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Juliet McGuire

First drive in the new BMW X5

I know, I know, the new BMW X5 was launched last year already, but I wanted to keep you in suspense. Ya right, like you were waiting, eyes on my website, just for my review of the BMW X5. Well you should have been! Shame on you!

Anyway, on to the BMW X5. Who doesn’t love this car? I am not the biggest BMW fan and even I adore it. I have done since it launched back in 1999. Yoh, but I look back at that first generation now and shame, it looks quite pathetic now, doesn’t it? Only because of what it has become. It was in no way a pathetic car, quite the contrary really. Since 1999 more than 2.1 million X5s have been sold. Sure, they weren’t all that first generation, but that’s not the point. The first two generations hit sales of over 1.3 million. Either way, it is safe to say that the BMW X5 is an icon! And this fourth generation is bigger and better than it has ever been before. 

What do you think of the massive front kidney grille? Do you love it? I am undecided. But overall, I just love the look of the new X5…the term ‘beastly’ comes to mind! It sits on a longer wheelbase than the previous generation and is also higher and wider. Don’t be fooled by the looks that it’s got, it’s still, it’s still Jenny from the block (that song will be stuck in your head for the rest of the day). What I mean is that it still has that BMW X5 essence to it, but just with a bit more pizzazz! 

New BMW X5

But my friends, it is the interior that gave me all the feels. Finally, BMW has stepped it up and the interior is modern, fresh, luxurious and well, not ‘bland BMW’. The seats are so super comfy,  BMW’s Live Cockpit Professional facia makes it all look super fancy pants, and an overall feeling of refinement and quality smacks you right in the face. 

New BMW X5

If you have a bazillion rand more to spend, select the optional extras such as the panoramic sunroof which has 15 000 illuminated graphic patterns which makes it looks like a million stars! Ok, I am kidding, do not spend money on that, it is a R39 000 gimmick. But it is glorious gimmick. Also, one could actually just look through the glass to actual stars, but I like the sentiment BMW, I truly do. There are loads of other features that will keep you on your toes…for about a day and then wear off, so bear that in mind when ticking the boxes because you don’t really need them. An example is the glass applications which transform the gear lever etc. It all looks amazing, but it isn’t a necessary feature. The tech is impressive so be sure to run your eye along that list because things such as a wireless charging pad could come in handy. 

New BMW X5

Two turbodiesels are on offer. The 30d will satisfy most of its customers with it 3.0-litre engine producing 195 kW and 620Nm. The eight-speed automatic transmission is perfectly suited to this engine and again, most customers will only be too happy to drive this on a daily basis. But for those who like more icing on their cake, you can opt for the M50d which has not one, not two, not three, but FOUR turbochargers. Two high pressure and two low pressure meaning that the 760Nm of torque becomes available very, very quickly. The numbers are exciting you have to admit; 294 kW, 0-100 km/h in 5.2 seconds…beastly right?!

The on-road composure of the BMW X5 has never been up for debate and there is no need to start one now, it is still as refined and as luxurious as ever. But off-road is what you want to hear about. All for an extra cost you can get the optional all-terrain tyres, which are not run-flat by the way and so have the softer sidewalls that improves the ride quality, and the Off-Road Package which adds a few styling elements to the bag as well as different driving modes of which includes Sand, Rock, Gravel and Snow. 

BMW set out to better the previous generation X5 and I can confidently say that they achieved this and more. Because not only is the X5 a better product overall, but it also adds more capability to the overall package. It’s a luxurious SUV with all the bells and whistles. Hell, you might even find yourself whistling at it when it drives past. Not in a creep catcalling way though! Keep it classy people. As classy as the new BMW X5 is. 

PRICING OF THE NEW BMW X5

BMW xDrive30d: R1 194 296

BMW M50d: R1 502 582

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