BMW, the Munich based luxury motor brand, has been selling a fleet of luxurious SUVs and sedans in India. X5, being one of its much anticipated SUV, has been launched by the company in an all new avatar in a bid to entice more buyers and set its cash registers ringing at the Indian auto industry. Presenting the third generation of this SUV, BMW wheeled out X5 in form of a single variant – xDrive30d Design Pure. It is being offered at a price of Rs. 70.9 Lakhs, Ex. Showroom, India. There is an array of cosmetic changes being carried out in the SUV both inside and out. The German engineers haven’t left any stone unturned in making it luxurious than ever and loading it with never-seen-before off-roading capabilities. Being touted as world’s most successful ‘Sports Activity Vehicle’, it is being manufactured locally at company’s Chennai plant which has subsequently resulted in a lesser price. The company also announced that its deliveries would be commenced by June end across all the dealerships available in India. Being presented with company’s Twinturbo V6 diesel motor, it has the requisite potential to non-nonchalantly outclass its contemporaries.
EXTERIOR AND LOOK
As previously mentioned, there isn’t a whole lot worth talking about when it comes to these spy shots. The vehicle is clearly a BMW X5, but it has no side skirts, a minimal front fascia, and some headlights that look like they were borrowed from a 2000 BMW X5. The front fascia may be the skeleton of what the next X5’s will look like, but at this point, even that is speculation. If that hood is what we’ll see on the production model, it will be significantly toned down from the current model, but chances are, it is just a decoy used on this early test mule.
Looking at the sides, we can make out a body line along the doors and fenders that is similar to the current model. Since there is also lower body lines, it’s possible these doors will make it onto the next production model. To the rear, there is a rather bland fascia that will likely be styled completely differently by the time we see the next go around at testing. I don’t even know what to say about the taillights. If they are part of the new design, they will be a huge departure from the current model. It is important to keep in mind, however, that these are likely makeshift lights, used to make the test mule road legal, of new units under very heavy camo.
INTERIOR AND COMFORT
A luxurious cabin is pivotal for shoppers at this price point and the new X5 delivers quite well on that front. From the moment you get behind the wheel, the cabin feels elegantly put together with plenty of quality materials around. An unlacquered belt of wood runs across the facia and is neatly integrated around the gearlever and in the doorpads as well. Then there’s the crisp, high-definition 10.2-inch media interface that’s powered by BMW’s iDrive system, which is still the most intuitive to use. What’s especially useful is that the screen can be split in two, letting you customise the content on display. So you can choose to have your music information and navigation displayed together, or even real-time power and torque figures, which are fun to look at. Also, the screen is quite non-reflective and has superb clarity, as does the rear-view camera.The pampering continues with an onboard LTE/3G WiFi hotspot and in-car Facebook and Twitter apps. There’s internet radio too! Standard equipment includes a brilliant-sounding Harman Kardon audio setup, four-zone climate control, Bluetooth connectivity (which is very easy to pair with) and cruise control. The iDrive controller now gets a convenient scratchpad which lets you scribble alphabets or numbers with your finger, for easier access to your phonebook and playlists. If anything, it teaches you to write with your left hand!
The large front seats offer great all-round support and are very comfortable, regardless of your build. But shorter drivers may find the instrument binnacle a bit too high even with the seat jacked up. Moving to the middle row, the 40:20:20 splitting seats are nicely cushioned and can be sufficiently reclined, but the squab itself feels a size too small, leading to limited thigh support. Knee room, however, is good and the flat floor means the middle occupant sits in reasonable comfort. What’s disappointing, though, is the third row – utility is limited strictly to children. The seats are half-size and even after sliding the second row forward, adults will find getting in or out neither easy nor very dignified.So while this may technically be a seven-seater, the X5 is best used as a five-seater with the last row folded down, which makes room for a very accommodating 650 litres of baggage. The split tailgate is carried over from before, with the top-half being electrically operated; the extent to which it opens is adjustable too.
