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2014 BMW X5 is Lighter, Faster, and More Autonomous Than Ever

2014 BMW X5 is Lighter, Faster, and More Autonomous Than Ever

By Jeff Youngs, May 31, 2013
Continuing a trend toward lighter and more fuel-efficient vehicles, the redesigned 2014 BMW X5 sheds up to 230 pounds and gains new mileage-enhancing technology, while adding more standard equipment and available information, entertainment, and safety features. Four versions of the new 2014 BMW X5 will be offered, each available in standard, Luxury Line, xLine, and M Sport trim levels.

The X5 sDrive35i is a new rear-wheel-drive (RWD) version equipped with a turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine delivering 300 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 300 lb.-ft. of torque between 1,200 and 5,000 rpm. The X5 xDrive35i has all-wheel drive, and BMW says this model accelerates to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds.

The BMW X5 xDrive35d is equipped with standard all-wheel drive (AWD) and a new turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder diesel engine. BMW promises that this new diesel supplies "abundant torque" combined with "significant improvements in efficiency." The 2014 X5 xDrive35d generates 255 horsepower and 413 lb.-ft. of torque between 1,500 rpm and 3,000 rpm. Acceleration to 60 mph takes less than 6.9 seconds, according to BMW.

The BMW X5 xDrive50i has a more powerful twin-turbocharged, 4.4-liter V-8 engine producing 445 horsepower from 5,500 rpm to 6,000 rpm and 480 lb.-ft. of torque between 2,000 rpm and 4,500 rpm. Compared with the 2013 BMW X5, those figures represent increases of 45 horsepower and 30 lb.-ft. of torque, respectively, and contribute to a near half-second improvement in the AWD SUV's ability to accelerate to 60 mph (4.9 seconds). Not only is the X5 xDrive50i more powerful and faster than the model it replaces, BMW says it will provide "significant efficiency gains."

All three engines work with an 8-speed automatic transmission, and all three engines include BMW EfficientDynamics and BMW Driving Dynamics Control. The EfficientDynamics system includes automatic start/stop for the engine, electric steering, brake-energy regeneration, and other fuel-saving measures. Driving Dynamics Control supplies driver-selected Comfort, Sport, Sport+, and Eco Pro driving modes that calibrate the powertrain, steering effort levels and, when properly equipped, suspension settings.

In Eco Pro mode, throttle response, transmission shifts, and other variables are optimized to increase fuel economy, BMW says. A coasting function decouples the engine from the powertrain when the driver lifts their foot off of the accelerator pedal but does not activate the brakes, effectively eliminating engine braking and, as a result, allowing the X5 to maintain more speed for a longer period of time when the SUV is coasting. Additionally, the X5 offers Eco Pro navigation routing with a Proactive Driving Assistant that tells the driver exactly when to ease off the gas to conserve the most fuel.

The new 2014 BMW X5 is offered with an optional 8-speed Sport Automatic transmission equipped with paddle shifters and launch control, and optional active steering that reduces effort and steering input requirements at low speed while increasing steering feel and feedback at high speed. The X5's optional Dynamic Handling package includes Dynamic Performance Control, Dynamic Damper Control, Active Roll Stabilization, and a rear air suspension.

The 2014 BMW X5's exterior design employs drag-reducing Air Curtains, functional Air Breathers in the front fenders, and Aero Blades atop the rear of the roof to smooth aerodynamics and improve fuel economy, the automaker says. Adaptive xenon headlights with turning lights, LED headlight accent rings, LED fog lights, and LED taillights are standard. Adaptive LED headlights are optional, along with Automatic High Beams and a BMW Night Vision system. New colors for 2014 include Sparkling Brown Metallic and Mineral White Metallic.

The new X5 can be optioned with Luxury Line, xLine, or M Sport trim packages, which provide themed appearance modifications. The M Sport model, however, is about more than just an M Aerodynamic Kit, Shadowline exterior trim, and 19-inch M double-spoke aluminum wheels. This version also gets an 8-speed Sport Automatic transmission with shift paddles mounted to an M Sport steering wheel, sport suspension tuning, and Dynamic Damper Control with a rear air suspension. Inside, the X5 M Sport is equipped with sport seats, an Anthracite headliner, and aluminum interior trim.

BMW says the new X5's interior offers more "spaciousness" and "seating comfort" than before, as well as "enhanced ride comfort." Highlights include new seat designs, larger cupholders, and greater cargo space made more useful by a 40/20/40-split rear seat. An Easy Entry third-row seat is optional, equipped with a new grip located on the SUV's C-pillar. It splits and stows into the cargo floor when not in use.

Standard equipment for all 2014 X5 models includes Poplar Wood trim, high-gloss black trim and pearl gloss chrome accents, Bluetooth connectivity with BMW Apps technology, a navigation system with touchpad control and real-time traffic information, 10.2-inch display screen, and black-panel touch controls for the premium audio system and the dual-zone automatic climate control system. Every X5 is also equipped with a panoramic moonroof, heated front seats, power 2-piece tailgate, Park Distance Control, and Dynamic Cruise Control, while the X5 xDrive50i is equipped with Dakota leather, multi-contour front seats, and a reversing camera system.

Designed for use with an iPhone, BMW Apps capability is standard, providing access to Twitter, Facebook, and Web Radio. BMW ConnectedDrive service comes with vehicle location assistance and Last Mile walking directions, as well as a free 10-year subscription to BMW Assist eCall including Automatic Collision Notification with an Urgency Algorithm feature. A BMW Assist Convenience Plan with Concierge Services is available, offering message dictation and SMS text messaging, while BMW ConnectedDrive Office displays appointments, emails, and calendars from work in the vehicle.

Sport seats are optional for the 6-cylinder models, while heated rear seats and rear comfort seats are new options for 2014, the latter offering fore/aft adjustment and 10 degrees of seatback recline. Optional Interior Design packages in Ivory White and Mocha Brown include premium Nappa leather, an extended-leather treatment with exposed contrast stitching, and upgraded wood trim.

Additional extra-cost upgrades for the new 2014 X5 include a full-color head-up display, Harman Kardon or Bang & Olufsen audio system, rear-seat entertainment system with dual tablet-style screens, and a 4-zone automatic climate control system. The X5 is also offered with power soft-close doors, Comfort Access passive entry and ignition, a 360-degree Surround View camera system with front and rear Panorama View, and a next-generation BMW Parking Assistant for fully automated parallel parking.

In addition to sophisticated traction, stability, and braking technologies, the X5 can be optioned with an Active Driving Assistant package. This upgrade adds active blind-spot detection and lane-departure warning systems, and a pedestrian and collision warning system with automatic braking that works at speeds up to 37 mph. This system is designed to recognize when a low-speed collision might occur, primes the brakes for maximum stopping, and then automatically applies braking if the driver fails to respond in order to alert the driver to the threat and to reduce speed before impact.

The X5's optional Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go works between 0 and 130 mph, BMW says. In combination with the Active Driving Assistant package, it can bring the X5 to a complete autonomous stop to try to avoid a collision. A new Traffic Jam Assistant will become available at the end of the year, designed to autonomously regulate following distance at speeds below 25 mph, and to keep the X5 in the center of its lane.

This third-generation version of the X5 crossover SUV will start rolling off a Spartanburg, South Carolina assembly line shortly before it goes on sale in the fourth quarter of 2013. The X5 xDrive35d follows shortly thereafter, arriving during the first quarter of 2014.

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