Donna Kelly has over 12 years of experience in the motoring industry, writing, test driving and tweeting about cars. Her weekends are spent trackside, covering racing events.
Now in its fourth generation, the X5 continues to stand out as 'the' luxury SUV, competing against rivals such as the Audi Q7, Mercedes GLE, Porsche Cayenne, Range Rover Sport and Volvo XC90.
Our BMW X5 review covers:
Its bullish and modern design is instantly recognisable on the road, thanks to its deeper kidney grille, sharper headlamp design and sculpted body creases.
At the back, new taillights and badges mark out the new-generation model, which is bigger than before.
Inside, the X5 offers plenty of space for driver and passengers. Head and legroom are excellent all-round, and there's enough space at the back for three adults to sit comfortably, although the Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90 offer even more legroom at the rear.
The X5 comes with five seats as standard, but you can add a third row with space for up to seven. There's also plenty of storage space, including a large cubby between the seats, two cup holders, deep door pockets and a decent-sized glovebox.
At the rear, the X5's 650-litre boot offers enough room for a child's buggy, up to nine carry-on suitcases or the weekly family shop, although the Mercedes GLE beats the total volume at 690 litres. The rear seat split in 40:20:40 configuration, however, increasing the load capacity to 1,870 litres. The only exception is the plug-in hybrid 45e version which loses the underfloor storage space due to the battery.
Inside, the BMW X5's interior is both luxurious and practical. The interior quality is excellent, with plush materials, soft-touch plastics and high-quality inlays on the dashboard and door tops. While the overall design is more conservative than the Mercedes GLE's, it is equal to the Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90 for fit and finish.
A new 7.0 version of BMW's iDrive system, along with a 12.3-inch display behind the steering wheel, takes centre stage, allowing you to easily control the vehicle's functions via the controller, touch or by voice. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also available.
Just two trim levels are available, including the xLine, which comes with LED headlights and tail lamps, air suspension, heated leather seats, parking assist, wireless phone charging and 19-inch alloy wheels.
Top-spec M Sport models feature M Sport brake callipers, a blacked-out trim, an M aerodynamics pack, sporty steering wheel, anthracite headliner and 20-inch alloy wheel.s
The flagship car is the M50i, which adds a greyed-out grille, adaptive M suspension, other unique M Sport touches and 22-inch alloy wheels.
Under the bonnet, the X5 is available with five engine options, including two diesels, two petrols and a plug-in hybrid. All engines come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and BMW's xDrive 4x4 system.
Diesel options include the entry-level 3.0-litre straight-six turbocharged xDrive30d for 282bhp and the xDrive40d, which uses the same six-cylinder engine but offers more power at 335bhp.
Petrol options include 3.0-litre straight-six turbocharged xDrive40i for 328bhp and the top-of-the-range M50i, which uses a 4.4-litre V8 unit for a whopping 523bhp.
The plug-in hybrid version, badged 45e, combines a 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol engine with a battery and electric motor for punchy performance and an electric-only range of up to 54 miles on a single charge.
Out on the road, the X5 steers with precision and offers plenty of grip, making for a stable and reassuring drive.
Despite its size, it is easy to manoeuvre around the road and, thanks to standard front and rear parking sensors, is easy to park. The standard adaptive air suspension also does a good job of soaking up bumps in the road in its most comfortable setting.
On the motorway, all engines offer a quiet, comfortable drive, with wind and road noise are kept to a minimum, but the Porsche Cayenne and Range Rover Sport remain the best in class for fun and overall driveability.
Prices for the new BMW X5 start from £66,230.00 OTR* or to lease from £823.68 per month.
Fancy getting behind the wheel of the new BMW X5? Car leasing is an alternative, and often cheaper, funding solution to buying via a bank loan or dealer finance. Thanks to our massive fleet buying power, Nationwide Vehicle Contracts has some fantastic lease deals on the BMW X5 with road tax, breakdown cover, the full manufacturer's warranty and free GB delivery all included in the price.
*'On the road' price is correct at time of publication and includes one year's road fund license, DVLA first registration fee and number plate fee. Prices are subject to change. Always check with your nearest retailer.