2020 BMW X5

2020 BMW X5 Review: Top Of Its Game

by Morgan Carter

Now approaching the beginning of its third decade of existence, BMW's midsize SUV is still running at the head of the pack. With a choice of two engines, a 335-horsepower six-cylinder or a 456-hp V8, the SUV doesn't lack power. However, the new M50i model added for 2020 gives the range an even bigger boost with its 456-hp twin-turbo V8. It will get you around town as quickly as the Mercedes-Benz GLE or Audi Q7, but it isn't quite as luxurious as the Merc. Still, the X5 combines the strengths of each of its rivals into a single, well-rounded package. However, the BMW is a bit on the pricey side, and getting all the features you may want can see that price rocket even higher. You can't go wrong with the BMW X5, that's for sure, but you may be able to get a similar experience from a much cheaper midsize SUV. But if you have the cash, the German SUV is worth every penny.

Read in this review:

2020 BMW X5 Changes: πŸš™What’s the difference vs 2019 X5?

Fresh off a redesign for 2019, the BMW X5 remains unchanged mechanically for the new year. The lineup has been expanded with the addition of the rear-wheel-drive sDrive40i model and the high-performance 523-hp M50i xDrive. A few new features have been added as standard, too, including Comfort Access on the 40i models, while the 50i models receive a wireless charging pad and Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities.

Pros and Cons

  • Three potent engine options
  • Good road manners and athletic handling
  • Premium interior with quality materials
  • Long list of available features
  • Spacious cabin and trunk
  • Android Auto available later in 2020
  • Pricier than competitors, especially with extra options
  • Optional third-row seats are cramped
  • Apple CarPlay is subscription-based

X5 Exterior

The X5 sports the same good looks that it debuted at its release in 2019. The SUV is handsome in a reserved way, with the enlarged BMW dual-kidney grill taking up most of the front fascia, while wide adaptive LED headlights wrap around the corners of the hood. LED fog lights and daytime running lights are standard, and icon adaptive LED headlights with Laserlight are available, too. The midsize crossover rides on 19-inch wheels as standard, equipped with all-season tires. A panoramic sunroof is installed even on the base model, and a power liftgate makes loading cargo easier. The xLine styling option adds a faux bash-plate under the front bumper, two rocker panels, and a rear-bumper insert to give the SUV a more rugged appearance. The M Sport styling package, which comes standard on the M50i, adds larger 20-inch wheels, body-colored side sills, as well as unique sport-styled, body-colored front and rear bumpers.

2020 BMW X5 Front View BMW
2020 BMW X5 Rear View BMW
2020 BMW X5 Front Angle View BMW
See All 2020 BMW X5 Exterior Photos

Dimensions

While not as big as a large SUV like the X7, the BMW X5 still measures quite long at 194.3 inches, but the 117.1-inch wheelbase creates a spacious seating area inside the cabin. This is further complemented by the crossover's significant girth, standing 78.9 inches wide with mirrors included. It is also quite tall, even for an SUV, at 68.7 inches high. The lightest model weighs in at 4,758 lbs, while the heavier 50i passes the 2.5-ton mark, weighing in at 5,170 lbs. The top-tier M50i weighs in at a hefty 5,260 lbs.

Exterior Colors

A wide selection of colors is available on the luxury SUV, but you will have to pay extra for anything beyond the standard Alpine White and Jet Black solid paints. The basic metallics, which add $550 to the bill, comprise Carbon Black, Black Sapphire, Dark Graphite, Mineral White, Phytonic Blue, Arctic Grey, and Manhattan Green. These colors are unlocked gratis on the more expensive sDrive50i. However, regardless of the model, you will need to pay an additional $1,950 for the premium metallic palette, which includes Tanzanite Blue II and Ametrin. The M50i model has a more limited palette, with only Alpine White, Carbon Black, Black Sapphire, Mineral White, Phytonic Blue, and Arctic Grey coming standard, although it does have access to the premium metallic paints.

