The BMW X5 is a luxury midsize SUV and BMW’s first entry into the luxury SUV segment. Initially introduced for the 2000 model year, the X5 is offered with rear- or all-wheel drive. The X5 was originally based on the chassis underpinning the BMW 5 Series, though later models share a platform with the BMW X6.

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2014 to Present: BMW X5

The third-generation BMW X5 made its debut in 2014. Its dimensions were unchanged from the second-generation model. The X5 offers up to three rows of seating, with room for as many as seven people.

BMW offers the X5 in four model lines: sDrive35i, xDrive35i, xDrive35d, and xDrive50i. Shoppers desiring a sportier model might consider the BMW X6. The X5 sDrive35i is the only model with rear-wheel drive. All other models are all-wheel drive.

The BMW X5 sDrive35i and xDrive35i models come with a turbocharged six-cylinder engine making 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. X5 xDrive35d models feature a turbodiesel 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine rated at 255 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. The xDrive50i is a special model, outfitted with a turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 rated at 445 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque. All three engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Fuel economy ranges from 14/19 mpg city/highway for the V8 to 24/31 mpg city/highway for the diesel. The standard six-cylinder model is EPA-rated at 19/27 mpg city/highway.

The BMW X5 upholds the brand’s styling characteristics with its strong fascia marked by its trademark twin-kidney grille. Each model comes with dual circular headlamp assemblies accented by LED daytime running lights. A sporty lower grille opening is offset by scalloped embrasures.

Each model has distinct upper and lower profile character lines, a straight beltline and a gradually arching roofline. At the rear is a tailgate spoiler, wraparound tail lamps and dual exhaust tips. Each model comes with front and rear kick plates and alloy wheels.

The BMW X5 offers standard room for five. An available third-row seat improves seating capacity to seven, but takes away from storage space. All models come with power-adjustable front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, a USB port, navigation, front and rear parking sensors, a sunroof and a power liftgate.

Model upgrades bring in full LED lights with automatic high beams, a head-up display, heated and ventilated front, a heated steering wheel and various safety features.

The BMW X5 competes with the Acura MDX, Audi Q7, Lexus RX, Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class, Infiniti QX70, Volvo XC90 and Lincoln MKX.

Earlier BMW X5 Models

The first generation BMW X5 was produced from 2000 to 2006. The second generation model was on the market from 2007 to 2013.

The original model was powered by a 4.4-liter V8 engine that’s paired with a five-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. A 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine became standard starting with the 2001 model year. An available 4.6-liter V8 was introduced for 2002, while a reworked 4.4-liter V8 and a six-speed automatic transmission were introduced for the 2004 model year.

The second generation model continued with the standard six-cylinder and the larger V8 gasoline engines, adding a turbodiesel six-cylinder option in 2009. In 2011, a refreshed X5 was released with a standard turbocharged six-cylinder engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. A twin-turbo V8 took over as the largest engine.