2016 BMW X5 Review

Type:

Pros & Cons

  • Potent and efficient engines
  • luxurious and comfortable interior
  • huge list of features
  • steadfast high-speed stability.
  • Third-row seat is strictly for little kids
  • higher price than many competing luxury crossover SUVs.
List Price Range
$21,476 - $33,998

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Thanks to its well-rounded nature, the 2016 BMW X5 is a top choice for a luxury crossover SUV, especially if performance is a priority.

Vehicle overview

Introduced at the turn of the 21st century, the X5 was the first utility vehicle in the BMW lineup, and in many ways, it's still the most desirable of the German automaker's crossovers. Like every X5 before it, the 2016 BMW X5 is a luxurious and well-built midsize crossover SUV that's spacious enough for everyday family use and capable enough to get you through a snowstorm. What really sets it apart from rivals, though, is its engaging character. It's a delight to drive any day of the year.

Carefully tuned suspension and steering systems contribute much to the BMW X5's winning personality. In spite of its considerable size and weight, this midsize crossover steers with precision and feels athletic going around turns, yet it's also comfy enough for long-distance highway travel. Of course, BMW has always offered a sweet lineup of engines, too. The vast majority of X5 buyers will be happy with the power and efficiency of the entry-level turbocharged six-cylinder, but there's also a turbocharged V8 and a diesel six-cylinder. For 2016, BMW has added a fourth option: the new X5 xDrive40e plug-in hybrid model that has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a lithium-ion battery pack. The batteries are a supplement rather than the primary power source (13 miles is the limit in electric-only mode), but even so, the hybrid BMW X5 should be almost as quick as a base six-cylinder X5, while consuming less fuel.

Unlike those early days of the X5, though, there's now no shortage of options if you're shopping for a midsize luxury crossover SUV. Although you'd be hard-pressed to find a crossover with a nicer interior, the 2016 BMW X5 might not be the best fit for families, even when equipped with its optional third-row seat. Less expensive models like the Acura MDX and Infiniti QX60 have roomier third rows, while the revamped Volvo XC90 offers built-in child booster seats. On the other hand, if it's performance you're after, the Land Rover Range Rover Sport and Porsche Cayenne are likely to be just as enjoyable to drive. You'll probably also want to check out long-time rivals like the Lexus RX 350 and Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class (formerly the M-Class), as both are redesigned for 2016. On the whole, though, we think very highly of the BMW X5, and it remains a benchmark in this class. Notably, we picked the BMW X5 as one of Edmunds' Best Used Luxury SUVs for 2016.

2016 BMW X5 models

A midsize crossover SUV, the 2016 BMW X5 comes in 35i, 35d, 40e and 50i trim levels. All have all-wheel drive (xDrive), though there is also a rear-drive version of the 35i available (sDrive). The 40e is the new plug-in hybrid model and arrives later in the model year. (The high-performance X5 M is reviewed separately.) Five-passenger seating is standard, and an optional third-row seat increases capacity to seven.

Standard equipment for the 35i and 35d includes 19-inch wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, LED foglights, power-folding and auto-dimming mirrors, automatic wipers, a panoramic sunroof, a power liftgate, roof rails, front and rear parking sensors, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, "SensaTec" premium vinyl upholstery, heated 10-way power front seats (with four-way power lumbar) and driver memory settings. Electronics features include BMW Assist, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a 10.2-inch central display screen, the iDrive controller, a navigation system, voice controls, traffic reporting and a nine-speaker sound system with a CD player, USB and auxiliary audio inputs and HD radio. Look for a very similar equipment list on the xDrive 40e, which also gets standard adjustable suspension dampers and rear air suspension (optional on all other X5s) along with hybrid-specific instrumentation and additional iDrive menu items.

The X5 xDrive50i builds on the 35 models' equipment list with standard keyless ignition and entry, leather upholstery, 16-way power (multicontour) front seats, four-zone climate control, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system, satellite radio and a rearview camera.

Many option packages are available to help you customize your X5. Starting things off are three optional equipment lines -- Luxury, xLine and M Sport -- that include different wheel designs (up to 20 inches), color schemes and trim and upholstery types. M Sport also includes sport front seats and shift paddles for the transmission.

From here, the Premium package for the 35i and 35d adds keyless ignition and entry, four-zone climate control, satellite radio and leather upholstery, while the Luxury Seating package gets you the multicontour front seats with added ventilation (ventilated seats are a separate option for the 50i). The Cold Weather package includes a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats.

The Driver Assistance package features a rearview camera and a head-up display (35i and 35d). To this, the Driver Assistance Plus package adds adaptive cruise control, a surround-view camera and a long list of driver safety aids highlighted in the Safety section of this review. The Dynamic Handling package (xDrive models only) adds an enhanced all-wheel-drive system and a body roll mitigation feature for improved road holding. The Lighting package bundles upgraded adaptive LED headlights and automatic high-beam headlight control.

