More than two decades gone, X5 SAV, Sports Activity Vehicle, as BMW likes to call it, has rewarded owners with a rich feel. Stepping into the 4th generation, the X5 has undergone quite a few changes along with the asking price. Does it make the same impact? We drive to tell you:
X5 is bold, imposing, and at the same time bigger in flesh than you think. The new model is longer by 36 mm, taller by 19 mm, and wider 66 mm yet surprisingly it appears smaller than the generation it replaced. Now, a lot has to do with the design. The signature kidney-shaped grille is strikingly huge. What adds to the drama is the BMW’s Laserlight high-beam system, which despite being distinctive are highly efficient at night.
Move to the sides, the mammoth 20-inch wheels with a 305 section rear tyres add to the chunkiness of the built. The driver, however, can alter the stance at the touch of the button. Thanks to the new double-axle adaptive suspension, the ground clearance of X5 can be altered on the go. Also, the rear tyres are thicker than the front.
The tail is straightforward instead. The flared wheel arches extend to a dense faux skid plate, twin-tip exhaust and the slimmer C-shaped lights. The X5 has a strong character on the road and undoubtedly is on the lines of the bigger X7.
The reference of the 7 series is obvious, as BMW has tried to match the luxury and comfort inside the cabin.
The space inside is generous yet that’s not all you pay Rs 1 crore for. BMW introduces Sky Lounge feel through a panoramic sunroof, which offers an immersive experience at night. The unpolished wooden inserts along and brushed aluminum inserts on the doors, dash and at the centre are a classic BMW way fo reminding you the luxury. Use the controls to alter the comfort of the front seats, which are big and plush.
The iDrive gearbox is crystal-cut while the rotary dial with smooth tactile function allows you to sift through the car key controls. Loads of buttons around the central console is a little getting used to. The 12.3-inch infotainment system is modern, intuitive and customizable. The feedback is crisp, the colours are vibrant and switchable, while the gesture control is something the front co-passenger would really binge on.
The infotainment runs into the driver’s display, which resembles with a gaming console. Again, no complaints here, however, may look a little overdone with data. Inside in the X5, you get wireless charging, four-zone climate control, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon system and more. The cabin of the BMW will surely impress passengers with its massive screens, fancy finishes and truckload of creature comforts.
But wait a minute before you getting behind the driving wheel. The X5 is a beautiful, and its smart key is more intelligent than you think. Use it as a remote to lock or unlock, adjust the height of the SUV, access the engine parametres and even start the car remotely. So, much before the smartwatches became a thing of normal, the fourth generation X5 owners had the tech at their disposal.
On the move, the biggest point of the difference between the fourth generation and the X5s of the past is the comfort factor. The SUV trendsetter for BMW gets twin-axle air suspension for the first time. The floaty feel is best experienced when you are driven around. The huge tyres, however, may seem to unsettle the comfort somewhat on rough roads and large uneven terrain. That said, the X5 is mostly a soft-roader and BWM’s Comfort mode strikes a balance between excellent ride and sporty drive.
Take the X5 out on the open straights, the flat-six engine zooms to triple digits in around 6 seconds despite the SUV weighing over 2 tonne, almost matching the performance of a Porsche Cayanne. With 265hp and 620 Nm belting the X5, the ZF-sourced 9-speed automatic is one of the best in the business and matches equally with the spirit of the driver.
Despite the minimal body roll you experience around the corners, the feedback from the steering is agile and engaging. The BMW also is easy to drive at its limits, with impressive stability from air-spring suspension and the looks, like most BMWs wouldn’t disappoint. To own an X5 badge, you have to shell out around Rs 80 to 90 lakh.