2014 BMW X5 Review

2014 BMW X5 Review

  • MSRP: $52,800
  • MPG City: 18
  • MPG Hwy: 27
  • Seating Capacity: 5 or 7
  • Rating: 8.6

Bringing some subtle improvements all around, the 2014 BMW X5 is a premier choice for a luxury crossover SUV. Fourteen model years after making its first-generation debut, the BMW X5 is a redesigned model, with BMW hoping that it can still meet the wants and needs of American drivers. BMW generally takes a conservative approach to updating the features of their vehicles, which has served them well considering that the previous version of the X5 is one of the German automaker’s best sellers. BMW wanted to make key improvements but still keep everything owners of the previous X5s liked.

What can you expect in the new model? Well, the combination of performance, utility, and luxury is still all there. The 2013 X5 was the last of the second-generation model, and a favorite choice for a midsize luxury crossover sport utility vehicle. When the X5 first hit the scene in 2000 there was only a small field of competitors but now there is an abundance of midsize to large luxury crossover SUVs.

Pros and Cons

  • Improved speed and fuel efficiency
  • Optional third row suitable for children
  • May be expensive with add-ons

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

There are three main trim levels available for the 2014 X5: 35i, 35d, and 50i, essentially indicating what’s under the hood. All come with all-wheel drive, but there is also a rear-drive version of the 35i. This is the first time that rear-wheel drive is available on the X5. Because of its superior balance and neutral handling, rear-wheel drive is generally preferred by automotive enthusiasts. The rear-wheel drive model is known as the BMW X5 sDrive35i.

Standard equipment for the 35d and 35i models includes a panoramic sunroof, 18-inch wheels, automatic dual-zone climate control, and fog lights. Then there are electric features like smartphone app integration, BMW Assist, navigation system, and 10.2-inch central display screen. To customize the X5, there is a wealth of option packages available. To begin, there are three optional equipment lines: Luxury, xLine, and M Sport. These lines include varying wheel designs, trim and upholstery types, and color schemes. Sport front seats and sport steering wheel with shift paddles for transmission are included with the M Sport equipment line.

After the equipment line there is the choice of the Premium package which includes soft-close automatic doors and keyless ignition/entry. With the Luxury seating package, drivers get 16-way power front seats and front seat ventilation. The Cold Weather package offers a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats. A rearview camera and a heads-up display are featured in the Driver Assistance package, the Plus version of which adds valuable features such as lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and city collision mitigation. With the Dynamic Handling Package features such as adaptive suspension dampers are available.

Some of these features can be acquired as stand-alone options. Other available X5 options include active steering, upgraded interior trim, a third-row seat, and upgraded leather upholstery. The X5 models have pricing as follows:

  • $55,100 MSRP for the AWD 4-Door xDrive 35i
  • $56,000 MSRP for the AWD 4-Door xDrive35d
  • $68,200 MSRP for the AWD 4-Door xDrive50i
  • $52,800 MSRP for the RWD 4-Door 35i

Base Specifications

  • Trim: RWD
  • Passenger Capacity: 5
  • Passenger Doors: 4
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Drivetrain: Rear Wheel Drive
  • MPG: 19 City / 27 Hwy
  • Engine: Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-6 3.0L/182
  • Horsepower: 300 @ 5800
  • Torque: 300 @ 1200 3.0L/182

Reviewer Comments

“If you want a midsize luxury SUV that aspires to be a sports car and offers seating for up to seven, the BMW X5 is a tempting choice.”

– Kelley Blue Book

“The materials and workmanship are top-notch and BMW’s efforts at making the cabin quieter have certainly paid off. The premium sound system in our test vehicles didn’t have to work very hard to be heard over the minimal road and wind noise.”

– Motor Trend

“The second-row seats are comfortable, but rear legroom is merely adequate. The optional third row is even more cramped and really only accommodates children.”

– Edmunds

Performance and Powertrain

The new X5 stands in the performance sphere characteristic of German SUVs such as the Mercedes M Class and the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Diesel power is available and advanced all-wheel-drive systems provide respectable off-road capability. The main benefit of the new diesel engine available in the xDrive35d is that it produces less emissions and reduces fuel consumption. The rear-wheel drive and xDrive35i models bring a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine that runs 300 hp and 300 pound-feet of torque. All of the X5s are equipped with eight-speed automatic with paddle shift controls, accounting for some smooth shifting and fuel-economy gains.

Safety Features

Every 2014 BMW X5 model comes with stability and traction control, active head restraints, antilock brakes, side curtain airbags, front side airbags, and automatic brake drying. The BMW Assist emergency communications system is a standard feature, providing automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, and stolen vehicle recovery. There are optional safety features which are grouped into the Driver Assistance packages, including a top-down camera system and a collision mitigation system that can automatically apply the vehicle’s brakes in order to prevent or minimize head-on impact at low speeds.

Special Features and Interior Design

The X5 interior has an elegant layout and is solidly constructed with high-quality materials. Drivers are presented with classic BMW gauges and a nice central display screen with clean graphics. Nicely shaped front seats adjust for various body types, while even more adjustments are possible with the optional multi-contour seats.

The iDrive interface is good for the control and adjustment of all of the vehicle’s systems, and the 2014 version comes with a touchpad on the control knob for handwritten inputs. The X5 offers comfortable second-row seats and an optional third row that’s good for accommodating children. All X5s now feature electric power steering with adjustable effort. The redesign of the X5 has brought its interior trim up to a new standard.

Driving Impressions

The 2014 X5 is arguably one of the best handling SUVs in the midsize luxury crossover class. The vehicle feels secure and stable, all while being relatively fun to drive. The whole lineup has strong engine performance, even with a base six-cylinder. Its ambitious torque gives drivers quick acceleration around town, yet it’s still got the strength for easily passing other cars on the highway.

Photo Gallery

BMW X5 Cargo

BMW X5 Front View

BMW X5 Interior Dashboard

BMW X5 Side View

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