  • Black Sapphire Metallic
  • Mineral White Metallic
  • Phytonic Blue Metallic
  • Arctic Gray Metallic
  • Dark Graphite Metallic
  • Carbon Black Metallic
  • Manhattan Green Metallic
  • Tanzanite Blue II Metallic, Priority 1
  • Ametrin Metallic, Priority 1
  • Carbon Black Metallic, Build Out:08/15/19
  • Alpine White
  • Jet Black

X5 Performance

Even the standard X5 models are high performers, although the M performance range is more targeted at those seeking a real thrill from their SUV. The 40i models come equipped with a 335-hp twin-turbo inline-six-cylinder engine that can launch the hefty crossover past the 60 mph mark in a brisk 5.2 seconds. Opting for the all-wheel drivetrain over the standard rear-wheel-drive slows down acceleration by a fraction of a second to 5.3 seconds. The top speed for this powertrain is 130 mph, although can be lifted to a maximum of 151 mph.

Under the hood of the xDrive50i is a torquey V8 engine that develops 456 hp. Once again, the base max speed is 130 mph, with the possibility to lift it to 155 mph. Acceleration isn't inhibited, however, with the 50i making the 0 to 60 mph sprint in just 4.6 seconds. You can still upgrade to the M50i, however, which comes equipped with a re-tuned twin-turbo V8 that ups output to an incredible 523 hp. This top-of-the-range powertrain shaves yet another 0.5 seconds off of the acceleration time for a 0 to 60 mph sprint time of 4.1 seconds. With the correct equipment, every X5 model is capable of towing up to 7,200 lbs, only slightly less than the Audi Q7's 7,700 lbs.

2020 BMW X5 In Motion BMW
2020 BMW X5 In Motion 1 BMW
2020 BMW X5 Rear Badge BMW

Engine and Transmission

The standard powertrain on the BMW X5 is a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six engine that directs 335 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels, although an all-wheel drivetrain is offered on the xDrive40i. Despite the SUV's considerable bulk, this is more than enough power to get it around without much effort. It may take a little bit more effort to pass other drivers when already traveling at high speeds, but low- and mid-range power is more than sufficient, helping the BMW maintain its status as road royalty around town.

The xDrive50i receives a more potent 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 under its hood, which develops 456 hp and 479 lb-ft for all four wheels. Where the 40i might require a modicum of effort to pass some of the quicker cars on the road, the 50i blows past all but high-performance vehicles with ease. The same engine sits under the hood of the M Performance M50i, but it is re-tuned to deliver 523 hp and 553 lb-ft to all four wheels.

Regardless of the engine and drivetrain you choose, every X5 comes equipped with a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission that allows for manual shifting via the steering-wheel-mounted paddles. The combination of auto 'box and BMW six or eight-cylinder engines works flawlessly, with more than enough power on tap and gear shifts that border on telepathy.

  • Engines
    3.0-liter Turbo Inline-6 Gas, 4.4-liter Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
  • Transmission
    8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, RWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

The X5 has a lot of power under the hood, especially if you opt for the V8 engine. But converting all that raw power into a fun driving experience takes skill and experience that few can muster. BMW is one of the few manufacturers out there that can honestly make that claim. The midsize luxury SUV is a joy to drive, and not just because it is so plush inside.

The hefty crossover is remarkably well-behaved on the road. Stick it in Comfort, and you will barely feel the road beneath the tires as you cruise down the highway. However, if you want a bit more control than a cushy cloud floating down the road, then you can flip the switch to Sport. The stiffened suspension will deliver a more rugged ride, but that extra grit translates to better grip and improved handling.

That's not to say everything depends on the drive mode you select. The steering is weighty enough to feel good under your hands, but when you need the X5 to turn, it does so far more easily than you might expect. As is common with the SUV segment, the steering isn't particularly talkative, but there is enough confidence there to push the athletic crossover to its limits. The stronger brakes, sportier suspension and re-tuned differential on the M50i all help to give it an even more engaging driving experience.

While the BMW X5 will never be the sportiest SUV on the market, it makes up for it with comfort and great ride quality. Very little noise makes its way into the cabin, but it won't lull you to sleep with silence either.