ENGINE AND GEARBOX
The BMW X5 comes with only one engine option, which is the xDrive 30d. This is a 3.0-litre straight six diesel engine that makes 258bhp of max power and 559Nm of torque. The transmission is a eight-speed unit that transmits the power to all four wheels. It has four driving modes, as usual Eco-Pro mode for lesser gas emission and better fuel efficiency, Comfort for normal driving, Sport mode for a real BMW driving experience and then last being a Sport+ mode which is specifically created for an individual driving pleasure where it automatically turns off the electronic stability program (ESP).
The 3.0-litre engine just does not give you anytime to think and react, once the gas pedal is pressed hard, it just takes off the mark in no time. The power delivery was more than adequate to put sedans to a shame, thanks to the equal distribution of the power to the front and rear wheels. The Sport mode will give you a thrilling experience catching up three digit speeds ina very short span of time. Shifting from Eco-Pro to Sport mode brings prompt and evident changes in its driving dynamics such as the heaviness of the steering wheel and surge of power behind the wheels and the needle touching the red line mark before every gearshift.
The X5 takes a departure from other BMW’s in the dynamics department. Based on the 5-Series platform, the X5 doesn’t feel stiff like BMW’s are known for but the ridiculously low profile tyres on our test car do take a toll on the ride quality when you go on really bad roads. These 285/35/21 and 325/30/21 tyres are optional and the chances of damaging the rim on our bad roads are quite high. There is no space save either and it’s best to stick with the regular 18-inch wheels. The ride quality is good on Comfort mode, there is no thud on bad roads but the car becomes too harsh on Sport modes which becomes immediately apparent as soon as you switch the mode.
In Sport+ mode, the traction control switches off and the modes also alter the steering and suspension besides tweaking the engine and gearbox. The X5 comes with air suspension and electronic damper control, the rear suspension is also self levelling. Ground clearance isn’t as much as you would expect from an SUV and you can’t manually raise the ride height either, this does hamper off-roading although the X Drive system is more than up for the job to traverse any given path (it can send 100% power to either axle). The steering is well weighed but doesn’t get too heavy at high speeds and has a bit of slack in the centre at certain speeds, it isn’t as responsive as other BMWs. Handling is good but all that weight does result in some body roll when you aggressively push the X5 around corners. The SUV does remain glued to the road at high speeds and braking performance is excellent with speeds shedding in no time.
The company has not compromised in matters related to safety as this machine comes loaded with an array of elements that increases the level of security. Around six airbags are on the offer to prevent possible injury caused due to an impact, while all the occupants get three point seat belts with front pyrotechnic belt tensioners and force limiters. Electronic immobilizer safeguards the vehicle from theft, whereas the advanced ABS, cornering brake control as well as dynamic stability control are helpful in boosting the braking performance besides keeping the machine in good control. Other attributes such as the BMW Condition Based Service, ISOFIX child seat mounting and run flat indicator also aid for a safer journey.
It is hard to really draw a conclusion on a model that is so heavily camouflaged, and lacking so many production-ready features. What I can say is that based on how well the X5 evolved from the first generation to the second, that BMW isn’t likely to disappoint when this model is finally spotted in full production form. I was already a big fan of the X5 in its current form, so I’m hoping that Bimmer doesn’t go overboard with trying to improve the model. I’m looking forward to seeing the next shots we get of the future X5.
Bmw X5 Ex Showroom Price in Jaipur ranges from 67,90,000/- (X5 xDrive30d Expedition) to 80,08,850/- (X5 xDrive30d M Sport).Bmw X5 has 5 Variants of Diesel are available in India. Bmw X5 comes in 6 colours, namely Black Sapphire (metallic),Alpine White,Glacier Silver (metallic),Space Grey (metallic),Imperial Blue Brilliant Effect (metallic),Sparkling Brown ( Metallic ).