1 Nov 2013
THE THIRD-GENERATION X5 brought the series’ first 4x2 and four-cylinder models to the fore, in the shape of the base rear-drive sDrive25d and all-wheel drive xDrive25d.
Additionally, every X5 now offers more value with on average about $20,000 of previously optional features, while better packaging, performance, and economy are also on offer compared to the preceding E70 thanks to improved efficiencies.
While similar visually, no body panels are interchangeable. Overall length and width have grown but the 2933mm wheelbase remains the same, while overall height drops by 2mm. Kerb weight falls up to 40kg, depending on the model.
At launch there are seven distinct models on offer – the sDrive25d, as well as the AWD-equipped xDrive25d, 30d, 35i, 40d, 50i, and range-topping M50d.
EU6 emissions compatible, each employs ZF’s eight-speed automatic transmission while the AWD versions feature BMW’s ‘Intelligent’ full-time system with infinitely variable torque distribution.
The sDrive25d and xDrive25d use a 1995cc 2.0-litre four-cylinder twin-turbo diesel engine producing 160kW of power at 4400rpm and 450Nm of torque between 1500 and 2500rpm.
The 2070kg xDrive30d, meanwhile, switches to a 2993cc 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder variable-geometry turbo diesel unit, delivering 190kW at 4000rpm and 560Nm from 1500 to 3000rpm.
A more powerful version of this engine in the xDrive40d adds another turbocharger for 230kW at 4400rpm and 630Nm from 1500 to 2500rpm.
Yet another iteration of this torque monster is used for the M50d, bringing 280kW between 4000 and 4400rpm and 740Nm between 2000 and 3000rpm.
Petrol-powered X5 fans have the xDrive35i, with its 2979cc 3.0-litre Twin Scroll turbo engine pumping out 225kW between 5800 and 6000rpm and 400Nm from 1200 to 5000rpm.
Then there’s the xDrive50i. The cheapest V8, its 4395cc 4.4-litre powerplant offers up 330kW at 6000rpm and 650Nm from 2000 to 4500rpm.
An aluminium bonnet and some composite side panels, as well as improved aerodynamics (0.31Cd) help with reduced consumption, as does BMW’s Efficient Dynamics technology such as idle/stop and regenerative braking.
As with the previous version, the X5 uses an electrically powered rack and pinion steering, a double-track control arm front end and a multi-link ‘Integral-IV’ rear axle.
Air suspension with auto-levelling is available, along with a host of other driver-aid technologies like active steering, radar cruise control with ‘Stop and Go’, low-speed automatic braking, and lane-departure and blind spot warning systems.