• Love It or Leave It - The 2019 BMW X5

The good, the bad, and the ugly

In production since 2013, the third-generation BMW X5 entered its final year on the market in 2018. With production scheduled to end this year, the Germans launched the fourth-generation SUV. Redesigned on the group’s new CLAR platform, the G05 model boasts a new but familiar exterior and a more modern interior. As it is the case with redesigns, the X5 also gained a revised engine lineup and a wide array of new gear, including driver aids, a new suspension setup, and an off-road package.

Unfortunately, the new SUV also comes with a few downsides. We’ve already discussed the good and the bad at the office, and you can read our opinions below. Don’t forget to tell us what you think about the new X5 in the comments section.

Continue reading for the full story.


Love It or Leave It - The 2019 BMW X5
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The fourth-generation BMW X5 is a curious case as far as SUVs are concerned. It’s great that it’s finally here because it’s replacing a model that’s already gone long in the tooth. It’s also great that the SUV is bigger than its predecessor. It makes it more muscular than ever before.

I also like that Bimmer didn’t deviate too much into giving it a completely new look. I think that the smart aesthetic updates it made were done to give customers something fresh without completely alienating its core suburban base. The quality of the build is also typical of Bimmer, which is to say that the presentation is top-class. I can go on and on, but my point is that the new BMW X5 looks like a worthy update to the nameplate.

But I can’t get past the little Jedi mind trick that Bimmer is trying to do with it, specifically when it comes to its cargo space. For a car that’s supposedly bigger, it’s incredible that the X5’s cargo space somehow ended up being smaller than its predecessor. Heck, it’s smaller than the competition now. I don’t understand the rationale for doing it, though my theory that it was intentionally made this way for the X7 is something that I’m not going to be able to grasp for a while. I think BMW didn’t do itself any favors by taking this approach.

That said, I’ll still recommend the new X5, especially if it can still drive and handle like a boss even with the bigger load it’s carrying. I just wish that Bimmer gave it a straightforward update that we deserve instead of taking pieces away from it to accommodate its big brother in the SUV lineup.


Love It or Leave It - The 2019 BMW X5 Exterior
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Finally! A fourth generation for the Bavarians’ midsize crossover SUV. This is the machine that helped launch BMW into the luxury utility vehicle market, a segment that continues to pull down stupid sales numbers with a combination of comfort and practicality, and the X5 appears to once again bring both in droves.

From the off, it’s hard to find the updates in terms of aesthetics, but the harder you look, the more differences you’ll find. Really though, it’s the updates under the skin that matter the most. Stuff like a new platform and suspension bits should help to make the X5 more interesting behind the wheel, while that interior looks like a winner as well. The six-cylinder and eight-cylinder engine lineups are also solid, and I’m particularly interested to see what happens when the plug-in crashes the party in a few years.

All told, as long as gas prices remain low, BMW is gonna sell a lot of these things. Bet on it.


Love It or Leave It - The 2019 BMW X5
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I’m sorry, I can’t love an SUV. It’s an abstract idea for me, an enthusiast who doesn’t care much about bloated vehicles on stilts. If I want practicality, I’m getting a wagon. Sure, I could live with an SUV, but only as long as it’s a Jeep Wrangler or a Grand Wagoneer. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like certain aspects of the BMW X5.

The new design looks less boring, and the interior no longer makes want to poke my eyes out. The previous X5 felt dated inside the cabin from day one, and BMW finally managed to fix that. Probably the biggest reason to like the new X5 is that the Germans finally added some interesting off-terrain gear under the skin, like the limited-slip differential and the off-road package with four modes.

But BMW also managed to ruin one of the X5’s strongest selling points. While the previous SUV offered the most cargo room when compared to the Audi Q7 and the Mercedes-Benz GLE, the new X5 sees a significant decrease in this area, from 35.8 cubic feet to only 31.7. That’s about 11 percent less room when the second-row seats are up. Figures for the full trunk with the seats folded flat are not yet available, but it will probably decrease below 70 cubic feet, meaning it will slide below what the competition offers.

Making matters worst, global press information shows lower, even more ridiculous cargo room figures, including a maximum capacity of 65.7 pounds. Well, that’s probably a good reason to consider a station wagon instead of the X5.


The 2019 BMW X5's Electric Boot Cover is the Definition of Useless Technology
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Slow Motion 2019 X5 electric cargo cover

I have to admit that the new BMW X5 does look good. I like the larger grille and the rest of the front end too. The new fascia is great and I like that the stupid mini air dam below the grille is gone too. Even the taillights look 10 times better than on the outgoing model. The interior is good too – it comes with that digital instrument cluster as standard and that weird, tri-tier dash is essentially gone. I do have one big problem, though, and that’s all of the unnecessary technology BMW has managed to pull out of its ass. Granted, it’s all optional, but this pointless technology is starting to get ridiculous. First on my list is the heated and cooled cup holders. God forbid you beverage doesn’t stay at the optimal temperature for more than five minutes. Next, that panoramic roof. It’s cool and all, sure, but you know it’s going to come at a premium and with 15,000 graphic combinations who the hell is really going to see them all. You would literally have see a different layout every day for the next 41 years to see them all. Finally, what’s up with that electric boot cover. Has everyone gotten so lazy that they can pull the cover themselves or pop it out of place if they need to lay the seat down. What happens when that motor fails half-way in either direction. Did BMW think to put a crank in place? And, did it have anything to do with the significant drop in cargo room that BMW was hoping nobody noticed?

In the end, the X5 is a nice ride. And, I’d probably recommend it to the few people I know that put up with driving BMWs. But, all of that unnecessary technology and the drop in cargo room is a big smear on what would be an amazing SUV.

If you want to know more, check out our full review of the 2019 BMW X5

Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
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