2019 BMW X5
Worth saving money for
- 관리자 (email@example.com) --
- 30 Apr 2019
By James Park
Folks at BMW want you to refer to their crossovers as SAVs (Sport Activity Vehicles), rather than SUVs.
Personally speaking, SAV suggests something urbane and perhaps little more delicate than your average utility vehicle and maybe that’s the intention. You sure don’t want to take a vehicle as expensive as a BMW SAV even on gravel roads for long lest you chip the paint or something, no matter how these vehicles’ off-road capabilities are shown off in the TV commercial.
X5, of course, is the BMW’s first SAV and the all-new fourth-generation 2019 model looks better than ever. Like most BMW products, this vehicle demands not inconsiderable amount of coins. It’s important to set priorities in life, of course, but if you are a car guy with need for a mid-size utility vehicle, the X5 is definitely worth saving money for.
At first glance, the new X5 cannot easily be distinguished from the model it replaces. German designers seem to like incremental changes over long period of time. However, take a closer scrutiny and you can see bigger and wider kidney grill, more aggressive lower fascia, laser headlights, a different character line that runs along the side and perhaps more prominent tail-lights.
More than that, the new vehicle is bigger in every dimension. The wheelbase stretches 42 mm, as well as the overall length (36 mm). It is wider by 66 mm and taller by 19 mm. Plump down on the rear seat and you can definitely notice the abundance of legroom and headroom.
On the other hand, as the driver, you also pleasantly surprised by how the X5 drives smaller than it actually is. Once it gets going, this non-too-svelte crossover does admirable imitation of a heavier sports sedan.
At the present, Canadian (North American) customers can choose between two turbo-charged gasoline engines. The base 3.0 litre inline six smoothly puts down maximum 335 horses and 330 lb-ft of torque. The optional 4.4 litre V8 unleashes more than respectable 456 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of rubber-vaporizing twist. Both engines are mated to eight-speed automatic transmission with manual shifting mode.
The six-cylinder model (xDrive 40i) starts from $71,500 before adding taxes and other mandatory fees. The V8 model (xDrive 50i) provided to this writer starts the count at $86,000.
The vehicle also comes with $16,000 ‘Premium Excellent Package,’ which adds, among other things, air suspension, 4-zone auto climate, laser headlights, driver assist package of all the requisite electronic nannies, Harman/Kardon premium audio, heated/cooled cup-holders (yes, cup-holders!), Merino leather, panoramic sunroof, WiFi hotspot, wireless charging, etc. BMW Display Key ($300) and Piano Black Wood Trim with Satin Chrome Highlight ($400) are stand-alone options.
The fact that X5 happens to be a luxury vehicle is not lost on its occupants. The driver and passenger can enjoy massage functions and the killer audio tends to put you in a benevolent mood. In case of this writer, windows were rolled down all the way at a traffic stop so other drivers and pedestrians could also enjoy the Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.
The 12.3 inch wide screen can be controlled by touch, as well as the traditional command dial. Those already familiar with BMW controls would find the new system easier. Those new to the system probably need little time to get used to it.
Among the nifty features is volume control: only a twirl of finger in front of the screen can increase or decrease. The voice command also gets high praise from this writer for understanding less than clearly enunciated words and phrases.
Plethora of electronic nannies include everything from blind-side monitoring, lane departure warning, rear and frontal collision warning, pedestrian detection and so on. A parking assistant feature memorizes the exact path the driver took to put the car in a parking spot and then retraces those steps as it backs out. Not a bad idea, but this writer encourages every driver to make the habit of backing into a parking spot – makes life much easier.
The luxury and the latest technology features are all nice but the thing that truly puts smile on this writer’s face is the mighty shove provided by the 4.4 litre turbo V8. The X5 is no lightweight by any means but it still gets to 100 kph in 4.7 seconds. Put the driving mode to Sport and the engine sound gets noticeably louder and the suspension hunkers down. The brakes are equally powerful and haul the beast down without any fuss.
As a utility vehicle with relatively high center of gravity, the X5 handles better than most. The fancy air suspension can raise and lower the chassis according to the driving surface. When the vehicle exceeds 138 kph, the chassis is lowered automatically by 20 mm to help with aerodynamics.
All these help with handling, as well as ride comfort but the steering feel is not as crisp and communicative, even in sport mode. Then again, majority of X5 buyers may not really notice or particularly care.
The new X5 – in power, luxury, technology and practicality – is hard to beat. It doesn’t come cheap, but it’s worth striving for. (James Park is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada.)
2019 BMW X5 xDrive 50i
As tested: $102,700
Engine: 4.4 litre turbo V8
Power: 456 hp/479 lb-ft
Transmission: 8 spd auto
Fuel: 15.3 litres per 100km (city), 11.1 litres (highway)
Best: power, ride, technology
Worst: price, extra option packages
Competition: Mercedes GLE, Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne
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