Most large SUVs put on a good show when it comes to front space, and the X5 is no different. It’s one of the roomiest out there: even the tallest drivers will have enough head room and will find the seat slides back a long way. Getting inside is also easy, because the X5’s front doors open widely.
The glovebox is a good size, too, and BMW has engineered a cubbyhole in front of the gearlever that has a flip-up lid. It’ll fit most wallets, keys and a mobile phone to keep them from rattling around. Both front doors have a pocket that will accept a small water bottle.
BMW X5 rear space
Some of the best rear space in the class
Two six-foot adults can sit in comfort behind two more, but fitting a third in the middle isn’t a comfortable experience on long journeys because shoulder room is tight. At least even though the X5 has a four-wheel-drive layout, it doesn’t have a large transmission tunnel for the middle passenger to straddle.
Both front seats come with a map pocket on the rear of their backrest and each rear door has its own pocket. Unfortunately near has very good depth or access, so storing a water bottle is tricky. Access to the rear seats is good, though, because the doors open wide and the roofline remains usefully high.
Two extra seats that flip up from the boot are optional, but this space is best left to children. Adults will find that head room is good, but there’s very little knee room.
BMW X5 seating flexibility
Rear rows split and fold flat
Although SE models get electronic front passenger’s seat backrest and height adjustment, base adjustment is manual, unless you buy the V8 petrol.
M Sport models get full electric control of the front passenger’s seat, but disappointingly, electric lumbar support is an option across the entire X5 range. Optional comfort seats bring an even greater range of electric adjustment than the standard seats.
The rear seats split 40/20/40 and fold flat to open up the luggage space, while the optional rearmost fold flat into the boot floor. These seats can be flipped up using one hand if necessary.
BMW X5 boot space
A good size, even next to its impressive rivals
The BMW X5 has an impressive 650-litre boot with the rear seats in place, which is larger than most of its rivals’ including the Range Rover Sport’s, but some way short of the class best XC90’s. Even so, it will provide easily enough space for a family to transport their things, including two or three large suitcases or two large folding pushchairs.
Even better, the X5’s boot is a square shape, meaning you won’t get wide items stuck on the wheelarches when trying to slide them in. The boot lip is flush with the boot floor, too.
The hybrid model gets a slightly smaller boot, losing some of the boot depth to accommodate the batteries necessary to power the electric motor. You also can’t spec seven seats on the five-seat only hybrid model.