With reported sales of some 2.2-million units since making its premiere in 1999, the latest X5 follows a succession of models in being based on BMW’s CLAR platform, with the newcomer also eclipsing its F15 predecessor’s dimensions with an overall length extended by 36mm to 4 922mm, a 42mm gain in wheelbase (2 972mm), a 19mm taller stance (1 745mm) and a width expanded by 66mm to 2 004mm.
According to BMW, the added length has resulted in a substantial increase in boot space with 645-litres available in standard five-seat configuration, and up to 1 860-litres with the rear seats folded flat. Unlike the F15 though, the G01 will be offered with the option of seven-seats for the first time in addition to a split-opening tailgate.
Like previous X5s, the G05 is again build at BMW’s Spartanburg, South Carolina Plant, but comes with a number of firsts such as the optional laser Adaptive LED headlights, Dynamic Damper Control, Adaptive M Suspension Professional with active roll stabilisation and Integral Active Steering that steers the rear wheels to aid cornering in tight areas.
Along with its undisclosed drop in weight, BMW has made the new Off-Road Pack available as an option, which adds an electronically controlled rear differential lock, four-corner air suspension and underbody protection.
Depending on the model selected, notable standard tech is made up of the new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster display and iDrive infotainment system incorporating the new version 7.0 operating system and Gesture Control, a wheel sizes ranging from 19 to 22-inches, an optional Rear Entertainment system with dual 10.2-inch screen and wireless headphones, quad-zone climate control, a panoramic glass roof and electric as well as heated front seats.
Again being model depended, driver assistance and safety systems, either standard or optional, includes Frontal Collision Warning and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking, Blind Spot Detection,Lane Change Assist as well as Lane Departure Warning, Active Cruise Control, Emergency Stop Assistant, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Traffic Jam Assist, Rear Collision Warning Park Assist and a 3D surround view camera system.
The biggest departure from previous models though is a slimmed-down, all diesel engine line-up with no petrol variants earmarked for local introduction for now. As such, the base X5 comes in the form of the popular xDrive30d, whose 3.0-litre straight-six oil burner produces 195kW/620Nm, allowing for a top speed of 230km/h and 0-100km/h in 6.5 seconds. Transmitting the amount of twist of the ground is an eight-speed Steptronic gearbox with paddle shifters.
With the likely absence of the petrol powered X5 M, the M50d now serves as flagship model, and while it retains it sibling’s engine, adds a further three turbochargers for a quad-blower setup that provides 294kW/760Nm. Capped at 250km/h, the M50d will however complete the 0-100km/h sprint in 5.2 seconds.
Like the xDrive30d, the M50d is outfitted with the above mentioned ‘box, but comes with a series of M bespoke touches as the specific bodykit, blue M Sport brake calipers, an M Sport exhaust and 21-inch M Sport alloy wheels, while a colour Heads-Up Display, M Sport steering wheel and anthracite roofliner completes the interior.
Heading to South Africa towards the end of the year, pricing, sans options, starts at R1 194 296 for the xDrive30d, with the M50d retailing from R1 502 582.