The BMW X5 is already on its third generation after carving out it’s own unique marketplace for luxury SUV’s all the way back in 1999. Though in recent years the competition have started to catch up and it hasn’t all gone BMW’s way. The Porsche Cayenne, although ugly as sin, does have a loyal following and although the new Range Rover Sport is the direct competitor, the Evoque no doubt tempted some buyers to size down.
With the new X5 though, we have a re-incarnation. New technology and a refined offering and when it comes to the M50d a potential wolf in sheep’s clothing to sit up and make us take notice. We took to the road (and off it) to see what we thought. Read on for our BMW X5 M50d review.
BMW X5 M50d The Drive
The BMW X5 M50d’s most distinctive feature is obviously that world famous M badge. Synonymous the world over with enthusiast worthy performance cars that are rather fun to say the least. And for a 2 ton diesel 4×4 it does do it’s very best to continue the trend. That 5 litre triple stage, single turbo lump pushes out some 381 BHP & 740Nm of torque taking the BMW X5 M50d to 62mph in 5.3 seconds and on to an electronically limited (aren’t they all) 155MPH. When it comes to the driving and cornering I was a little surprised, pleasantly. The body roll is minimal for such a high standing vehicle and it nearly becomes train like, even with Sport+ and the first level of traction control off you struggle to remove the X5 from it’s tracks, rarely getting out of shape thanks in the most part the optional adaptive suspension and Xdrive. And I guess that is my main problem with this car, although that 5.3 seconds is impressive, at the tall ride height and luxury of the X5 means it feels more like 53 seconds, and it’s ability to stick to the road just removes a little of that all important, well, FUN.
Off the road, BMW will be the first to admit this isn’t really their department. And to be fair apart from 1 shooting day a year and a couple of grass field parking manoeuvres at the local village fete or country show, the majority of the new X5’s will never leave the tarmac. But if they do, they may be pleasantly surprised. Although using summer tyres, the BMW X5 M50d coped admirably with a short, wet and slippery (stop it!) off-road route. Hill descent is present as standard for those steep and slippery declines and the Xdrive system does a good job of moving the power to the correct corner in good time whilst tracking through windy forests or puddle ridden lanes.
BMW X5 M50d Exterior
As the third generation, the current X5 is by far the most pleasing on the eye since its introduction back in 2003. The BMW X5 M50d possesses clean and masculine lines that will go beyond the school run brigade be appreciated by those of us who enjoy country living and the BMW brand.
The package is very straight and structured with horizontals the aim of the day. A jacked up 1 series this isn’t with an increase in size and space from the out going model and a stance that a raging bull would be proud of. Stronger and more pleasing thant a Cayenne and up there with the new Range Rover Sport, it really will come down to personal taste and where your allegiances lie.
BMW X5 M50d Interior and Technology
I wouldn’t expect anyone reading this to choose a walnut finish, so I have no doubt you will enjoy every moment you spend on the inside of the new X5. It doesn’t feel cluttered, and for the most part everything that you need is right there where you expect it and at your fingertips. It spacious, with more room than the outgoing model and no matter in what seat you are positioned you will never feel cramped.
Upon entering you will notice one thing first, and one thing only. The Screen. It is one of the most impressive, yet also disappointing features of the all new BMW X5 M50d. At 10.1 inches corner to corner it is vibrant and colourful with a rich and reasonably intuitive display. But the slight issue is that with all that function and colour you just want to do one thing. Touch it. And that is where things get tricky. Your near £80,000 giving you a very beautiful, yet frustrating screen that is begging to be touched but just doesn’t respond. Whatever the reason, it just isn’t what I would expect nor want from any luxury vehicle and the sooner premium brands start collaborating with tech big guns on technology and UI’s the better.
BMW X5 M50d Review Verdict
A comfortable a solid driving experience backed up by the pedigree that is BMW means the BMW X5 M50d cannot fail to deliver. However the purists amongst you will feel that the M badge may well have been used a little in vain, and at a price tag approaching £80, 000, you may well have a valid point.
BMW X5 M50d Review Models Stats:
BMW X5 M50d. £41,625; 0-60mph 5.3 secs; Top Speed Limited to 155mph; Economy 42.2 mpg; CO2 177g/km, Engine 3000cc Diesel Turbo; Power 383PS; Weight from 2190kg; Gearbox 8 speed auto.