2019 BMW X5 Preview

Christian Wardlaw | Jun 06, 2018
  • Redesigned midsize luxury SUV
  • Longer, wider, taller, roomier inside
  • 5- or 7-passenger seating
  • xLine or M Sport design lines
  • New turbocharged 6- and 8-cylinder engines
  • New BMW Live Cockpit Professional digital instrumentation
  • Next-generation iDrive 7.0 infotainment system
  • Available 20-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio system
  • New and upgraded driver-assist and crash-avoidance systems
  • Built in South Carolina
  • On sale November 2018


BMW’s original Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV), the X5, is redesigned for the fourth time in its nearly 20-year history. Highlights of the new 2019 BMW X5 include a bigger interior, more powerful engines, and new technologies addressing instrumentation, infotainment, driver-assistance, and collision-avoidance systems.

Exterior Features

With no more than a glance, you can recognize the redesigned 2019 X5 for what it is: a BMW. Thank you, oversized kidney grilles with bright, shiny slats.

Can you tell that it’s the X5, though? That’s harder, requiring some comparative scale in order to see the new X5’s inflated dimensions. Longer, taller, and wider than the outgoing model, the new X5 also boasts a longer wheelbase.


Interior Features

2019 BMW X5 front quarter left photo BMW says the new styling is “robust, clear, and precise.” Standard equipment includes xLine trim, which includes plenty of brightwork and 19-in. aluminum wheels for a more rugged look. Get the X5 M Sport for body-color trim, black accents, and 20-in. wheels. BMW says it will offer wheels sized up to 22 ins.Trapezoidal design elements emphasize the X5’s interior width, lending the cabin an open and airy look and feel. Naturally, the M Sport version has a sport steering wheel, metal pedals, aluminum trim, and seat piping.

Multiple interior colors are available, and BMW has confirmed two leather upgrades including Vernasca and Merino, the latter part of an extended leather treatment.

Five-passenger seating is standard, front-seat occupants enjoying heated cushions and backrests. Optional multi-function seats with ventilation and massage are available, as is a third-row seat that expands capacity to 7 people.

Standard ambient lighting is paired with a Welcome Light Carpet that shines on the ground outside of the doors when you approach the X5. The ambient cabin lighting flashes as a warning to the driver when someone opens a door and the SUV’s engine is running.

Optional Features

Choose the third-row seat option and the second-row seats get power adjustments. The new X5 is also offered with 4-zone climate control, a larger panoramic glass sunroof, and cupholders with heating and cooling. You can even get a power-operated cargo cover that automatically tucks itself into the cargo floor when it is not needed.

Under the Hood

The X5 xDrive40i is equipped with a new turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine developing 335 horsepower and 330 lb.-ft. of torque. An upgraded version of the previous model’s 8-speed automatic transmission delivers power to all four wheels through an improved xDrive all-wheel-drive (AWD) system. BMW says acceleration to 60 mph takes 5.3 seconds.

The X5 xDrive50i has a new twin-turbocharged, 4.4-liter V-8 engine whipping up 456 horsepower and 479 lb.-ft. of torque. It uses the same transmission and xDrive system, and scoots to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds by BMW’s count.

Both engines have automatic start/stop to conserve fuel, and depending on specification and equipment, the X5 can tow up to 7,209 lbs.

BMW’s new xDrive system features a rear power bias, responds faster to changing traction and power distribution requirements, and can be set to operate solely in rear-wheel drive, according to the company. A new Off-Road equipment package debuts with the 2019 X5, adding an air suspension, locking rear differential, underbody skid plates, and four specific driving modes for sand, rocks, gravel, and snow.

The locking rear differential is also available in a Dynamic Handling package for the M Sport version of the X5. This variant can also be equipped with an Adaptive M suspension with active roll stabilization and Integral Active Steering, which is a 4-wheel steering system aiding low-speed maneuverability and high-speed cornering capability.


Several driver-assistance and collision-avoidance systems are standard for the 2019 X5. They include front and rear collision warning, forward pedestrian and cyclist detection, forward automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning system, and a blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert.

This list of features is in addition to a standard reversing camera and BMW Assist services with collision notification and emergency calling. BMW Assist is free for the first four years of ownership.

Additionally, BMW will offer a Driving Assistant Professional package with numerous active driving aids, such as lane-keeping assist with side-collision protection, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, traffic jam assistant with new extended hands-free driving intervals, and an automatic lane-change function.

This package also includes new technologies such as Evasion Aid, which helps to keep the X5 under control following a sudden evasive maneuver, as well as Emergency Stop Assistant. Should the X5’s driver suffer a medical emergency while driving, he or she can activate the Emergency Stop Assistant, which can bring the BMW to a safe stop, turn on the hazard flashers, and activate BMW Assist’s intelligent emergency call feature.

A fully self-parking function is available for the new X5, too. The optional Parking Assistant Plus technology self-drives the X5 into parallel parking spaces, no driver input necessary.

Last but not least, a new Back-up Assistant function exactly retraces the X5’s most recent maneuvers, in reverse gear, for up to 55 yards of travel. This is helpful for people who have trouble backing out of tight garage or parking spaces, and perhaps even for adventurers who get too far down a trail and cannot get the X5 turned around.


There is no shortage of technology aboard the 2019 BMW X5, starting with the new BMW Live Cockpit Professional instrumentation and iDrive 7.0 infotainment system. Each uses a 12.3-in. digital display.

The instrumentation eliminates the X5’s classic round tachometer and speedometer, replacing them with geometric bands to either side of the display in order to relate information about engine revs and vehicle speed. This leaves the center of the screen wide open for a number of functions including a navigation map.

The infotainment system pairs a touch screen and BMW’s gesture control with a new haptic iDrive controller and cloud-based voice control. As an option, a 20-speaker Bowers & Wilkins premium audio system fills the cabin with deep, rich sound.

BMW ConnectedDrive Services are free for four years. The related BMW Connected app works with your Apple or Android smartphone or smartwatch, and with Alexa and Google Home smart devices.

The iDrive 7.0 system features a 20GB hard-drive navigation system, the ability to support two Bluetooth profiles, and various on-screen apps. A rear-seat entertainment system is an option, installing two 10.2-in. high-definition touch-screen displays with a pair of headphones. A Blu-Ray disc player, HDMI connections, and USB ports are also included with the system.

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