Editor: Jason “The Bok” Date – 09 July 2019

From way back before other large luxury automakers were even in the game, BMW were writing their very own luxury SUV success story with the X5 model. Now in its fourth-generation, its smarter, more luxurious and more sophisticated than ever before. We spent some time enjoying what is arguably a 7-Series BMW on stilts.


The BMW X5 story spans back 20-years when the German luxury automaker first gave the world its X5 model. Since then more than 2.2-million have sold globally and this is a testament to consumers appetite for the brands premium-built family SUV. In around its 20-year lifecycle, BMW has given us two other generations after the first one was introduced, and we are now here with the fourth one.

From the get-go, this new X5 showcases BMW’s modern trend towards large kidney grills and sharp angles. It was, in fact, this very model, that begin the luxury automakers trend towards its progress and modern futuristic design language that we are seeing filter throughout the product line-up. The interior space within the X5 resembles many elements of the luxury 7-series both in design and build quality.

Luxury Appointment

I can go on and on and on about this! I know that an X7 exists, which could probably be further likened to the “boss image” 7-Series BMW, however, I cannot go on without describing the levels of luxury, build quality and technology within this all-new X5.

From the large front displays of over 12-inches each adorning the dash line to leather-wrapped everything, the X5 is built premium. Multimedia is delivered courtesy of BMW’s Connected Drive Services 7.0 with everything from voice-based to gesture-based control.

So advanced is the new X5, that it will even reverse itself as much as 50-meters out of a tight parking space and utilise level two semi-autonomous driving on-demand should this be your requirement. Smart driver tech leads to what is simply a well-insulated cabin with options such as world-class 16 speaker Harman Kardon sound system on offer. As is a custom with the X5 model, space is of abundance with this new model featuring a 2-section tailgate, which can be operated automatically and hands-free. Load space is claimed at 645 litres, expanding to 1 860 litres with the 40:20:40 split rear seats folded down.

The new X5 is equipped with BMW’s Active Driving Assistant with Blind Spot Detection, Lane Departure Warning, Rear Collision Warning, Frontal Collision Warning and Pedestrian Warning with City Collision Mitigation System, Cross-Traffic Alert (rear) and Speed Limit Information. All information is also further displayed through the HUD. 

Dynamic Power

You can have an X5 with BMW’s  6-cylinder, 3.0-litre turbodiesel 30d engine, or as I spent time exploring the sampling epic X5 M50d. The M50d motor pushes out a simply colossal 294 kW and 760 Nm, with as much as half the torque being available from under 1500 rpm.

Advanced engine geometry and Bavarian engineering all make for what is a simply mind-boggling quad-turbo engine arrangement. The result two low-pressure turbochargers to get you moving and two high-pressure turbochargers for when they are required, or put simply 0 to 100 kph in 5.2 seconds, a top speed of 250 kph and a claimed combined average fuel economy figure of just 7.2 L/100km for this derivative.

With all power being sent through a very smooth to the shift 8-speed automatic transmission.

Conclusion & SA Pricing

The BMW X5 M50d is a simply epic thing. Packed with the very best in automotive luxury, technology, safety and prowess, it continues to write BMW’s dynamic family SUV success story and showcase limousine levels of ride quality and appointment in and ever so handsome package.

The X5 M50d is priced from R1,502,582 and of course, there is a lengthy list of options available to make your X5 unique to your own individual style and budget. Setting its sights very high, the X5 competes against the likes of the Range Rover Sport Diesel and Porsche Cayenne and offers a true sense of sporting dynamism to the large luxury SUV market space.

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