BMW X5 - The Boss
When the BMW X5 M50d accelerates over two tonnes to 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds, it feels like a minor sensation – but the real appeal of the new BMW X5 M50d lies elsewhere.
Four Generations of BMW X5
BMW X5 (E53)
The first X5 with the designation E53 rolled off the production line from 1999 to 2006. It was instead a novelty to produce such a big car, and all major German car manufacturers jumped on the SUV trend. The top model at the time was the 4.8is with 360 HP. Hence, the Bimmer accelerated 0-100 km/h in 6.1 seconds, delivered in 2004. There were also many critics regarding SUVs.
BMW X5 (E70)
The BMW E70 was our first X5. The X5 became the SAV, although this designation could never really assert itself against SUV. The craft of the E70 was much better than that of its predecessor. At that time, we drove the earlier version of the top model 4.8i, which had 355 HP. However, the fuel consumption was considerable, so we replaced this car with the F15 at the sales start.
BMW X5 (F15)
The design of the F15 was and still is a knockout. The rearview was massive, and with the kidney, which was later available in black, it was simply evil. Back then, at the start of sales in 2013, we opted for the M50d engine with 381 bhp and 740 maximum torque because the torque of this engine is so convincing that we, as a long-time petrol engine, suddenly switched to diesel. Often with the predecessors of BMW, the electronics components were a problem zone that we could not witness with this model. Moreover, the car was great fun, but at some point, the kidney started to look small compared to the new model.
BMW X5 (G05)
The current model has again managed to offer even more driving pleasure. The model was on the market from 2018, and the car is still growing in size.
To summarise, the BMW X5 M50d is among the Diesel-SUV leaders, and the petrol M-model is among the leaders overall in terms of performance. However, the promise of sport can seldom be exploited, and often you are stuck with it on holiday or rush hour traffic. But even stop-and-go is fun, and you have the opportunity to use all the functions of BMW Assistant Plus. Hence, in Comfort mode, the well-insulated three-litre six-cylinder engine barely audibly works its way into the distance. The vehicle reacts sensitively to commands from the accelerator. The car is certainly not a sedan with the M Chassis Professional, but that has never been our wish. We want it to be hard and feel any feedback from the ground. Otherwise, we would have taken the 30d.
Adaptive BMW M Chassis Professional
With the adaptive M Chassis Professional, the choice is yours. Then the BMW X5 M50d has full sports equipment with active roll stabilisation, which uses electric actuators to reduce lateral inclination, especially when cornering rapidly.
Integral Active Steering
Besides, for the first time in an X-model, there is integral active steering. The rear wheels steer in the same direction or the opposite direction to the front wheels, depending on the driving situation, thus noticeably promoting agility. The M sports differential on the rear axle rounds off the dynamics package. It prevents the inevitable loss of traction when accelerating out of tight bends, given the 760 Newton metres of torque.
First Drive - BMW X5 M50d G05
With expectant vigour, the M50d tightens the side bolsters of the superb comfort seats. The Bimmer changes the graphics of the digital instrumentation and suddenly hisses out of the engine compartment with much more presence, supported by the subtle bubbling of the sports exhaust system, which now penetrates somewhere far back through the interior insulation. As willingly as the BMW M50d had previously resigned itself to the rigid Swiss speed limits, the 400 hp now nervously demands freedom under sharper gas pedal recognition.
More comfortable SUV
The excellent steering system follows the curve precisely. The 4.9-metre long M50d has a light-footed, compact appearance thanks to its self-steering rear wheels. However, it must be added that the rear wheels, in particular, caused us some trouble at the beginning. The turning circle feels tighter, although it is only 10 centimetres smaller than the previous model. Nevertheless, you feel as if you need less space when entering a 45-degree driveway.
The alert four-wheel drive distributes the torque in close cooperation with the limited-slip differential to the rear wheels and effectively eliminates the urge to understeer.
The accustomed impeccable eight-speed Sport-Steptronic also plays its part in the dynamic driving experience. When braking, the transmission shifts precisely and in fractions of a second into the appropriate gear, always ready for an enormous possible horsepower punch – and without nervously holding the revs when you change your mind about the next acceleration attempt.
