To drive a BMW X5 is like a dream come true. A superlative engine. A delight in ride comfort. Roadholding well beyond conventional passenger car standards. And a certain X-factor prevalent when pulling up at the lights. The BMW X5 xDrive 35d has it all. That might be enough, and I could stop there. But allow me to expand a little.
The X5 is large vehicle. When I bowled up to it, the impression of bulk certainly hit me. The beauty of the beast is in the way the big lines are delicately concealed in a roomy seven-seater SUV design that combines elegance and aggression. Its curvaceous and smooth exterior boasts a good looking body. The car’s exquisite build quality is very evident in the perfect fit and finish of the exterior panelling.
Most definitely, the all new BMW X5 xDrive 35d is in keeping with the X5’s already established reputation for sporty car-like handling. The taut spring and damper settings for improved body control and reduced body roll, along with 19-inch Star-Spoke alloy wheels shod with high-performance Michelin 4×4 Diamaris tyres (255/50 front; 285/45 rear), means that when pushed hard in cornering the big machine copes masterfully with any high speed change in direction. Effortless motorway cruising in sublime luxury is what you can expect! What is evident in the BMW X5 xDrive 35d is the incredible high level of torque from absurdly low engine revs. The car is therefore well made for towing heavy loads – if that is what you need. The maximum engine torque, of 580 Nm, kicks in at only 1750 rpm. A 0-100 km/h time of seven seconds is impressive on its own, but add a 235 km/h top speed and the BMW X5 xDrive 35d is truly a very swift performer that can “kick plenty of butt”.
Inside the BMW X5 xDrive 35d’s attractive interior is a faithful reflection of its well-dressed exterior. Once you’ve settled inside, after shutting the sturdy door, you’ll find enough space and grace to match more than a few luxury cars put together. Shapely leather-clad electric seats offer the front occupants superb long-distance comfort. In the rear there is ample space for another five adults. The third row of seats is slightly tighter for leg space, but the middle row is exceptionally roomy. Rear passengers get their own dedicated air vents, an AV socket, TV control, cup holders and good lighting. The cabin is of very high build quality and boasts an ultra-organised, multi-tiered dash layout that places all the switchgear exactly where you need it. I enjoyed the four traditional white-on-black dials set inside a black binnacle. One feature, the gear selection display, is very readable and makes for a very user friendly driving experience. BMW always put a lot of thought into their cars, and so you will find plenty of thoughtful touches scattered about the vehicle. Such things like puddle lights concealed below the door mirrors, non-slip alloy side steps, a recharge-able torch in the large glovebox, an electric tailgate release, a powered wash/wipe cycle that really cleans the screen, a handy memo facility (a function of the on-board computer) and the useful two-level air vents at each end of the dash all make the driving experience one of the very best. There are lots of storage areas including very large door bins in the front, the concertina-lidded cubby-hole alongside the selector lever (which is behind the hazard and master central locking switch), and the air-conditioned two-tier lidded central armrest storage space. The SatNav screen is well positioned. It is located below the principal air vents in the central fascia and displays navigational directions with maps, on-board computer information, and telephone data. Luxury items are plentiful and include: a Sports multifunction steering wheel (audio/telephone/voice control and cruise control), electric steering column with an automatic easy entry function, MP3-compatible CD/ radio with six speakers, auto lights and wipers, an on-board trip-computer, electrically operated and heated door mirrors, headlight power wash, cruise control, tyre puncture warning system, park distance control (front and rear), auto-dim rear-view mirror with a compass, automatic dual zone air conditioning, four one-shot electric windows, tinted glass and 3-memory function (driver’s seat, steering wheel and mirror positions), and the list goes on.
Holidays are a relaxed deal, and are made easy with a boot that generously accommodates copious levels of luggage. A sturdy drop-down lower door extends the floor some 15 inches for piling in the heavier stuff or for just sitting on. With the 60:40 split rear seats up, there’s 465 litres of boot space. Release one catch, and they fold forward to free up 1550 litres of luggage space.
How about off-roading ability? Underpinning the BMW X5 xDrive 35d is the all-terrain ability BMW xDrive – an ‘intelligent’ state-of-the-art four-wheel drive system first seen on the recently-introduced X3. XDrive ensures that drive forces are always delivered to the axle that needs it the most. A centrally mounted, electronically-activated, multi-plate clutch distributes power between axles and combines BMW’s Dynamic Stability Control system to regulate power to individual wheels. Responding instantly, xDrive is far quicker than more conventional four-wheel drive systems that require the build up of hydraulic pressure before they can change drive distribution. The xDrive system uses DSC, which delivers a wealth of vehicle data including individual wheel speed, steering angle, lateral acceleration and yaw rates into a microprocessor that constantly monitors this information and responds instantly when predicted traction loss occurs so that the drive is transferred to the appropriate wheel for optimum grip. Two additional features of DSC further enhance your BMW X5 xDrive 35d dynamic safety. The first is Trailer Stability Control, which uses yaw sensor data, applying brakes and reducing engine power if undue pendulum movement is detected in a trailer attachment. The second is Hill Descent Control — part of all X5’s standard equipment. The second feature improves off-road control by allowing drivers to travel smoothly and safely down the steepest of greasy, unstable gradients. HDC will automatically control your speed.
‘Safety first’ could well apply to the X5, because F.I.R.S.T (Fully Integrated Road Safety Technology) incorporates all of BMW’s active and passive safety systems into one impressive unit. The BMW X5 xDrive 35d boasts ten airbags, and this is part of the reason why the X5 was awarded a five-star Euro NCAP rating.
For a superlative drive, look no further.
The current model series includes the:
For any more information on the BMW X5 xDrive 35d, or for that matter any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quote requests out to our national network of BMW dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!
Back to BMW Car Reviews