2017 BMW X5 Review
2017 BMW X5 Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
Mark Takahashi has worked in the automotive industry since 2001. He has written thousands of car-related articles and tested and reviewed hundreds of vehicles over the course of his career. Mark has also contributed to Motor Trend, Auto Aficionado, Chevy High Performance and several motorcycle magazines in various roles. Mark is also a juror on the North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year Awards and can be seen regularly on the Edmunds YouTube channel and sometimes representing the company in media interviews.
- Strong performance from every model
- Luxurious and comfortable cabin that lives up to its price tag
- A long list of optional features allows for a wide range of customization
- Optional diesel engine is as potent as it is efficient
- Less legroom in the second row compared to some of its competitors
- Optional third-row seats are tight even for children
For 2017, there are only minor changes to the BMW X5. It gains a Wi-Fi hot spot and a wireless charging pad but loses the Active Steering (four-wheel) option.
The BMW X5 wasn't the first luxury SUV, but it has been around long enough to solidify its position as one of the best in its class. The 2017 BMW X5 lineup continues the evolution by satisfying all of the comfort and convenience requirements demanded by families and pleasing drivers with strong performance and an engaging driving experience.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2017 BMW X5 sDrive35i 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.93 per gallon for premium unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$232/mo for X5 sDrive35i
Avg. Midsize SUV
All of this excellence does come at a cost, however, and the X5 starts at well over $56,000. The value proposition is challenged by its relatively cramped and optional third row of seats. Even with these drawbacks taken into account, the X5's strengths are substantial enough to maintain a solid Edmunds A rating.
The 2017 BMW X5 isn't the newest luxury SUV in its class, though; some rivals have introduced recent updates making the class more competitive than ever. The Audi Q7 is one of the more notable competitors and has also garnered a top rating, as has the Porsche Cayenne. SUVs such as the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class and Volvo XC90 are also worth your attention, depending on your needs and sensibilities.
Standard safety features for all 2017 BMW X5 models include stability and traction control, antilock brakes, automatic brake drying, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, active head restraints, and the BMW Assist and Remote Services emergency telematics. All xDrive versions also include hill descent control.
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 forward 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 Edmunds brake testing, the X5 xDrive35i required 122 feet to come to a stop from 60 mph, which is an average distance for the class. In government crash tests, the X5 received five out of five stars for overall, front- and side-crash protection, and four stars for rollover protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the X5 its top score of Good for the moderate-overlap front-impact and side-impact crash tests. A top Superior rating was also given for the optional forward collision mitigation system.
Edmunds' Expert Rating
The 2017 BMW X5 remains one of the top picks in the very competitive midsize luxury SUV class. Strong performance, a luxurious cabin and an efficient diesel engine option help distinguish it from its accomplished rivals.
The 2017 BMW X5 distinguishes itself from competing SUVs by delivering excellent handling that inspires confidence no matter what kind of driving you do. As a result, the ride quality is a bit stiffer than that of rivals and can feel a little busy on broken pavement, but at no time does it feel objectionably firm. For the smoothest ride, go with the standard wheel and tire combinations instead of the larger options. Road and wind noise is more prevalent than you'd expect for the class but not intrusive.
For the vast majority of drivers, the base 35i six-cylinder engine provides more than enough power. Upgrading to the xDrive50i's V8 will probably feel like overkill for all but the most power-hungry drivers, and at that point, the high-performance X5 M is a more intriguing alternative. We're more partial to the xDrive35d's diesel powerplant that delivers a healthy wallop of torque for authoritative acceleration while still returning admirable fuel efficiency.
If you've been in any current BMW vehicle, the look, feel and function of the 2017 X5 will be very familiar, and that's a good thing. High-quality materials abound, and everything gives the impression of top-notch build quality. The standard seats are well shaped and appropriately cushioned for long-distance comfort. The available 16-way multicontour seats are some of the most comfortable in any car. Second-row seats are also comfortable, although there's slightly less legroom compared with some direct competitors. The same goes for the optional third row; it is cramped even for children.
Primary driver controls and gauges are thoughtfully placed and easy to read and operate. BMW's iDrive control interface takes some getting used to, but in short time the menus become second nature, aided by the touchpad on the controller dial that accepts handwritten inputs.
