The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
Finding a comfortable driving position in the BMW X5 is a doddle. There’s electric seat adjustment for the backrest angle, the seat squab angle (you can also extend the cushion) and lumbar support, which can be moved up and down as well as in and out. You get a memory function as standard, so you can return the seat to your perfect position quickly if someone else drives your car.
The X5 gives you a commanding view of the road from the seat's lofty positioning, and all the controls are laid out logically around it. Unlike in the Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90, there are old-fashioned buttons and knobs for the heating controls (instead of them being integrated into a touchscreen). That means you can feel your way around them without diverting your gaze from the road.
Besides, you get front, rear and even side parking sensors as standard, not to mention a reversing camera, and a surround-view camera is available as an option for a top-down view when parking. You are well served at night as well, with standard adaptive LED headlights.
Sat nav and infotainment
The X5’s 12.3in infotainment system is one of its finest features. It’s very easy to use, incredibly quick and responsive, and features a customisable display that allows you to choose between widgets that display frequently accessed information on the main screen (a bit like on a smartphone). Alternatively, you can delve into the menus using a sidebar menu system, which, again, is intuitive and easy to get to grips with.