Joel Helmes reviews the 2014 BMW X5 30d.
The BMW X range has been a tremendous success and the previous model X5 found more than its fair share of Australian owners.
The new model is here and as far as I can tell there’s no reason why the model won’t continue to be a popular choice.
The X5 range starts at $82,900 and that gets you into the 2.0 litre turbo diesel four-cylinder variant, there’s also six-cylinder turbo petrol and V8 versions as well.
Then there’s the 3.0 litre turbo diesel six as found in the BMW X5 30d. Priced from $99,900, the 30d offers a tremendous mix of luxury, fuel efficiency and get-up-and-go.
The engine delivers a healthy 190kW and 560Nm and drives all four wheels via an eight speed automatic transmission.
Weighing in at just under two tonnes, the diesel engine has little trouble moving the five-seat SUV either from a standing start or at speed. Sports mode in particular is just a smile on your face delight.
To match the raw power, delivered as smoothly as you would expect from a BMW, the handling and grip the X5 exhibits is just remarkable.
But it’s not all edge of the seat thrills, pop the X5 into comfort or eco mode and it will gracefully glide around quietly and efficiently, very efficiently!
The claimed combined diesel use is 6.2L/100km! I averaged 8.4L/100kms in a week of predominantly city driving (using sports mode around 50% of the time), that’s extraordinary.
The fuel consumption is helped by an engine start/stop system that, thankfully doesn’t exhibit the same annoyance common in “more affordable” models sold by other manufacturers – the air-conditioning doesn’t lose its chill when the engines off!
Goes great, handles well, the brakes and steering are remarkable too! The ride though, even in comfort mode, is probably not quite as smooth as you might expect.
What’s it like in the cabin? Well, the X5 is pretty close to perfect.
But, as you might expect, if you go anywhere near the optional extras list be prepared to pay, and pay heaps! The X5 I had was optioned with lane change warning ($1,400), electric glass panoramic roof ($3,700) and the Harman/Kardon 16 speaker sound system ($1,500).
Then you can add any number of extras including a heated steering wheel, heated seats, night-vision screen, metallic paint etc. etc. and it doesn’t take long for the below $100,000 starting price to really blow-out!
One extra that the X5 I tested had that won’t cost you any extra though is the wood grain highlights.
Aside from the extras list the new X5 offers tremendous visibility from the driver’s seat, excellent front and rear legroom, adequate storage areas and a deceptively large cargo area (accessed via an electric tail-gate).
Need I say the seats are comfortable? Or that the cabin exhibits levels of fit and finish that you would expect in a six-figure BMW? I will sum the cabin up as essentially flawless.
But, alas, the new X5 isn’t flawless – I was frustrated to note that it doesn’t come with key proximity unlocking, that means you need to press the unlock button on the remote each time you return to the vehicle.
The new BMW X5 is built in the United States and no it doesn’t yet have a safety rating.
Summing it up – the diesel engine in the X5 30d is the main highlight. The transmission, grip, handling, cabin space and quality feel add to the experience.
The styling isn’t as nice as the previous model though, the ride was a touch disappointing too and when pushing $100,000 I’m expecting a couple of the optional extras to be standard. These issues all serve to take a little of the gloss off what is otherwise quite a remarkably good vehicle.
NUTS and BOLTS
Engine: 3.0 litre turbo diesel producing 190kW and 560Nm
Transmission: Eight speed automatic
Safety: Not tested
Warranty: Three years
Origin: United States
Price: X5 30d from $99,900
For further information, please see Recalls and faults: BMW F15 X5.