Cargo capacity is slightly above average for the class, with 35.8 cubic feet of space behind the second row and 76.7 cubic feet with those seats folded. The xDrive40e's battery pack reduces that volume slightly to 34.2 and 72.5 cubic feet, respectively. The X5 also gets points for its two-section power liftgate with its fold-down lower section that provides a handy place to sit for tailgating as well as assisting in loading bulky cargo.
2017 BMW X5 models
The 2017 BMW X5 is a midsize luxury SUV that is available in 35i, 35d, 40e and 50i trim levels. All have all-wheel drive (xDrive) except for the 35i, which comes standard with rear-wheel drive (sDrive). A high-performance X5 M variant is reviewed separately. There is seating for five passengers, and an optional third-row seat increases capacity to seven.
Standard features for the 35i and 35d models include 19-inch wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, LED foglights, power-folding and heated mirrors, auto-dimming mirrors, automatic wipers, a panoramic sunroof, roof rails, a power liftgate, and front and rear parking sensors.
On the inside, you get dual-zone automatic climate control, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, premium vinyl upholstery, 14-way power-adjustable and heated front seats and driver memory functions, 40/20/40-split folding rear seats, BMW Assist emergency telematics, Bluetooth phone and streaming audio, a 10.2-inch central display screen, BMW's iDrive technology interface, a navigation system with real-time traffic information, voice controls, and a nine-speaker sound system with a CD player, USB and auxiliary audio inputs, and HD radio.
The xDrive40e plug-in hybrid includes all of the above, along with 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 includes all of the features found in the 35i along with keyless ignition and entry, leather upholstery, 16-way power front seats, four-zone climate control, a rearview camera, 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system and satellite radio.
Options include the Luxury, xLine and M Sport equipment lines that have different wheel designs (up to 20 inches), color schemes, and trim and upholstery types. The M Sport also includes sport front seats and shift paddles for the transmission.
Other bundled options include the Premium package for all but the 50i (keyless ignition and entry, leather upholstery, four-zone climate control, satellite radio, a Wi-Fi hot spot and a wireless charging pad), the Luxury Seating package (the multicontour front seats, ventilated seats) and the Cold Weather package (a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats).
The Driver Assistance package adds a rearview camera and a head-up display to 35i and 35d models and is a prerequisite for the Driver Assistance Plus package (adaptive cruise control, a surround-view camera and a suite of advanced safety features). The Dynamic Handling package for xDrive models 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 2017 BMW X5 include a sportier adaptive M suspension (not available on the 40e), automated parking assistance, soft-close automatic doors, upgraded and/or extended leather upholstery, upgraded interior trim, smartphone app integration, and manual sunshades for the rear windows. 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.
Powering 2017 BMW X5 35i models is a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine that produces 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission sends power to the rear wheels for the sDrive 35i and to all four wheels on all the xDrive models.
The EPA estimates the sDrive35i's fuel economy at 21 mpg combined (18 city/25 highway) and the xDrive35i at 20 mpg combined (18 city/24 highway). These estimates are about average among competing SUVs and were confirmed on our standardized evaluation drive route. In Edmunds performance testing, an X5 xDrive35i accelerated from zero to 60 mph in just 6.1 seconds, which is quick for the class.
The xDrive35d uses with a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder diesel engine that produces 255 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque. BMW estimates it will reach 60 mph in 6.7 seconds. Fuel economy estimates aren't available, but the 2016 35d model was rated at 25 mpg combined (23 city/29 highway).
The BMW X5 xDrive40e plug-in hybrid model combines a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, an electric motor paired with a modified eight-speed automatic transmission and a 9-kWh battery pack under the cargo bay floor. Combined power output is 308 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. BMW claims the hybrid will reach 60 mph in 6.5 seconds and deliver 14 miles of electric-only propulsion. It should take just under three hours to charge fully at 240 volts. The EPA rates this model at 56 mpg equivalent in gas/electric mode and 24 mpg combined on gas only.
The xDrive50i utilizes a turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine that produces 445 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque. BMW estimates it will reach 60 mph in only 4.9 seconds, and the EPA estimates fuel economy at 17 mpg combined (15 city/21 highway).