Other options for the 2016 BMW X5 include active steering (xDrive models only, excluding the 40e), a sportier adaptive M suspension (not available on 40e), automated parking assist, soft-close automatic doors, upgraded and/or extended leather upholstery, upgraded interior trim, smartphone app integration and rear window manual sunshades. All X5s except the hybrid can be equipped with second-row comfort seats (with fore/aft and recline adjustment) and a third-row seat (includes the rear air suspension). You can also order a deluxe Bang & Olufsen surround-sound audio system, a rear-seat entertainment system and a night-vision camera system.

2016 Highlights

For 2016, the BMW X5 line expands to include the xDrive40e plug-in hybrid model (late availability). It combines a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with a lithium-ion battery pack.

Performance & mpg

The X5 sDrive35i (rear-wheel drive) and xDrive35i (all-wheel drive) models feature a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine that produces 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. As with all other X5s, the 35i models come with an eight-speed automatic transmission, and the xDrive versions include hill descent control.

The EPA estimates the sDrive35i's fuel economy at 21 mpg combined (18 city/25 highway). The xDrive version is just slightly lower at 20 mpg combined (18/24), and we've easily matched these numbers on our standard test-drive route. In our performance testing, an X5 xDrive 35i accelerated from zero to 60 mph in just 6.1 seconds, a very good number for a base-engine midsize luxury SUV.

The xDrive35d features a diesel-powered 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder that produces 255 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque. BMW estimates its 0-60 performance in 6.7 seconds. Fuel economy estimates weren't available as of this writing, but last year's 35d checked in at 27 mpg combined.

Next up is the new-for-2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e plug-in hybrid model. It uses a 240-hp version of BMW's turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, a specialized version of the eight-speed automatic transmission (with an electric motor built into it) and a 9-kilowatt-hour battery pack housed under the cargo bay floor. Together, this setup delivers 308 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. BMW claims the hybrid will hit 60 mph in 6.5 seconds. The X5 xDrive40e also has an estimated all-electric driving range of 13 miles. With its 3.6kW onboard charger, it should take just under three hours to charge fully at 240 volts.

At the top of the BMW X5 line, the xDrive50i has a turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine good for 445 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque. At the pump, you're looking at 17 mpg combined (15/21). BMW puts its 0-60 capability at a very swift 4.9 seconds.

Properly equipped, non-hybrid versions of the X5 can tow up to 6,000 pounds.

Safety

Every 2016 BMW X5 includes stability and traction control, antilock brakes, automatic brake drying, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and active head restraints. Also standard are the BMW Assist and Remote Services emergency communications systems, which provide automatic crash notification, stolen vehicle recovery, remote lock/unlock and on-demand roadside assistance. The optional Driver Assistance package adds a rearview camera and a head-up display, while the Driver Assistance Plus package adds to those items blind-spot monitoring, a top-down camera system, lane-departure warning, speed limit info and a frontal collision warning and mitigation system with pedestrian detection that can apply the vehicle's brakes automatically to prevent or minimize an impact at low speeds.

In a simulated panic stop from 60 mph, the X5 xDrive35i took 122 feet, which is an average distance for the segment.

In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the X5 earned a top score of "Good" for its performance in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests. The performance of the optional collision mitigation system earned the top "Superior" rating.

Driving

The 2016 BMW X5 is one of the best-handling midsize luxury crossovers around. Whether you're driving on back roads or on an endless expanse of interstate, the X5 is a champ, feeling secure and stable, yet also relatively fun to drive. Wind and tire noise are pleasantly muted, and the ride is firm yet forgiving. There's some choppiness on occasion, though, and if you're sensitive to ride comfort, we'd advise against the optional 20-inch wheels.

Engine performance is strong throughout the 2016 BMW X5 lineup, even with the base six-cylinder, which is refined and surprisingly vigorous in this heavy midsize crossover. The turbocharged V8 in the X5 xDrive50i, meanwhile, is a beast, delivering rapid acceleration when you want it while remaining civilized in commuter traffic. Still, our favorite engine is the xDrive35d's diesel six-cylinder. Its prodigious torque output gives you quick acceleration around town, yet it's still strong enough for easy passing on the highway. Its high fuel economy is just a fantastic bonus.

Interior

As with most BMWs, the X5's interior layout is elegant, with solid construction and high-quality materials. Models with the upgraded and extended leather options are particularly impressive. From the driver seat, you're presented with classic BMW gauges and a large central display screen with crisp graphics. The standard front seats are ideally shaped and adjust for a wide range of body types, while the available multicontour seats are some of the most comfortable and adjustable seats found in any car.

