BMW X5 xDrive45e PHEV 2019 LHD infotainment

BMW X5 review

Costs & verdict

Manufacturer price from:£57,640
What Car? Target Price£53,030
Review continues below...

Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

In terms of price, the BMW X5 sits roughly mid-way between the cheaper Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90 and the costlier Land Rover Discovery. However, if you want seven seats, adding them to the X5 brings its price into line with that of the Discovery, which is expected to better retain its value. The xDrive45e looks good value compared to rival plug-in SUVs, though, especially with its superior electric range.

The X5 has average fuel consumption figures for the class. The diesel 30d gets claimed fuel economy of up to 37.7mpg, with the petrol 40i recording 27.2mpg (both WLTP combined). These figures are very similar the results of the Discovery and XC90, so you’re unlikely to notice a huge difference in the cost to fuel them.

With lower CO2 emissions than many rivals, you might think the X5 will be cheap to run as a company car, but, for most models, its high P11D value says otherwise. Company car tax will cost you more on the X5 than it will on the equivalent Q7 or XC90, although it will at least come in cheaper than the Discovery. However, this will all change for the plug-in hybrid X5 in 2020, when tax bands take into account electric driving ranges. From then, it will sit in a lower tax bracket than its immediate rivals, making it very attractive as a company car.

Equipment, options and extras

Choose the 30d, 40i or plug-in hybrid 45e and you’ll have a choice of two trim levels: xLine and M Sport. The former gives you leather upholstery, heated front seats, a feature-packed infotainment system, LED headlights and ambient interior lighting.

If you upgrade to M Sport, you get sportier body styling, larger alloy wheels and gloss black exterior details instead of polished metal. We don’t think these cosmetic fripperies make it worth the extra cost over the already high-spec xLine, though.

The top-of-the-range M50i and M50d don’t offer any trim choice: their spec lists are based on M Sport but with adaptive dampers and steel springs in place of the air suspension. There’s also a bespoke limited-slip differential to increase traction in corners, a sports exhaust system, an upgraded sound system and even larger wheels.

BMW X5 xDrive45e PHEV 2019 LHD infotainment

Reliability

We don’t yet have any reliability data for this fourth-generation version, so we can’t say for sure how reliable the X5 will be. What we do know is that BMW as a whole came a mid-table 16th out of 31 manufacturers in our 2018 What Car? Reliability Survey. That's still a better result than Audi, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes and Volvo, though, so against its chief rivals, the signs are that the X5 should perform pretty well.

The X5 comes with a three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty, which also covers the car’s paintwork for three years and corrosion for 12 years. That’s about the same as most of its rivals, although the Lexus RX offers an even longer warranty.

Safety and security

The BMW X5 received a five-star rating from safety expert Euro NCAP, with very solid scores in every category. It even recorded a better result for child occupant protection than the Land Rover Discovery, although the Discovery got a very slightly better result for adult occupant protection. However, the safest cars in the class, which include the Volvo XC90, scored more points overall.

Front collision warning and automatic emergency braking are fitted as standard, but the side airbags don’t reach back into the rear compartment for third-row passengers as they do in the Audi Q7.

You can upgrade your X5 with an optional package of driver aids, including a system that can swerve to avoid an obstacle in the road, one to detect traffic crossing behind you as you’re reversing out onto a road, and a system that uses a camera to recognise speed limit signs and can adjust your speed accordingly.

Security expert Thatcham rated the X5 4/5 for its ability to resist the break-in attempts of  thieves, and 5/5 for preventing theft of the entire car. Rivals perform similarly well in this regard, though.

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Verdict

The X5 is a smooth, classy and luxurious SUV, but not as practical as its best rivals and relatively expensive to buy. Opt for the xDrive45e, though, and you are buying one of the most impressive plug-in hybrids around, combining all the best points of the standard X5 with a substantial real-world electric range.

  • Fantastic plug-in hybrid version
  • Great to drive
  • Classy, well-designed interior
  • Expensive to buy
  • Third row of seats costs extra
  • Relatively small boot

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