Feeeeeeel the luxury
Comfortable, luxurious and practically drives itself. Buckle up, baby, Muddy takes the sexy new X5 for a spin.
Rev her up, baby, the new BMW X5 is the latest Muddy motor to be put through its paces. It’s considered one of the best premium SUVs on the market right now, but is it a car you want to waft about in? Let’s see shall we…
As more and more of us totter away from our urban lives to settle in the countryside, more SUV vehicles have flooded the market. Once you’ve ticked Hunter wellies off your checklist, a four-wheel drive is usually next. High driving position, packed with safety features, space for dogs and kids, with lots of boot for panic-buying wine at the supermarket. Plus on the muddy, wet, occasionally snow-covered roads, it’s a necessity.
The new 4th generation BMW X5 has undergone an almighty makeover, focussing on comfort and performance – and it’s a beauty. Cue Muddy squeals and a brand new review. I’ve been thrown the keys to the X5 30d M Sport. Stilettos on, let’s push this pedal to the metal.
The BMW X5 has been around since 1999, racking up a whopping 2.2million sales – it’s the Chanel of the BMW line up – stylish, but not showy – plus it looks pretty nippy. There are three models available right now X5 xDrive40i (petrol), X5 xDrive30d (diesel) and the super-sporty X5 M50d, with a hybrid version coming later this year. The 2019 X5 doesn’t have the supermodel looks of the X4 but it’s elegant with lots of SUV swagger. Significant changes have been made to ensure this is BMW’s most comfortable and luxurious 4WD to date. The exterior styling has a familiarity to it – big, better with with a front grill that looks like Alan Carr’s front teeth. It’s not just for show, apparently does it’s about aerodynamics and fuel economy. Blah blah blah.
Ooh, it’s smoooooooooth! As someone who owns a basic but nice 4WD – an eight-year-old Audi Q5 – the X5 xDrive 30D M Sport I was testing was quick, quiet and clingy. Clearly I didn’t break the law at ANY POINT, officer, thanks to the helpful speed monitor. The driver display highlights the speed limit for the road you’re on and flashes at you when you exceed it. More than a little handy with smart motorways triggering a shower of points and fines.
Thanks to the new air suspension, the ride is silky. You can whip round the country roads without losing a tooth over a pothole or being thrown into the side of the car door on sharp corners. Motorways were a doddle as the X5 has a seriously cool bit of kit that means the car drives itself. Yes baby cakes, this is the future. The car will keep you in lane, steer the bends, monitor distance from the vehicle in front and brake when you hit traffic. I WANT. I NEED. Just don’t take you hands off the wheel. The driver facing camera will spot it and give you a right telling off.
Inside it feels expensive. It’s roomy, there’s leather everywhere, adjustable illuminated trim, tech coming out of your ears (wireless charging, Apple car play for full iPhone connectivity, 4G wifi hotspot, a superb infotainment system, drive assist and more) and the panoramic sunroof is a pricey but stunning optional extra. It’s definitely got the X factor.
The rear is particularly roomy. Mr M is 6ft 7ins so only human pretzels and very small children can usually sit behind him. Not in this, the 5ft 7in grunting teen wolf managed to stretch out easily, and the reclining rear seats were a bonus for a cheeky travel snooze. You can add additional USB ports and iPad holders to VIP it up for your passengers – or save your sanity when someone’s battery dies. Add privacy glass and they’ll be expecting Perrier Jouet too.
The boot is spacious with a useful electronic split tail gate – handy for loading and unloading bags and groceries. Leave the dog at home, and you’ll easily fit four large suitcases. If Fido’s in residence, you get him and all all your bags for a weekend away. If it’s seats you need, you can add an extra row to your spec and make it a 7-seater.
THE TECHY BITS
Technology you say (*stifles yawn*). Come on, we can do this!
Pace: The X5 3 litre diesel I had goes 0-60mph in 6.5 seconds– definitely, shall we say, alert to the accelerator for such a big car and you’ll get a reported 47.1mpg, which is pretty good for such a heavy treader.
Emissions: Choose from petrol or diesel. Emissions manage a teacher’s tick without quite reaching gold star status. 158-179g/km. There’s a hybrid version in the pipeline if you’re environmentally minded.
Comes with: Adjustable electric seats (seriously, that’s a lot of fun to be had right there); bar view parking camera; cruise control; wireless charging, 4G wifi hotspot.
Pay more for: The Comfort Plus Pack – front seat massage function (hello to the car spa), heated front and rear seats for toasty peaches all round, four-zone air con and keyless entry. If you’re planning to go off-road (no, driving past fields to Soho Farmhouse doesn’t count) the xDrive can be set to tackle sand, snow, gravel or rocks and will adjust the car accordingly. You can also upgrade from a 10 speaker system to a whopper 16 speakers pumping out Childish Gambino or Skepta. Or, y’know, Wham!.
Is it wrong to get excited about a cupholder? Hell no! I mean, who doesn’t need a a drinks holder that keeps you drink hot or cold? I NEED THIS! I’m also very much liking the seats too. Choose the Comport Plus Pack and they’ll give you a massage while you drive. Say hello to the car spa. If it could just give a mani and pedi too that would be fab.
The BMW infotainment system comes with a naughty but nice 12.3in screen as standard (I’m not going to crack a joke, it’s just too easy). It has touch screen and gesture control. A bit of a nightmare if you gesticulate when you talk (who me?), but got teen approval. Apple Car Play is clever too. Sorry Android users don’t full connectivity, but iPhone owners rejoice. You’ll get access to your Spotify playlists, Siri will read your text messages and dictate replies and more. A digital Miss Moneypenny, no less. Plus the BMW will help you connect with your car when you’re not even in it. Can’t find your motor in the airport car park? *Cough* No problemo, the app will find it for you.
Also worth mentioning the ‘Driver Assists’ which sounds a bit OAP-ish but are designed to get you out of potential bother – Blind Spot Monitoring, for example, warns you of approaching vehicles and Lane Assist keeps you on the right side the white lines, but can feel like you are wrestling with a bear when you’re not on major roads. That said, it’ll help avoid prangs.
I had a bit of trouble with the handsfree foot swipey boot opener – handy if you’re carry children or shopping, but I struggled to get the hang of it and looked like I was auditioning for Dancing On Ice. It’s a great idea, but needs to be more sensitive, or I need to wear bigger shoes.
THE MUDDY VERDICT:
Good for: Family holidays, stylish business use, child-collecting, shopping trips, a family run-around. You’ll have to wrestle the keys of the guys in your life. It has strong male and female cred – I’d really like one. Lovers of latest car tech and oodles of luxury.
Not for: MPG obsessives. BMW’s engines are notoriously very good on fuel consumption and emissions but 4WDs will never be the best. If you’re a technophobe the amount of gadgetry may fry your brain. Android phones users will not be able to fully access the awesome connectivity. Upgrade to Apple next time.
£££: BMW X5 prices start at £56,710.
Fancy a test drive? Go on then, and see if you agree with my verdict! Pop in and see the lovely peeps at Dick Lovett BMW in Hungerford, they’ll arrange for you to test drive any of their cars for 24hrs and will help you purchase the perfect car to suit your lifestyle and budget. The best customer service I have ever encountered.