X5 Gas Mileage

Despite the abundance of power on tap, the engines in the BMW X5 are surprisingly fuel-efficient. The standard 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder engine is naturally less thirsty than the more powerful V8, getting 21/26/23 mpg across the city/highway/combined cycles in its rear-wheel-drive guise. Swapping out the drivetrain for an all-wheel option sees these figures marginally decreased to 20/26/22 mpg. The six-cylinder engine is on par with the one found in the Mercedes-Benz GLE, which gets 19/24/21 mpg. The V8 engine sips more readily from the reserve, only managing 16/22/18 mpg regardless of its tune, which is more on par with the Audi Q7 with its 17/21/18 mpg. With a full 21.9-gallon tank, the most frugal X5 can cover up to 504 miles between gas station visits, but it does have a thirsty habit of sipping premium gasoline.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    21.9 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 21/26 mpg
* 2020 BMW X5 sDrive40i Sports Activity Vehicle

X5 Interior

The cabin of the luxury SUV suits its price tag, with plenty of high-quality materials present and multiple stylish trim options offered to complement the superior levels of comfort. The interior is spacious, although adding the optional third row of seats doesn't add a lot of functional extra seating room. There are plenty of tech features as standard, with a user-friendly and customizable iDrive infotainment system allowing multiple methods of control. And while the controls may seem cluttered around the dash, they are quite easy to interact with once you get the hang of it.

2020 BMW X5 Dashboard BMW
2020 BMW X5 Steering Wheel BMW
2020 BMW X5 Interior Lighting BMW
See All 2020 BMW X5 Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

The interior of the midsize SUV is spacious for up to five passengers, with plenty of room for adults in both rows. An optional third row can be installed, adding two additional seats, but it is too cramped for anything but small children. The standard seats are comfortable, but multi-contour seats are available on the 50i for extra support. An already commanding driving position is further complemented by 16-way power front seats and a power-adjustable steering column. Forward visibility is adequate, but rear blind-spots are problematic and you'll find yourself relying on the blind-spot camera and rear cross-traffic alert quite heavily. Ingress and egress are hampered by the deep-set seats, and the optional running boards don't do much to improve this.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater

Interior Colors and Materials

As standard, the 40i models are upholstered with Sensatec synthetic leather, available in combination Canberra Beige/Black, or plain Black. Also available on the 40i, and standard on the 50i, is Vernasca leather. This option shares several colors with the available Merino leather, including Ivory White, Black, and Coffee. Unique colors such as Cognac can be had in Vernasca trim, while an Ivory White and Night Blue option in Merino leather is particularly striking. A variety of wood and metal accent trims are offered, with examples including Aluminum Tetragon, Fineline Stripe Brown High Gloss Wood, and Individual Piano Black Finish. Regardless of the upholstery you choose, the cabin is well-built using only top-notch materials. The dash and door panels feature an abundance of soft-touch materials and each section melds seamlessly into the next.

X5 Trunk and Cargo Space

With the standard two rows of seats, the X5 supplies 33.9 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, placing it near the front of the segment. This is more than enough space for even a full day of shopping, easily swallowing up to 11 carry-on suitcases. The large opening created by the easy-to-operate power tailgate makes loading large items easy, and the suspension can be adjusted to lower the liftover height. If you still need more space, the rear seats can be lowered in a 40/20/40 split to free up 72.3 cubic feet of space.

Small-item storage around the cabin is adequate but unimpressive. The door pockets are average in length and width, while the center armrest cubby is somewhat small. There is a standard glove compartment and a deep bin in front of the shifter. Average-sized cupholders are offered in each row of seats.

2020 BMW X5 Trunk Space with Seat Folded BMW
2020 BMW X5 Side View BMW
2020 BMW X5 Side View 1 BMW

X5 Infotainment and Features

Features

As a luxury SUV, the BMW X5 comes well-equipped even at the base level. The sDrive40i and xDrive40i share the same feature list, which comprises dual-zone climate control, a 12.3-inch digital gauge display, keyless ignition, cruise control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a panoramic sunroof. The front seats are heated and feature 16-way power-adjustability with four-way lumbar, complementing the power-adjustable steering column. The standard Sensatec upholstery can be upgraded to genuine leather, while 20-way power ventilated front seats are available, along with heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel. The xDrive50i gets multi-contour front seats upholstered in leather as standard, along with quad-zone climate control. Active Driving Assistant is equipped on every X5 and comprises forward collision mitigation, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, active blind-spot detection, and rear cross-traffic alert. Front and rear park distance control is also standard across the range.