Properly equipped, non-hybrid versions of the X5 can tow up to 6,000 pounds.
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
Tim Wilson , 02/13/2018
2017 BMW X5 xDrive35i 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)
I read some of the reviews that were complaining about their X5. I suspect some of these are fake as we love our X5. Engine is smooth and powerful and gives respectable mileage for an SUV. Ride is firmer than other SUVs but that’s the reason why you bought a BMW. The sportiness of the X5 makes it fun to drive and useful as well. Doesn’t have a third row but we didn’t need one. Cargo area … is what you see. Interior is what I would call spartan luxury. Surfaces are nice but not the soft leather feel like some cars. More of a sturdy feel to the surfaces. I don’t have any complaints about this car and I’d buy it again in a heartbeat.
5 out of 5 stars
50i does not disappoint
2017 BMW X5 xDrive50i 4dr SUV AWD (4.4L 8cyl Turbo 8A)
I thought I needed the bigger engine. No one NEEDS an SUV with this much power. I find I rarely have the opportunity to use it. Even merging, if I floor it, it's so ferocious I let up on the right foot. With the eight speed transmission, manual shifting mode is not something I utilize much. In sport mode, the computer delivers flawless downshifts. I've owned an X1 35i and 335xi. This SUV … is tons faster than either of those very quick cars. Power aside, this car is extremely poised on the road. The ride is the best I've owned, loads better than my new get Volvo xc90 (without air suspension). Steering is numb but in every day driving, I actually appreciate not having to work to turn the wheel. It is a bit scary accelerating in a corner with such little feedback. The car never wanders on the straights, though. Interior quality is the best I've owned in the BMW. I did get the extended leather upgrade. My X1 has some cheap plastics on the pillars and doors. Not the X5 50. Everything feels top notch. I've not had any unwanted noises or noticed anything that doesn't quite fit together right (unlike my volvo xc90). Back seat space is great. I fit my three kids back there just fine. There is more than enough space in the boot, in my opinion. Tech is the sore spot for me. Yes, this car has blind spot and pedestrian detection. The cross traffic detection is just not that handy. You have to be looking at the display for the flashing yellow. There is no audible or tactile feed back so if you are just backing up and not paying attention to the center display, it's pretty useless. Also, really BMW? Not including auto-cruise control at this price point is just stupid. My X5 doesn't have that option. Still, the idrive interface is easy to use. I really appreciate the knob now that my wife has an xc90 where everything is touch. There is touch too which really helps with entering addresses. I think the writing feature on the dial is a gimmick. I never use it. I have the standard harmon kardon sound system. It's just fine. However, my wife has the B&A system on her XC 90 and it does not disappoint. I think it would be worth the extra $$$. Handling is great with xdrive. I live in MN. I put pirelli winter tires on the spare rims I got with the car (mine was optioned with the 21" M wheels with pirelli p zeros). Compared to my wife's new xc90 with all season tires, there is a definite difference with stopping and starting. Turning is better in the volvo. The car is more rear wheel biased and xdrive doesn't really help much when turning in snow at least compared to my experiences in other all wheel vehicles. Bottom line: if you are getting an $80,000 plus BMW you probably do care what others think. In the 50i, you know you are going to leave the Q7 and CayenneS drivers in your wake (most cars really). It's very satisfying moving such a large vehicle with such ridiculous acceleration.
