 rear set of donuts. Those make for a nice fat contact patch and have many benefits, especially when faced with unpredictable changes in road surface.

BMW X5 interior cabin

Inside the new BMW X5, I’m cocooned in Merino leather upholstery with a unique “Tartufo” brown shade complementing the black headliner and finishers well. The aluminium trim accents and open-pore poplar grain wood trim add to the luxury feel and cabin ambience. The cut crystal stub of a gear lever and the rotary controller look like jewels but can also reflect a bright array of colours when the sunlight hits them just right. A note of caution. Nothing else really stands out as much.

BMW X5 console

On the move, the BMW X5 is refined and feels effortless to drive. The straight-six diesel engine with “TwinPower Turbo” technology now runs an injection pressure of a heady 2,700 bar (!) and that makes for even more precise cycles and maximum power output. The engine makes its peak 286 hp at 4,000 rpm with the deluge of torque starting at just 1,500 rpm. The 48-volt mild-hybrid technology enables some truly efficient driving characteristics. BMW’s proclivity for perfecting drive modes reflects in the drive experience here as well. “Comfort” is soft, with the power delivery not edgy—unlike “Sport”, which is sharper everywhere—and the ride is plush. In “Eco Pro” the efforts are truly evident. The X5 has a coast mode wherein the 11-hp assist motor takes over and helps the cause. The stop-start is also nearly silent and imperceptible for the most part. Seeing double digits in a 2.2-tonne all-wheel-drive SUV is not something out of the ordinary. Kudos, BMW.

BMW X5 engine

More on page 2 >


About the author: Jim Gorde


Deputy Editor at Car India and Bike India.
Believes that learning never stops, and that diesel plug-in hybrids are the only feasible immediate future until hydrogen FCEVs take over.

t: @CarIndia/@BikeIndia
IG: @carindia_mag/@bikeindia/@jimbosez


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