The 2013 BMW X5 – An SUV For The Practically Minded


With its 3.0 litre engine and 254 bhp, the BMW X5 goes from 0-62 in 6.9 seconds and has a top speed of 142mph. As with previous incarnations, the third generation of the BMW X5 SUVs are more road focused – so much so that some of the models don’t even have four-wheel drive. All in all, it is still one of the more practical premium SUVs on the market and will appeal to those on a tighter budget – particularly those who have an eye on low CO2 emissions and better fuel economy.

More of a substantial update than a reinvention, this BMW version has stuck with the philosophy that off-road is less important than prestige, with a plusher interior and an attempt to reduce noise. The old favourites are still there such as the six-cylinder 3.0 litre diesels but BMW have added a 215bhp four-cylinder diesel to the range which has a CO2 emission of just 149g/km.
Across the BMW X5 range, the SUV has a much lighter and sturdier body, a more refined interior than its predecessor and a lot of new innovative features.

How does it drive?

At 18,000 rpm there’s enough oomph to impress and the automatic gear box is a model in slickness.

The engine isn’t as smooth as some of its more immediate competitors and there’s some pedal vibration when you accelerate. You get enough wind speed that you notice the noise at speeds over 70mph and the suspension can be uncomfortable on uneven roads.

There are some minor issues with the steering particularly in town centres where it can seem rather heavy. At faster speed the steering doesn’t seem to self-centre quickly enough.

Although there are some minor faults, the new BMW X5 is still remarkably agile for an SUV.

Inside the BMW X5

Although some may say that the BMW X5 lacks a little space in the back compared to other SUVs, even if you’re tall there’s still enough room to spread out and relax. Sitting in the driving seat you get good visibility through 360 degrees and the leather seats are supportive and comfortable enough for long drives. Inside, the new X5 feels a little classier than its predecessor and this SUV comes with the latest iDrive system and includes a satellite navigation system, DAB radioand a decent sized hard drive for music.
Entry-level SE models come with climate and cruise controls, front and rear parking sensors, automatic lights/wipers and xenon headlights. The top of the range M Sport comes in a sportier style with electric front seats and adaptive sports suspension.

Is it a good buy?

While there may be a few small issues around its handling and noise, the BMW X5’s lower CO2 emissions mean it provides a good saving for drivers, particularly if this is used as a company car. And, while not as refined as some of its competitors such as the Range Rover Sport TDV6, it is certainly a more cost effective buy at around £48,000.

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