It’s a gloomy north Indian morning, we have the brand new BMW X5 (Codename: F15) delivered to us. First look impression, I am quite delighted to see that things have changed for good. The front of the X5 is typical of the new generation BMW cars, with large signature kidney grille.
The headlamps sweep to the side and host a twin barrel LED setup. There is a considerable amount of muscle lines on the hood of the new BMW X5, making it look much more macho on the road then before.
Come to the side and the profile is much reminiscent of the older X5, with sharper creases and similarly large windows. The rear is much more sportier than before, with much more curves and smoother cuts to the design. Overall, it is a tastefully alluring design from almost all angles, something that the previous BMW X5 failed to do.
On the inside the new X5 exudes luxury. The dash design is probably the most user-friendly in the segment, where everything lies within the reach of the driver. The dash is beautifully laid out with the wood panels being the stand out feature. They feel like someone freshly sliced the bark of a tree and left it on the panels un-veneered.
The centre of attraction on the dash is the iDrive display which comes out of the dashboard very neatly as if Alibaba chanted ‘open sesame’ and the screen had appeared out of the dash. The resolution on the screen is very impressive indeed and the iDrive controls like any BMW are the best and easiest to use. You get a split screen option on the latest iteration of the iDrive software so your navigation screen is not shut by the passenger besides you who is scrolling through a million songs on soundcloud. The Harman/Kardon sound system is standard across the range and is possibly the best sound system in existence till date.
The steering is typical BMW three spoke with a plethora of buttons which allows the driver to focus more on the road. You can increase the volume of the music you’re listening to, you make / receive phone calls, set cruise control, set top speed limit, and much more, all of this through the steering wheel buttons. Yes! I am going gaga over the steering is because it is indeed the most amazing part of the package. It is brilliantly weighed; it will tell you where the front wheels are going in the most precise way possible.
The car we have features Dakota Mocha leather interior option which also gets contrast stitching in a vanilla cream shade, very delicious indeed.
The seats are huge and supremely supportive. My colleague who is 6 feet and 2 inches tall, and is also one of the widest person I know of, cribs about him not fitting well on most luxury cars. Well, he no longer complains. The under thigh support can accommodate most basketball players and the lumbar support is simply excellent. The rear seat backrest can recline substantially so you can be comfortable in the logest of journeys.
Also there is a large window area which lets you see the world pass by even when with the seats reclined. The leg room and head room are generous. And then there is the sunroof.
It was the idea of the chief designer of the project F15, Mark Johnson to station the largest sunroof in the history of sunroofs on the new X5. It is so huge that a band of 4 can protrude themselves out. It also makes you feel like you are sitting in a convertible top once open as the glass area is just massive. Taking the massive theme forward, the boot can carry 650 litres worth of luggage which includes my entire wardrobe, a few cartons of drinks and a pair of spare wheel. I am sorted for every trip.
The air suspension does a beautiful job of keeping your drinks from spilling. As the speeds go up, it gets even better as the ride gets even more relaxed. In dynamic mode the car feels absolutely planted when sweeping through the twisty sections of roads, the steering becomes heavier and throttle feedback gets sharper. And to stop this mammoth there are triple calliper pistons on the disc brakes all around and in real conditions the braking is par excellent.
I have done hundreds of kilometres driving the X5 in the city and on the highway. Every excursion with it has been special and rewarding. The 3.0 litre 6-cylinder twin turbo engine is sufficiently powerful pushing 258 bhp with 560 Nm of torque channelized through a super quick 8 speed Steptronic Sport ZF gearbox with a reassuring shove in the back which is much missed in this era of efficiency and linearity. The setup delivers 0-100 kmph acceleration in just 6.9 seconds, and at the same time claims fuel efficiency of 15.97 kmpl.
I was never an X5 fan but as I spent more and more time with the new one I realised how much BMW has improvised by listening to the cry of true enthusiasts and kept pace with their desires. I for one have been left with a happy heart and massive smile on my face.
PS – Price of the new X5 ranges from INR 67.90 lakh to INR 78.50 lakh, ex-showroom.
Exterior and Comfort Features
Headlight washer system
LED fog lights
Harman Kardon Surround system (600 W, 16 loudspeakers)
Navigation system Professional with 3D maps
BMW Head-up Display
Park Distance Control (PDC), front and rear
Rear view camera
Armrest front with storage compartment
Automatic air conditioning with 4-zone control and extended rear air vents in second row seats
Centre armrest in rear with 2 cup holders
Comfort seats in 2nd row with comfort optimized upholstery, 80mm fore and aft movement and 10 degree adjustment of backrest
Comfort seats front, electrically adjustable
Electric steering column adjustment
Gear shift paddles
Interior mirrors with automatic anti-dazzle function
Lights package with nine ambient lighting designs in three-colour LEDs
Multifunction Sport leather steering wheel
Panoramic glass sunroof
BMW Individual Roof Lining Anthracite
Rear backrest, foldable and 40:20:40 dividable
Roller sunblinds for rear side windows
Storage compartment package including sunglass holder and additional 12 volt power sockets
48.26 cm (19 inches) M light alloy wheels
Active Protection with Attentiveness Assist
– Airbags for driver and front passenger
– Head airbags front and rear
– Side airbags for driver and front passenger
Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Brake Assist
Cornering Brake Control (CBC)
Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) including Dynamic Traction Control (DTC)
Electric parking brake with auto hold
Electronic vehicle immobiliser and crash sensor
Intergrated emergency spare wheel
Hill Descent Control
Run flat indicator