Infotainment

The X5 gets the latest in BMW's iDrive infotainment systems. Housed within a 12.3-inch touchscreen display, with a rotary controller if you prefer, the infotainment suite grants access to HD Radio, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and smart device interaction through the two USB ports. These features can be interacted with through the touchscreen, touchpad, or via voice command. Sound is played back through the standard ten-speaker audio system. Android Auto support is not offered currently, but BMW plans to add it as a standard features later in 2020. The 50i upgrades to a 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system and offers Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities. It also receives a wireless charging pad. Further available features include a CD player, SiriusXM, a 20-speaker Bowers & Wilkins sound system, and rear-seat touchscreens.

X5 Problems and Reliability

J.D. Power awards the luxury SUV a dependability score of 78 out of 100, but the X5 has received a few minor complaints and has been subject to two recalls in its current production cycle. The first recall was for the rearview camera monitor failing to display images, while the second was for the potential failure of the steering rack, which may increase the likelihood of a crash. The manufacturer offers a 50,000-mile/48-month limited warranty with new purchases, with a powertrain warranty valid for the same period. Unlimited roadside assistance is offered for the first 48 months of ownership.

X5 Safety

The NHTSA rates the BMW X5 at four stars for overall safety, while the IIHS gives the SUV a rating of Good in all six crash tests. The X5 was also awarded the IIHS' Top Safety Pick+ title for 2019 when equipped with specific headlights.

Key Safety Features

Standard features include ABS, stability and traction control, a rearview camera, automatic high beams, and six airbags: dual front, front side, and side curtain. Advanced features comprise front and rear sonar, and Active Driving Assistant, which includes pedestrian detection, forward collision mitigation, lane departure warning, active blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. Available features include front cross-traffic alert, an evasion assistant, a surround-view camera, a head-up display, parking assistant plus, and an extended traffic jam assistant.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2020 BMW X5 a good SUV?

BMW is not a renowned luxury brand for nothing, and the X5 is a fine example of the company's experience and skill brought to bear. While many rivals focus on a specific strength to stand out of the masses, BMW has taken a different approach by seeking to design an SUV that does it all well, if not perfectly.

The midsize luxury SUV lives up to its name, with a well-built interior, styled handsomely with some of the most upscale materials available. But a plush interior isn't all there is to a luxury SUV. It also has to perform, and the powerful powertrains on offer make sure it does just that, especially the potent twin-turbo V8. Add to this a pretty generous list of standard features, with even more available, and you have a recipe for success.

The current generation X5 is still quite new to the market, and it's benefiting from its recent redesign, pulling ahead of older rivals like the Audi Q7 in most areas. However, the Mercedes-Benz GLE has been redesigned for 2020, too. The rival German giant is neck-and-neck with BMW on every front, with an equally luxurious interior, excellent performance, and plenty of high-tech features. There is no doubt that the BMW X5 is an excellent car, and you won't likely regret the purchase. However, if money is an issue, you can save five grand on either of BMW's fellow German rivals without feeling a noticeable loss in value.

🚘What's the Price of the 2020 BMW X5?

While still pricier than most rivals in the luxury SUV segment, the BMW X5 can be picked up for less than $60k, if you don't mind the most basic model on offer. An unspecified sDrive40i will cost you $58,900, while the all-wheel-drive xDrive40i asks for $61,200. Getting behind the wheel of the more powerful xDrive50i will set you back a hefty $76,150, while the top-tier M50i asks for a substantial investment of $82,150 to gain access to its unparalleled power. You can expect to pay close to $100k if you want everything BMW offers on its midsize SUV. These prices are MSRP and don't include tax, registration, licensing, or the manufacturer's $995 destination charge.

2020 BMW X5 Models

The X5 is available in four trim levels: sDrive40i, xDrive40i, xDrive 50i, and the M50i. A 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine powers the 40i models, directing 335 hp and 330 lb-ft to either the rear or all four wheels. The 50i gets a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 that develops 456 hp and 479 lb-ft for all four wheels, while the same engine delivers 523 hp and 553 lb-ft in the M50i thanks to some re-tuning. Mated to either powertrain is an eight-speed automatic gearbox with manual shift paddles.

