The X5 is far from cheap to buy, but next to rivals such as the Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90, it is competitively priced. And, as long as you stick to one of the lower-powered diesels, the X5’s running costs won’t be too bad, either. The four-cylinder 25d is best for this, and particularly the rear-wheel-drive version of it, which has the lowest CO2 emissions and best fuel economy of the entire range.
Many buying through work will also be tempted by the hybrid 40e, and there is a potential for big savings if you do lots of short journeys. However, the economy will be pretty woeful once you’ve drained the electric motor’s batteries – we managed only 27.1mpg in real world use, measured from when the petrol engine had to kick in. It’s also worth remembering that a Volvo XC90 T8 will cost half as much as the 40e in company car tax, although leasing tends to be more expensive on the Volvo.
Resale values are impressive on the X5, so running one on a contract hire basis should work out relatively well in financial terms, and when it comes to trading it in at three years you can rely on getting a decent amount towards a new car.
The X5M is by far and away the thirstiest X5. It also emits the most CO2 and will cost the most to insure, service and tax. That’s the price for having one of the quickest large SUVs on sale, though.
BMW X5 equipment
Even entry-level SE cars get loads of equipment
Unless you buy the range-topping X5M or the M50d, which get unique performance-oriented equipment, there are really only two trim levels to choose between: SE and M Sport. Indeed, SE models are so well equipped, there isn’t any need to spend the extra on M Sport trim unless you’re tempted by its sportier appearance.
SE cars come with leather upholstery, electrically adjustable heated front seats, sat-nav, xenon headlights, front and rear parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers, 18in alloy wheels, DAB radio and Bluetooth. This is an impressively long list, so there’s not really much point adding to it.
BMW X5 reliability
BMW and its X5 do poorly in our reliability surveys
Unfortunately, for all its other strengths, the X5 performed badly in our latest reliability survey. Admittedly, it’s the previous-generation car included in the survey, but some of the mechanicals are the same or similar, and that car finished towards the bottom of all the large SUVs included.
BMW as a brand did poorly, too. It was rated as one of the worst manufacturers in the study, with almost twice the number of reliability issues as the average.
At least every BMW comes with a three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty, which also includes wheel balancing for the first 12 months, and covers the car’s paintwork for up to three years and corrosion for up to 12 years.
BMW X5 safety & security
Most of what you’d expect at this money
The BMW X5 hasn’t yet been crash-tested by Euro NCAP, but given the amount of safety kit on board, including stability control and six airbags, we predict it’ll get an impressive score.
It’s just disappointing that if you order an X5 with seven seats, the two people in the very back of the car aren’t protected by the side curtain airbags. You have to pay extra for automatic emergency braking, too.
At least thieves will find stealing an X5 extremely tricky. Security firm Thatcham has run its tests on the X5 and rated it very good at stopping thieves from driving it away and good at stopping them from breaking in in the first place.
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SE cars come with 18in alloy wheels, Bluetooth, leather electric heated seats, DAB radio, sat-nav, xenon headlights automatic headlights and wipers and front and rear parking sensors. The one to go for.
M Sport trim is more popular but isn’t such good value; it adds bigger wheels, adaptive sports suspension, electric front sports seats and sportier styling.
Performance diesel version of the X5 adds sportier styling inside and out. Go for it if you want huge performance but still want running costs to be moderately affordable.
The quickest and most expensive version of the X5 and gets sportier styling inside and out to show it. Luxurious, but you’ll need deep pockets.