This Is Why The BMW X5 Is Not A True SUV


Even BMW has a different name for it.

The BMW X5 is not new. Well, the current generation recently launched for 2015, but the X5 family itself dates back to 1999. Since then the luxury crossover/SUV market has boomed, and automakers are cashing in. For BMW's part, the X5 opened the path for an entire (and growing) lineup of "Sport Activity Vehicles," or SAVs. Take the X6, for instance. But is calling the X5 an SAV and not an SUV justifiable? In a word: yes and there are several reasons why. First off, the X5 is more for fun than actual off-roading.

Want the latter? There's the Toyota Land Cruiser or Nissan Armada, for example. This thing is wicked fast. Try a 0-60 mph time of 4.3 seconds. That's thanks to its twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 with a total of 445 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque.

Power is sent to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. The base X5 comes with rear-wheel-drive (optional AWD), but AWD is standard (and required) with that V8; there's just too much torque. The other differences and more are explored in our latest unboxing review. Special thanks to Niello-BMW Sacramento, part of the Niello Company, for letting us film the car.

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