BMW X5 Facelift Review &Test Drive
June 15, 2018
BMW is amongst the three best-selling luxury automakers in the world and has been producing luxury automobiles for approximately 100 years. BMW X5 is yet another example of highly efficient production mechanism that has been customized according to the luxurious needs of people. BMW X5 has been tailor made to fit a distinctive combination of price and luxury alongwith power and elegance.BMW X5 is a unique combination of ergonomics, elegant ambience and best quality exterior and interior designs. The efficiency of the engine is kept high, so as users can scale any road with utmost ease and speed. BMW X5 can also be configured by one as per his/her needs and wish. This personalized configuration facility furthermore enables one to dictate the roads as per capability and desire. Moreover, in this way customers get their choice cars alongwith thebest quality engineered BMW automobiles.
Looking at the new X5, the feeling you get is that it isn’t a quantum leap ahead of its predecessor; it looks more like a pumped-up version of the older car than an all-new one. The nose is now a lot more prominent, with headlights that stretch up to the grille. The signature kidney grille looks bolder too, which, coupled with the tougher-looking bumper and distinct shoulder line, make this new X5 now look more expensive. Walking around to the rear, you’ll notice that apart from the new tail-lamps, it’s hard to spot the differences from the older car.
While its exterior styling isn’t considerably different from before, BMW has focussed its efforts under the skin and in the cabin. Starting with the mechanicals, most noteworthy is the switch from the hydraulic steering to an electric one. Also, in an effort to improve economy and performance, the body has lost a fair bit of flab – 110kg to be exact. But despite being lighter, the new X5 is stiffer and stronger too, thanks to the generous use of ultra-high-tensile steel in the monocoque body shell. Other lighweight materials include an aluminium bonnet and thermoplastic side panels. But, tipping the scales at a hefty 2,070kg, the new X5 certainly won’t qualify as a bantamweight
If you’ve been in any current BMW vehicle, the look, feel and function of the 2017 X5 will be very familiar, and that’s a good thing. High-quality materials abound, and everything gives the impression of top-notch build quality. The standard seats are well shaped and appropriately cushioned for long-distance comfort. The available 16-way multicontour seats are some of the most comfortable in any car. Second-row seats are also comfortable, although there’s slightly less legroom compared with some direct competitors. The same goes for the optional third row; it is cramped even for children.
Primary driver controls and gauges are thoughtfully placed and easy to read and operate. BMW’s iDrive control interface takes some getting used to, but in short time the menus become second nature, aided by the touchpad on the controller dial that accepts handwritten inputs.Cargo capacity is slightly above average for the class, with 35.8 cubic feet of space behind the second row and 76.7 cubic feet with those seats folded. The xDrive40e’s battery pack reduces that volume slightly to 34.2 and 72.5 cubic feet, respectively. The X5 also gets points for its two-section power liftgate with its fold-down lower section that provides a handy place to sit for tailgating as well as assisting in loading bulky cargo.
BMW is offering the X5 with only one engine in India, the xDrive30d. This is propelled by a 3.0-litre in-line 6-cylinder diesel which churns out 258 horses and 560 Nm of twisting force. The engine is a gem, it has good grunt throughout the rev band which means you can amble around town without bothering about turbolag or cruise on the highways, making quick overtake manoeuvres by stretching the mill to the strong mid-range. It even redlines smoothly, the revs rising quickly without any resistance from the powerplant, it’s just one long surge and the X5 gains pace in a smooth manner but with urgency. The new X5 has reduced weight which makes it the lightest vehicle in its class, BMW has used ultra-high tensile steel in the body, aluminium in the hood, thermoplastics in the side panel and magnesium in the instrument cluster, helping the new X5 weigh 90 kgs less than the model it replaces.
As always an issue with BMW diesels, the engine is quite vocal at idle and in the top-end although some might appreciate the motor’s sound, most won’t like it as the car otherwise has fantastic NVH. In-gear acceleration is good too and the transmission won’t upshift in Sport+ mode, redlining all the way to 5500 RPM. There are 4 modes, the other three being Eco Pro, Comfort and Sport, with upshifts happening at 4500 RPM, 4750 RPM and 5000 RPM respectively. 100 km/hr comes up in third gear with time taken to do the sprint being 6.9 seconds. In top gear, one can cruise at 100 km/hr with the tacho ticking in at just 1500 RPM. There is also a Coasting Function where in the X5 won’t apply engine braking between speeds of 50 to 160 km/hr while driving in Eco Pro mode.
The highlight of the powertrain is without doubt the fantastic 8-speed ZF gearbox. We have appreciated it a lot in other BMWs and the case is no different in the X5. This unit is smooth shifting, responds accurately to throttle inputs and like Aladin sitting inside the gearbox, it somehow manages to fulfil your wish of getting into the right cog at the right time, all the time. There are steering mounted paddles which are a joy to use but even the tiptronic function of the gear lever is fantastic to use. The mileage we got on our test was 7.5 km/l with a heavy foot and 100% AC use. In Eco Pro, the stop/start system is activated which helps to boost mileage. Even when you turn it off, it activates when ever you get into Eco Pro. There is also Brake Energy Regeneration and when you get into Eco Pro mode, the optional navigation system also tells you about routes which will help save more fuel, while also telling you when to ease of the accelerator in order to maximise fuel mileage.
RIDE AND HANDLING ;
This huge machine runs smooth and remains stable no matter on which terrain you drive it. The adaptive suspension package ‘Comfort’ ensures high level of comfort irrespective of the road conditions. Also, with the BMW Driving Experience Control, you will get extra options of Sport and Sport+ modes to select from. Meanwhile, the xDrive30d M Sport variant is incorporated with the adaptive M suspension system that also guarantees excellent ride quality. On the other hand, it gets a servotronic steering assist column that aids in better handling. Not only it adjusts to match with the vehicle’s speed but also minimizes the effort you usually put in, to turn this wheel.
Standard safety features for all 2017 BMW X5 models include stability and traction control, antilock brakes, automatic brake drying, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, active head restraints, and the BMW Assist and Remote Services emergency telematics. All xDrive versions also include hill descent control.The optional Driver Assistance package adds a rearview camera and a head-up display, while the Driver Assistance Plus package adds to those items blind-spot monitoring, a top-down camera system, lane departure warning, speed limit info, and a forward collision warning and mitigation system with pedestrian detection that can apply the vehicle’s brakes automatically to prevent or minimize an impact at low speeds
The BMW X5 is available with two seating options, a five (2 row) or a seven seater (3 row). The on road price in Mumbai for a five-seater is INR 92 lakhs whereas the seven-seater costs a lakh and a half more. With this segment pricing its competes with the Audi Q7, Range Rover Sport and the Mercedes GL. The BMW X5 being one of the most premium SUV still does not posses the best off road skills when compared to its competitors. But if anyone buyer is looking for some fun behind the wheel with explicit performance, X5 should be definitely considered while comparing its competitors in its segment.