M50d - More Power than expected
Our first M50d had three turbos and 380 HP. That’s right, once upon a time. The current M50d has a 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder engine with four exhaust gas turbochargers, which produces 400 hp and 760 Newton metres of maximum torque, available from 2,000 rpm.
But even before that, basically, directly above idling speed, several hundred brave newton metres already ensure a dominant start at all times. But let’s start from the beginning.
The engine wakes up almost without any acoustic background music in the interior. Extremely quiet and completely free of vibration, you wonder at first whether the pressure on the start button has had any effect at all. But a glance at the rev counter proves the impression wrong.
The excellent insulation to the engine compartment is one thing. But on gravel roads, you can hear the stones in the wheel arches.
Fire up the engine
Let’s go, gear up to D with the gear knob and off the brake – onto the gas. The propulsion is sturdy but robust. Only the speedometer reminds you that you are already going too fast again. The jerk-free gear changes of the impeccable Steptronic let the upper-class flair come to life. But what about the “M”, the letter of strength, the performance of BMW?
So let’s put our foot on the gas pedal. In no time at all, the command is transformed into propulsion and presses us into the seats. Powerful, furious, but never silent or without said comfort. This is exemplary, but we wanted to unleash the “M”?
Switch it into Sport Mode
So you can quickly select the driving mode and switch to the Sport-Plus program. The large central screen now shows “Pronounced dynamic tuning”. We try it immediately – more in the reflex – suck in a deep breath because the pike jumps that the X5 now makes forward lets everything fall into oblivion.
The BMW X5 M50d now reacts energetically to even the smallest of throttle commands and suddenly also makes itself heard in the sound. Incidentally, the start/stop function remains inactive in the Sport modes, which makes sense.
The 8-speed Steptronic changes its character and keeps the three-litre engine in aggressive standby mode even in overrun, making you forget the weight of the BMW X5. Manual shifting through shift paddles on the steering wheel takes place briskly but not entirely without delay. The automatic gear selection of the Steptronic, which can undoubtedly be described as perfect, makes up for this.
In any case, the drive is a force, that’s for sure. And it is one hundred per cent BMW-M-compliant. So it is! The sprint from a standing start to 100 km/h is over in just over five seconds. The vehicle reaches a top speed of 250 km/h.
New BMW Double Kidney XXL
The latest BMW X5 is a massive SUV and has grown again. But despite all its dimensions, it retains a great deal of elegance. This elegance comes mainly thanks to its many well-managed edges and lines. The Artikgrey-Metallic is an absolute top colour, which appears very dark depending on the sunlight and still does not look like a black bomber. Especially the combination Shadowline with black kidney and tailpipes are a very sporty variant.
At the front, the enormous double kidney now dominates unmistakably. While it certainly creates polarising impressions on the 7-series luxury-class saloon, on the large SUV – Pardon, SAV – it does not appear so massive, but rather clearly more integrated, even harmonious, and certainly underlines the already extroverted appearance.
BMW M50d - M Package included
The distinctive M front skirt gives the Bavarian a free-breathing appearance even when stationary. Also, it suits him exceptionally well, as it allows a lot of dynamism to flow into the design. No less dynamic is promised by the side view, where strictly guided edges make the body rise towards the rear. Powerful M wheels in 21-inch with blue brake callipers of the M sports brake system behind confirm the special status of this M model. We have opted for the optional 22-inch wheels, which underline the vehicle’s massive character.
What suits the BMW X5 M50d in every respect is its outstanding M sports brake, which offers not only flawless stability but also the highest dosage.
Top-of-the-line materials wherever you look.
The two displays in the cockpit are massive and show a lot of data – if you want to. And, what only the driver knows, with the pompous head-up display there is a third display that shows speed and rod guidance but is almost invisible.
The head-up display in the BMW X5 turned out to be the benchmark. The outstanding readability alone, thanks to its razor-sharp resolution and intensive colour contrasts, is something you will look for in vain elsewhere. Added to this is a high degree of individualisation, and the wealth of information that can be displayed is exemplary.