The iDrive interface works well for controlling and adjusting all of the X5's systems, and even includes a touchpad on the control knob for handwritten navigation inputs. Still, iDrive typically takes a few more clicks and twists of the control knob to get what you want compared with some rival systems that are easier to use.

Utility can also be a concern. The second-row seats are comfortable, but legroom is merely adequate. The optional third row is cramped and will be a tight fit, even for children. With both rows folded, cargo space measures 66 cubic feet, which is about average for the segment and barely better than BMW's smaller X3. One distinct attribute of the X5 is its split two-section liftgate. The lower, smaller section pulls down flat, making it easy to sit on for tailgating.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2016 BMW X5.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

No regrets, but.....
Tulsa man,12/08/2015
xDrive35i 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)
It's a solid vehicle with good performance and quality. However, for such a premium SUV, they have omitted or neglected a few features. Here are a few gripes: The tail gate will not open by waving your foot under the rear bumper for a completely hands free experience. This feature has been standard on all 5 series since 2012 and is especially useful for an SUV. After years of developing and updating idrive, why does BMW not update the idrive compatibility and new features (i.e. Apple Play) automatically and remotely via the existing satellite connection? Why are the front turn signals not LED like the 5 series sedans? We've owned several late model BMW's over the past few years. We get the impression over the years the design has become more attractive, however the decreasing quality and cost cutting measures are getting more obvious. We're tempted to try Audi products next time. Our friends are impressed with their new Q7's and A4.
Better than anticipated
Parsippany,05/25/2016
xDrive35i 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)
Love the car. Rides better than anticipated. Looking forward to many years of riding enjoyment.
First full year of enjoyment completed!
Jim Campbell,08/15/2016
xDrive50i 4dr SUV AWD (4.4L 8cyl Turbo 8A)
This is my third X5 and they just keep getting better. This 2016 with the 5.0 V-8 is a rocket and handles like a dream. This is my Dailey driver and business car that rides like the 5 series and will pull my fishing boat on the weekends. This is a performance machine so don't expect exceptional mileage. When I drive the interstate at 70- 75 the mileage is 23 but around town 16-17 with all the starting and stops- heavy machine so you should expect it. My last 2012 was the diesel an I got 20 in town and 26 Highway. Amazingly got 12.5 pulling a boat 950 miles to Florida! I like the diesel but wanted a change. I'm a gear head and have a Corvette, so I enjoy performance and handling. You really cannot compare this to another V6 SUV, this V-8 with 440 hp can run with the Porsch SUV for 25k less.
Wanted to...
Dan Berezowski,07/13/2016
xDrive35i 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)
Looking for a new car to upgrade from my MDX I decided to give the X5 a test. The car handled wonderfully and felt like driving a much smaller car. The interior was terrific and felt very luxurious. The infotainment center seemed to work flawlessly with a beautiful display. My big issue with the X5 is the amount of cargo space. I wanted to love this car so much I was trying to determine if I could overlook the cargo space, but it is just much too small. I even decided to take with my large cooler on my second test drive to see if I could squeeze everything in. For such a nice utility vehicle it would be better for BMW to find a way to double the cargo capacity. A real third row is unnecessary, but real cargo space is.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2016 BMW X5 features & specs 

Safety

IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2016 BMW X5

Used 2016 BMW X5 Overview

The Used 2016 BMW X5 is offered in the following submodels: X5 SUV, X5 Diesel. Available styles include xDrive35i 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A), xDrive50i 4dr SUV AWD (4.4L 8cyl Turbo 8A), sDrive35i 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A), and xDrive35d 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 8A).

What's a good price on a Used 2016 BMW X5?

Price comparisons for Used 2016 BMW X5 trim styles:

  • The Used 2016 BMW X5 xDrive35i is priced between $25,581 and$33,998 with odometer readings between 27838 and69012 miles.
  • The Used 2016 BMW X5 sDrive35i is priced between $21,476 and$25,110 with odometer readings between 67667 and91290 miles.
  • The Used 2016 BMW X5 xDrive50i is priced between $32,532 and$32,532 with odometer readings between 48433 and48433 miles.

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Which used 2016 BMW X5s are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2016 BMW X5 for sale near. There are currently 16 used and CPO 2016 X5s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $21,476 and mileage as low as 27838 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2016 BMW X5.

Can't find a used 2016 BMW X5s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used BMW X5 for sale - 3 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $15,126.

Find a used BMW for sale - 10 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $14,458.

Find a used certified pre-owned BMW X5 for sale - 3 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $13,062.

Find a used certified pre-owned BMW for sale - 12 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $19,695.

Should I lease or buy a 2016 BMW X5?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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Check out BMW X5 lease specials