The sDrive40i rides on 19-inch wheels and comes equipped with adaptive LED headlights, LED fog lights, LED daytime running lights, and a panoramic sunroof. Features comprise dual-zone climate control, cruise control, keyless ignition, and 16-way power heated front seats. The Active Driving Assistant safety suite comprises forward collision mitigation, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. Two 12.3-inch displays are provided - one for the digital instrument gauges, and one for the infotainment. The latter controls the HD Radio, Bluetooth, and Apple CarPlay. The xDrive40i carries all the same equipment as the sDrive, but gets all-wheel-drive.

The xDrive50i adds to this with quad-zone climate control, leather upholstery, multi-contour ventilated front seats, and a 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system. The top-tier M50i buffs up its V8 engine to put out more ponies and installs improves handling with its adaptive M suspension, M Sport brakes, and an M Sport differential. It also gets unique 20-inch M star-spoke wheels and Shadowline exterior detailing.

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
sDrive40i
3.0-liter Turbo Inline-6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$58,900
xDrive40i
3.0-liter Turbo Inline-6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$61,200
xDrive50i
4.4-liter Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$76,150
M50i
4.4-liter Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$82,150
See All 2020 BMW X5 Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

BMW offers a variety of ways to customize your ride, with many of the available features bundled into packages. Available to the sDrive40i and xDrive40i, the Convenience Package ($1,050) adds quad-zone climate control, SiriusXM, a wireless charging pad, Wi-Fi hotspot capability, and upgraded USB and Bluetooth. The Premium Package adds all of the above, as well as remote engine start, gesture control, and a head-up display. It costs $2,300 on the 40i and $1,250 on the 50i. The Off-road Package ($3,950) is available to any all-wheel-drive model and installs two-axle air suspension, an M sport differential, and the xOffroad Package umbrella of features. The Driving Assistance Professional Package ($1,700) enhances the advanced driver-assistance features with partly automated driving and includes Traffic Jam Assist, Steering and Lane Control Assist, and Emergency Stop Assist.

πŸš—What BMW X5 Model Should I Buy?

If you want value for money, then there is little need to look beyond the sDrive40i. By skipping the upgrade to all-wheel-drive, you can keep costs below $60k without a significant impact on handling. You still get multiple drive modes to customize the ride quality and handling characteristics to suit your taste, as well as the extensive list of standard features that come with every X5. If you don't mind adding a little extra to the bill, then the Driving Assistance Professional Package is a nice add-on at $1,700, helping to relieve a lot of the everyday stress of driving so you can focus on the fun parts.

2020 BMW X5 Comparisons

Audi Q7 Audi
BMW X3 BMW

2020 BMW X5 vs Audi Q7

The Audi Q7 doesn't have quite as much power under the hood as the X5, topping out at 335 hp and 369 lb-ft and not offering a potent V8 engine, but it does more with the power it does have. Much like the BMW, the Q7 is a bulky SUV, but the third row of seats still feels squeezed in. As such, it offers less cargo space than its rival in any configuration. Passenger space is adequate but the X5 is roomier. The tech offering on the Audi favors infotainment, besting the BMW in that area, but it lacks advanced safety features as standard. The interior is upscale, but not quite as much as in the X5. But, where the Audi does handily beat its rival, is handling. The Q7 may not be as quick as the X5, but it is more agile. If you want a fun drive that is still moderately sensible, the Q7 will appeal to you, especially with its lower price tag. But the BMW is more practical and comfortable for basic town driving.

See Audi Q7 Review

2020 BMW X5 vs BMW X3

Take everything that makes the X5 so desirable and just shave a few inches off here and there, and you're left with the X3. In its non-performance guise, it's not nearly as strong, with a 248-hp four-cylinder engine, but it's also a lot smaller and lighter. Inside and out, the X3 is just as high-tech as its big brother. Naturally, the interior isn't quite as spacious, but it doesn't make accommodations for a potential third row, so it manages to be just as comfortable. You do lose a fair amount of cargo space, but 28.7 cubic feet is still plenty. If you don't really need the extra row of seats or the extra spacious trunk, then the X3 is better value for money, while still being quite fun to drive.

See BMW X3 Review

BMW X5 Popular Comparisons

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