2020 BMW X5 M50i
2020 BMW X5 Review
- Strong performance from multiple available engines
- Luxurious, comfortable cabin lives up to its price tag
- Spacious cabin and cargo area
- Small mirrors and wide roof pillars create blind spots
- Limited interior storage
- Wide doorsills inhibit entry and exit
- New V8-powered M50i model joins the lineup
- Part of the fourth X5 generation introduced for 2019
It's easy to see why the 2020 BMW X5 is one of the more appealing midsize luxury SUVs on the market. The X5 comes standard with two rows of seating but is available with a third row if you want to increase its flexibility for occasionally taking along a couple of extra kids. Regardless of which X5 model you choose, you'll have a long list of upscale options to pick from, including features such as massaging front seats and an adjustable suspension that you can lower to help make getting in easier.
The X5 can also be pretty sporty if you want it to be. Three different engine choices are offered: a base turbocharged six-cylinder and two versions of a turbocharged V8. The base six-cylinder is impressive, but the 4.4-liter V8 is the real powerhouse in the X5 lineup, putting out 456 horsepower in the standard xDrive50i and a whopping 523 hp in the new-for-2020 M50i trim. Just because you need a family hauler doesn't mean you can't have a little fun while you're at it.
There are some more mundane drawbacks to the X5, however. The previously mentioned third row is optional, and it's not very large — buyers who are constantly using the third row will likely want something larger. Other issues include an infotainment system that has a steep learning curve and a lack of interior storage for small items such as smartphones and water bottles.
These are small complaints, however, and not ones that would keep us from test-driving a new 2020 BMW X5. If you're in the market for a luxurious family SUV, the X5 is certainly worth a close look.
What It's Like to Live With The X5
Want to know even more about the BMW X5? Our team of experts have tested a 2020 BMW X5 xDrive40i as part of our long-term program, which is where we drive vehicles for a year and report to you what they are like to own.
Read our long-term coverage to see what we've learned about various aspects of the BMW X5, such as its undeniable seat comfort, class-leading In-cabin technology, performance and reliability.
The BMW X5 comes packed with technology features, but buyers will have to spend a lot of time learning the various menus and buttons to extract the most out of it. Compared to its competitors, the X5 is the jack-of-all-trades SUV and effectively handles both utility tasks and performance drives with equal aplomb.
How does the X5 drive?
We tested the xDrive40i. The six-cylinder engine is suitably powerful and responsive enough for the daily commute. Whether you pick this engine or the V8, the X5 is one of the quickest of the non-performance-oriented SUVs available. BMW also offers an optional off-road package that enhances the X5's capability to take on dirt roads and trails.
Handling and steering are less impressive, however. The steering doesn't give you much feel for the road, and the X5 can feel overly soft and floaty when driving around turns unless you engage Sport mode. In more casual driving, the X5 is easy to drive, and its eight-speed transmission makes smooth and quick gearshifts.
How comfortable is the X5?
Fitted with its optional air suspension, the X5 rides fairly smoothly, but harsher impacts and pavement seams can still be felt in the cabin. Sport mode is stiffer and transmits more of the road surface into the cabin, but thankfully the X5 isn't ever uncomfortably harsh. At highway speeds, road and wind noise is minimal.
The front seats are firm and supportive and have a broad range of adjustability to contour to different body types. Lumbar and upper bolsters are adjustable for cruising or sporty driving. The rear seats are softer and designed for long stints, but they're flat and don't have enough bolstering.
How’s the interior?
The seats are set in from the door, and occupants will have to shimmy to get in. We'd recommend taller drivers avoid the optional running boards for easier entry. But once you're in, there's ample room for the front passengers and good headroom, knee room and shoulder room for the rear passengers. The X5 has a technologically advanced interior, but the mass of buttons on the center console and the fiddly climate controls are difficult to learn.
Visibility is a problem. The X5's surround-view camera system is excellent when parking, and views out the front and sides are commanding. Direct views to the back are adequate if your seat is adjusted properly. The side mirrors and the door frame can hide pedestrians and other road users from view. Get the optional surround-view camera system to help out with parking maneuvers.
How’s the tech?
BMW's latest iDrive system is the most advanced yet, but it also comes with a steep learning curve. Helping you are its combination of menus, handwriting recognition, and voice and gesture control. Apple CarPlay compatibility is standard, but Android Auto isn't available. The X5's native navigation and voice commands work well.
Adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are excellent, but the operation of the active lane centering and auto high beams is only average. Auto parking and 3D surround-view mode are clunky to operate.
How’s the storage?
The X5 has a roomy cargo area and a useful power tailgate/liftgate system that's great for loading bulky cargo. The armrest bin can hold a few standard water bottles, and that's about it. There's a shallow but deep pocket with an induction charger in front of the shifter, but access to this area is restricted once you use the cupholders.
In standard configuration, the xDrive40i can tow up to 6,603 pounds. It can tow up to 7,200 pounds when equipped with an optional factory-installed hitch.
How economical is the X5?
The EPA-estimated fuel economy for the xDrive40i version we tested is 22 mpg in combined city/highway driving. On our 115-mile mixed driving evaluation route, we netted 21.3 mpg, which is average for the segment.
Is the X5 a good value?
The X5 is priced on the high side of the segment, and that's before loading it up with options and features. But we feel the build quality and capability to be worthy of the price. The durable leather, excellent use of soft-touch materials, tight gaps in all interior panels, and a general feeling of solidity have been consistent BMW hallmarks. It also comes with significant towing and hauling capability.
BMW gives new owners a four-year/50,000-mile basic and powertrain warranty, which is on par with the rest of the segment. There's also four years of roadside assistance, with no mileage limitation.
If you're looking for the ultimate all-rounder, the X5 is the SUV you should be looking at. It's expensive, and finding the perfect one may be hard due to the bevy of options and packages, but the X5 will do what you need it to. The base 40i versions will give you sufficient driving entertainment, and the high-horsepower xDrive50i and M50i will definitely raise your pulse even higher.
Which X5 does Edmunds recommend?
BMW X5 models
The 2020 BMW X5 is a midsize luxury SUV available in four trim levels: sDrive40i, xDrive40i, xDrive50i and M50i. The sDrive40i uses rear-wheel drive, and the remaining three models have standard all-wheel drive. All four use an eight-speed automatic transmission. Seating for five is standard, but you can order an optional third-row seat to boost passenger capacity to seven.
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Our experts’ favorite X5 safety features:
- Active Blind-Spot Detection
- Warns drivers when there are vehicles or objects in the vehicle's blind spots.
- Automatic Emergency Braking
- Automatically applies the brakes to avoid or lessen an imminent frontal collision.
- Two-Axle Air Suspension
- Keeps the X5 level when heavily loaded or towing, ensuring consistent handling and braking performance.
BMW X5 vs. the competition
2020 BMW X5
2020 BMW X3
BMW X5 vs. BMW X3
Let's say the X5's build quality and high-tech interior are appealing but you don't need all the space that this midsize SUV has to offer. A good alternative could be its smaller sibling, the X3. The X3 seats five passengers, and it can be had with much of the same optional equipment as the X5. As a bonus, you can splurge for the topped-out X3 M40i for around the same price as a base X5.
BMW X5 vs. Audi Q7
Larger and a bit more spacious than the X5, the Audi Q7 is a top pick in the luxury SUV class. Prices and equipment levels are similar to that of the X5, but the Q7 comes standard with a third row. (The X5 only gets a third row as an option, and it's bundled with the X5's optional air suspension.) If you're looking for a competent family hauler, make sure you test-drive a Q7.
BMW X5 vs. Audi Q5
Another smaller but entirely competent alternative to the X5 is the Audi Q5. Much like the X3, the Q5 offers smaller dimensions, lower prices, better fuel efficiency, and a similar range of high-tech and luxury-oriented options. The Q5 is only available with one engine, but you can upgrade to the sportier SQ5 if you want more power.
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Is the BMW X5 a good car?
What's new in the 2020 BMW X5?
According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2020 BMW X5:
- New V8-powered M50i model joins the lineup
- Part of the fourth X5 generation introduced for 2019
Is the BMW X5 reliable?
Is the 2020 BMW X5 a good car?
How much should I pay for a 2020 BMW X5?
The least-expensive 2020 BMW X5 is the 2020 BMW X5 M50i 4dr SUV AWD (4.4L 8cyl Turbo 8A). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $82,150.
Other versions include:
- M50i 4dr SUV AWD (4.4L 8cyl Turbo 8A) which starts at $82,150