BMW X5 review

Category: Luxury SUV

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:hybrid, diesel, petrol
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BMW X5 2020 RHD infotainment
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RRP £60,125What Car? Target Price from£56,109

Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

In terms of price, the BMW X5 sits roughly mid-way between the cheaper Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90 and the costlier Land Rover Discovery. However, if you want seven seats, adding them to the X5 brings its price into line with that of the Discovery, which is expected to better retain its value. The xDrive45e looks good value compared to rival plug-in SUVs, though, especially with its superior electric range.

The X5 has average fuel consumption figures for the class. The diesel 30d gets claimed fuel economy of up to 37.7mpg, with the petrol 40i recording 27.2mpg (both WLTP combined). These figures are very similar to those for the Discovery and XC90, so you’re unlikely to notice a huge difference in the cost to fuel them. We’d also point out that the gobsmacking 235.4mpg figure for the 45e will require an awful lot of electric running; on our private test track the petrol engine managed just 25mpg when it was working alone.

With lower CO2 emissions than many rivals, you might think the X5 will be cheap to run as a company car, but, for most models, its high P11D value says otherwise. Company car tax will cost you more on the X5 than it will on the equivalent Q7 or XC90, although it will at least come in cheaper than the Discovery. That’s where the 45e steps in, with its 39g/km CO2 emissions and 54 mile electric-only range giving seriously low BIK payments. Put simply, it’ll cost less than half what an XC90 T8 will.

Equipment, options and extras

Choose the 30d, 40i or plug-in hybrid 45e and you’ll have a choice of two trim levels: xLine and M Sport. The former gives you leather upholstery, heated front seats, 19in wheels, a faux leather wrapped dashboard and ambient interior lighting.

If you upgrade to M Sport, you get sportier body styling, larger alloy wheels and gloss black exterior details instead of polished metal. We don’t think these cosmetic fripperies make it worth the extra cost over the already high-spec xLine, though.

The top-of-the-range M50i and M50d don’t offer any trim choice: their spec lists are based on M Sport but with adaptive dampers and steel springs in place of the air suspension. There’s also a bespoke limited-slip differential to increase traction in corners, a sports exhaust system, an upgraded sound system and even larger wheels.

BMW X5 2020 RHD infotainment

Reliability

We don’t yet have any reliability data for this fourth-generation version, so we can’t say for sure how dependable the X5 will be. What we do know is that BMW as a whole came a slightly disappointing 21st out of 31 manufacturers in our 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey. That's still a better result than Porsche, Jaguar, Land Rover and Mercedes could muster, though, so against its chief rivals, the signs are that the X5 should perform pretty well.

The X5 comes with a three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty, which also covers the car’s paintwork for three years and corrosion for 12 years. That’s about the same as most of its rivals, although the Lexus RX offers an even longer warranty.

Safety and security

The BMW X5 received a five-star rating from safety expert Euro NCAP, with very solid scores in most categories. It even recorded a better result for child occupant protection than the Land Rover Discovery, although the Discovery got a very slightly better result for adult occupant protection. However, the safest cars in the class, which include the Volvo XC90, scored more points overall.

Front collision warning and automatic emergency braking are fitted as standard, but the side airbags don’t reach back into the rear compartment for third-row passengers as they do in the Audi Q7.

You can upgrade your X5 with an optional package of driver aids, including a system that can swerve to avoid an obstacle in the road, one to detect traffic crossing behind you as you’re reversing out onto a road, and a system that uses a camera to recognise speed limit signs and can adjust your speed accordingly.

Security expert Thatcham rated the X5 4/5 for its ability to resist the break-in attempts of  thieves, and 5/5 for preventing theft of the entire car. Rivals perform similarly well in this regard, though.

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BMW X5 2020 RHD front cornering
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Overview

The X5 is a smooth, classy and luxurious SUV, but not as practical as its best rivals and relatively expensive to buy. Opt for the xDrive45e, though, and you are buying one of the most impressive plug-in hybrids around, combining all the best points of the standard X5 with a substantial real-world electric range.

  • Fantastic plug-in hybrid version
  • Great to drive
  • Classy, well-designed interior
  • Expensive to buy
  • Third row of seats costs extra
  • Relatively small boot

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