The 2018 BMW X5 serves as a benchmark for the modern luxury performance crossover SUV. It impressively combines the attributes you normally associate with a BMW sedan and then adds true utility. A wide range of engine choices and trim packages ensures buyers can find the right configuration for their needs.
The X5 engine options include a turbocharged six-cylinder (300 horsepower, 300 pound-feet of torque), a diesel six-cylinder (255 hp, 413 lb-ft), a powerful V8 (445 hp, 480 lb-ft) and a plug-in hybrid (308 hp, 332 lb-ft). No matter what's under the hood, the X5 simultaneously provides a comfortable ride and sporty handling, and the X5's all-wheel-drive system provides extra traction in wet weather or the occasional trip off pavement.
There are a few downsides to the X5, with the main one being interior space. It's just not as roomy as some rival crossovers with third-row seats. Some of those rivals have fresher and newer designs, too. But overall we think the X5 is a solid pick if you want a luxury vehicle that offers a great combination of performance and utility.
Notably, we picked the 2018 BMW X5 as one of Edmunds' Best Midsize SUVs for this year.
trim levels & features
The 2018 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, power-adjustable and heated front seats, driver-seat memory functions, 40/20/40-split folding rear seats, BMW Assist emergency communications, a 10.2-inch central display screen, BMW's iDrive infotainment interface, a navigation system, voice controls and a nine-speaker sound system.
The 40e 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 50i includes all of the features found in the 35i along with keyless ignition and entry, leather upholstery, upgraded front seats, four-zone climate control and 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system.
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, four-zone climate control and satellite radio) and the Luxury Seating package (multicontour front seats with ventilation).
The Driver Assistance package adds a variety of driver safety aids, and you can get even more with the Driver Assistance Plus package. The Dynamic Handling package for xDrive models adds adaptive dampers, a rear air suspension 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 BMW X5 include Apple CarPlay, a 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen surround-sound audio system, upgraded or extended leather upholstery, upgraded interior trim 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 rear-seat entertainment system and a night-vision camera system.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2014 BMW X5 (turbo 3.0L inline-6 | 8-speed automatic | AWD).
NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current X5 has received minor revisions, including changes to the infotainment unit and a shuffling of options and trims structure. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's X5.
noise & vibration
ease of use
getting in/getting out
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.