2023 BMW X5

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2023 BMW X5 Review: Still Ticks So Many Boxes

In almost every BMW X5 review since the introduction of the E53 original in the '90s, the X5 has always gone straight to the top of the mid-size SUV class. The latest G05 X5 still manages to be most things to most people, and it strikes a remarkable balance between strong, efficient powertrains, relatively nimble handling, decent rough-road ability, and spacious practicality to maintain its status as a top contender for class honors. There is an X5 for everyone, whether you want an RWD 335-horsepower six-cylinder, a plug-in hybrid with a 30-mile all-electric range, or a 523-hp V8 performance model. With the excellent ZF 8-speed automatic as the dance partner for all these engines, the driving experience is both rewarding and refined.

The current model has been around for a while now, and while it does most things right, the competition is tough, with challenges mounted not only by traditional rivals Audi and Mercedes-Benz but also strong contenders in the form of the Porsche Cayenne and Genesis GV80. Of all the BMW X5 competitors, the latter two are the ones to keep an eye on, but continuous updates keep the X5 ticking over and offering BMW buyers what they want. It may not have the chic coupe profile of an X6, but the boxy body is immensely practical, offers an optional kids-only third row, and has more trunk space than the X6. It's still a consummate all-rounder.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 8 /10
  • Performance 9 /10
  • Fuel Economy 7 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 8 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 10 /10
  • Reliability 8 /10
  • Safety 10 /10
  • Value For Money 7 /10
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2023 BMW X5 Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2022 X5?

There aren't many changes to the new 2023 BMW X5 SUV. BMW's well-known SensaTec leatherette upholstery is replaced by a redesigned vegan leatherette called Sensafin, available in Silverstone, Black, Cognac, and Coffee hues. The Vernasca leather option has been dropped entirely. Gesture control for the iDrive infotainment system has been dropped from both the Executive and Premium packages, but the latter now gains wireless charging - a feature that was temporarily unavailable for the 2022 model year. Both these packages also gain a head-up display and for the first time, the head-up display is now being offered as a standalone option - but on the 45e and M50i trims only. The Arctic Grey exterior paint color has been discontinued. Last of all, the 2022-only Black Vermilion Edition is no longer available. The 2023 BMW X5 goes on sale in the USA at a base price of $61,425.

Pros and Cons

Powerful and efficient engines

User-friendly iDrive infotainment system

High-quality, premium finishes

Practical trunk space

Available third row

The V8 is getting expensive

The optional third row is for children only

A relative lack of interior storage spaces

Too many driver assists remain optional

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2023 BMW X5 Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
3.0L Turbo Inline-6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
3.0L Turbo Inline-6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
xDrive45e Plug-In Hybrid
3.0L Turbo Inline-6 Hybrid
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
4.4L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2023 BMW X5 Trims and Specs

2023 BMW X5 Handling and Driving Impressions

The X5 is no longer the default choice in this class for a sporty drive; this may have been the case in the past, but there is much more competition nowadays. The Porsche Cayenne - and arguably the Audi Q7 as well - now offer at least as much, and in some ways more, fun from behind the wheel, with more communicative steering than the X5, which has a rather numb tiller. It still handles well and holds on gamely if you throw it around, but Porsche and Audi rivals are nipping at its heels. When it comes to the important SUV duties of riding comfortably and trailering, things are also quite close between the aforementioned German rivals: The ride is absorbent and well-damped in the X5, and all models have a towing capacity of 7,200 pounds - the Cayenne has a 7,700-pound max while the Audi Q7 manages just 7,000 lbs.

The X5 doesn't offer a base four-cylinder engine like the Q7 and GLE do, starting off with a 335-hp inline-six. The 45e plug-in hybrid has a strong 389 hp on tap, and the top-performing M50i packs a potent 523-hp V8. All X5 models accelerate eagerly, thanks to standard launch control across the range.

Verdict: Is The 2023 BMW X5 A Good SUV?

The 2023 X5 is still an excellent car in its class, but it's no longer the best. Its engines are powerful, interior finishes are of high quality, and the SUV accommodates its passengers in comfort on any type of road. But there are rivals that do all of this and more. The Porsche Cayenne has all these bases covered and is sportier to pilot; the Genesis GV80 is not only a class act in terms of styling, quality, and performance, but it also costs less than an X5.

The lack of standard driver-assistance features counts against the X5, however, and on this score, it can't hold a candle to the generously equipped Genesis. There is also no base four-cylinder at a more affordable price - not that we're complaining about the selection on offer, as they're all excellent. The BMW X5 hybrid is a proper PHEV too, with a decent electric range, but it's the range-topping V8 model that provides truly thundering performance - albeit a price. Still, it's hard not to gravitate toward the X5.

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