The Harman/Kardon sound system proves to be the right choice again. The Bowers & Wilkins sound system may be the better choice for individual styles of music, but with our music list it’s predominantly deep bass that’s needed, so the extra charge was a little too high for us.
Driving Assistant Professional Plus - The Copilot
With a significantly expanded range of driver assistance systems compared to the previous model, the new BMW X5 offers a targeted increase in safety and comfort. The new systems process camera images as well as data collected by radar sensors and enable even more intensive support for the driver in various situations. As components of the BMW Personal Co-Pilot, they mark further progress on the road to automated driving.
The optional Driving Assistant Professional comprises the steering and lane guidance assistant including congestion assistant and the lane-keeping assistant with active side collision protection. On motorways and other roads with structurally separated lanes, the lane change assistant can be used when the steering and lane guidance assistant is active.
And in consumption? No reason to chew your lower lip nervously. In this chapter, the powerful diesel was a convincing choice. Despite its seemingly endless power reserves, it handled the light oil reservoir in the form of an 80-litre tank very carefully. In the one-third mix, the BMW X5 M50d consumed just 8.5 litres per 100 kilometres after we unwound a few kilometres.
The optional Driving Assistant Professional comprises the steering and lane guidance assistant, including congestion assistant and the lane-keeping assistant with active side collision protection. On motorways and other roads with structurally separated lanes, the lane change assistant can be used when the steering and lane guidance assistant is active.
The standard equipment of the new BMW X5 includes cruise control with brake function and collision and personal warning with City Brake function, which now also indicates detected cyclists. The optional cruise control with Stop & Go feature can break the vehicle to a standstill and automatically restart it. To increase comfort in heavy traffic, the time between stop and automatic restart is extended to up to 30 seconds. Also, the system can include speed limits registered by the Speed Limit Info traffic sign recognition system with a no-overtaking display in the automatic cruise control system with deviations of up to 15 km/h.
BMW extended the range of functions, and numerous other assistance systems that support the driver when parking has also been further developed. The new BMW X5 is equipped as standard with Park Distance Control (PDC) with sensors at the front and rear of the vehicle.
The Parking Assistant in the new BMW X5 enables automatic selection and use of parking spaces arranged parallel to the road. They are detected by ultrasound sensors while driving past. To activate them, press the corresponding button on the centre console. The system then performs acceleration, braking, steering and shifting manoeuvres.
Further progress on the way to automated driving is being made with the reversing assistant. It offers a form of support for parking or manoeuvring in confined spaces unique in the automotive sector to date. The reversing assistant takes over the steering tasks during manoeuvres in which the last distance driven forward is completed in the opposite direction. This allows the driver to reverse the new BMW X5 in a particularly convenient way. The Bimmer does it over a distance of up to 50 metres.
It would blow up our blog if we were to go into widgets and the many other features like gyroscopic entrances. Just write to us, and we will be happy to answer any questions.
Cross Traffic Warning
The cross-traffic warning reduces the risk of collision when manoeuvring forwards and backwards in the direction of hard to see roadways. Besides, the rear collision warning, the right-of-way and wrong turn warning, as well as the lane change warning, are included in the Driving Assistant Professional. The latest version of the Lane Departure Warning now also consists of an active steering impulse to return the vehicle to the desired lane.
The BMW X5 M50d G05 is not just an off-road vehicle with an absurdly powerful diesel engine that we are allowed to try out here in the legal sector and on public roads more than lives up to the performance demands that can now be placed on a Sports Utility Vehicle. The powerful engine, the high-speed transmission, and the high-tech suspension components combine to offer genuine M Sport at a touch of a button and impressive everyday comfort.
But what we would like is a synchronous Ambilight – that is, if you drive in Eco-Pro mode, it should glow blue, in Comfort white and Sport mode red. So the passenger knows what to expect.
We are pleased to mention our trusted BMW dealer in the Zurich area.
Important News: The BMW in-line six-cylinder diesel engine equipped with four turbochargers is a technical monument. In Europe, it will be discontinued at the end of 2020. Sad.