4 out of 5 stars
Enjoyable car. Lease it to avoid worrying
2017 BMW X5 xDrive35i 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)
I have been leasing this car for 1.5 years and I have 16,000 miles on it (about 65% highway, 35% city driving). WHY LEASING? I wanted to buy, but everyone told me that I am crazy and that BMWs tend to have lots of problems as soon as the warranties expire. Is that true? Perhaps not and I am sure how one drives them and cares for them has a lot to do with the issue, but I felt … uncomfortable and so I got a high-mileage lease which costs me a lot, true be told. A professional at Honda, during a conversation we had (my second car is a Honda) told me that "BMW will last, but maintenance does not come cheap!" That is the real issue: does one want to be stuck in expensive maintenance? Each of us has his or her own answer to this. IS IT REALLY THE ULTIMATE DRIVING MACHINE? No. Period. Perhaps, if one gets the X5 M, but the 6-cylinder X5 with 300 hp and 4700 lb of weight is just good for 0-60mph in 6 seconds. Nobody gets overly impressed by that. Visibility is good, but not great and even maniacs who drive in and out of lanes have to pay a lot of attention. Sure, in Sport Mode, it is on the fun side, I will admit to that and on occasions I hit the canyons around here and push it and have fun, but for everyday use it is not a dream come true. IS IT COMFORTABLE? The basic seats for me are ugly and as uncomfortable as they get. In fact, my Honda's seats are more comfortable! However I upgraded the seats to the next level (cannot do the top trim as they only come in ivory white which I do not like for my daily ride) and things improved more than a bit. The rear seats are not bad at all for rear seats, however. Quite good. DOES IT HANDLE WELL? Yes, it does. That I must admit.. Even at 90mph or more on canyons, the car has an excellent behavior for such heavy vehicle. I have the Dynamic handling package as well though. OPTIONS. That is the best part about purchasing or leasing a BMW, i.e. most is customizable a la carte unlike other brands in the same segment. EXPENSIVE TO OWN? As it is a lease and I am under warranty, no. But fuel economy, while good for the segment, is nothing to brag about. I am getting on average 22 mpg. I can get 26mpg on highway alone (mine is the 4 wheel drive model), however in city driving I feel like I want to cry. I am lucky if I get 17 mpg, probably 16 mpg more like it. WOULD I BUY/LEASE IT AGAIN? Tough. Leasing is not my thing, I like the cars to be mine and keep them forever. The warranty program for me is weak. I would like 6 years or 100k miles. If a brand does not do that, to me it means they do not believe in their vehicles as I would like them to. That is at the of the day, my real issue: I am ok to pay more for a vehicle but, if I take care of it, it should hardly ever have any issue. Like my Honda CR-V, 21 years together, 303k miles on it and never a major issue. Fun is good, but reliability is very desirable as well. HOW WAS IT DEALING WITH BMW DEALERS? Pleasant, surprisingly very pleasant. I am confident that it varies from dealer to dealer, but my experience was A+. I did rent the car for 4 days before purchasing so I knew how it drives, the positives and the negatives and all I had to do was to select the options I needed/wanted and deal on price. Mine was custom ordered as I am picky on colors and combinations of interiors/exteriors, but dealer worked with me and never rushed me. WHAT DO I REALLY THINK THE 6 cylinder X5 needs? Either to lose some weight or gain another 50 hp (without fuel consumption go higher), then it would be near perfect. Brakes could be a bit more powerful too. Stopping this vehicle in tight spaces, is not a breeze. On 405 Freeway, there was an accident in the car pool lane and I was traveling on it... I kept a reasonable distance, but with the delays in braking.. I came within inches of hitting the car in front. Downhill braking always does not feel very powerful. Other than that, so far thumbs up.
5 out of 5 stars
Solid SUV, Great Hybrid Performance
Enthusiast Dad, 06/04/2017
2017 BMW X5 xDrive40e iPerformance 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 8A)
This plugin hybrid is the future of European car makers' product lines. The paired gas and electric engines with overnight charging make for an uncompromising vehicle. The standard X5 gets low 20s MPG with a normal mix of city and highway driving. With this X5 40e plugin hybird, we charge once per day and have been averaging 45 MPG per tank. The car is confident and handles great, … possibly due to the lower center of gravity with the heavy battery. Charging overnight is easy with a standard 120V household plug. For $500-$1000 you can install a 3.8 KWh "level 2" charger at home to cut down the charge time from ~8hours down to about 2.5 hours. And there are lots of great parking perks at public lots when you're in an electric car, frequently with the option to charge for free. (Public charging is sometimes pay-for-charge and costs less than $2.00). Overall the vehicle is extremely comfortable, high performing, easy to drive, and well appointed with premium leather, metal trim, and real woods. It's an expensive vehicle, but not a bad value.
2017 X5 Highlights
|Combined MPG||21 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$232/month|
|Drivetrain||rear wheel drive|
|Warranty||4 years / 50,000 miles|
NHTSA Overall Rating5 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover18.8%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestNot Tested
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – OriginalGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalGood
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestNot Tested
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintNot Tested