$20,065 - $24,754

2014 BMW X5 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2014 BMW X5 was new.


Performance: 8.6

Test drivers say that the redesigned 2014 BMW X5 is one of the more athletic SUVs in the class, with nimble handling and a range of powerful turbocharged and turbodiesel engine choices.

  • "The 2014 BMW X5 is one of the best-handling midsize luxury crossovers around. Whether driving on back roads or on an endless expanse of interstate, the X5 is a champ, feeling secure and stable yet also relatively nimble and fun to drive." -- Edmunds
  • "Whichever X5 you choose, you'll be treated to a larger utility vehicle that feels more like a sports sedan." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "There's no denying the fact that the X5 rides on a higher-than-car chassis, but this do-anything, go-anywhere (anywhere within reason, at least) crossover has done nothing but improve for its third generation." -- Left Lane News

Acceleration and Power

The base 2014 BMW X5 sDrive35i comes with a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that makes 300 horsepower. The X5 xDrive35d has a turbodiesel 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that makes 255 horsepower, and the X5 xDrive50i's turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine makes 445 horsepower. All models come with an eight-speed automatic transmission. According to the EPA, the base sDrive35i gets 19/27 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class, while the diesel-powered xDrive35d gets some of the best fuel economy estimates in the class at 23/31 mpg city/highway.

Reviewers write that the base X5 offers strong acceleration, while the X5 xDrive50i is ferociously quick, accomplishing any highway passing challenge with ease. Many test drivers note that their favorite is the mid-range xDrive35d, which delivers excellent fuel economy, strong acceleration at low speeds and superb highway passing power. Automotive journalists think that the eight-speed automatic transmission aids the strong engine lineup with smooth, well-timed shifts.

  • "Our pick, however, is BMW's turbodiesel 6-cylinder. It offers a fine balance of power and fuel economy, and only costs $1,500 more than a comparable gasoline-powered version." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Engine performance is strong throughout the lineup, even with the base six-cylinder. The turbocharged V8 is a beast, and acceleration isn't that far off from the previous generation's X5 M model." -- Edmunds
  • "If the diesel does everything you'd ever want, then the V-8 does everything you'd ever dream of. Matting the throttle in the V-8 not only gives a musclecar-like growl, but the same thrust. Passing on uphill two-lanes was more an exercise in self-control with respect to local laws instead of the stress of whether or not you'll make it around that logging truck." -- Motor Trend
  • "The nought-to-60 mph sprint comes in just under seven seconds thanks to the imperceptibly smooth eight-speed automatic gearbox. Even up and down mountain grades in the Canadian Rockies, we noticed little to no gear hunting." -- Left Lane News (xDrive35d)

Handling and Braking

The 2014 BMW X5 comes standard with rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive is optional. Test drivers agree that the 2014 BMW X5 has extremely sharp handling for a midsize SUV. They say it feels secure and balanced while cornering, and that it has precise steering and strong brakes.

  • "Even those of us who scoff at the idea of an Ultimate Driving Machine standing tall and weighing about 5,000 pounds have to concede that the X5 steers keenly and handles transitions with a poise made possible by its rear air spring, adaptive shocks and skillful chassis tuning." -- AutoWeek
  • "Handling is the X5's stock-in-trade. In the mountains around Vancouver, the X5 behaved more like a sports sedan than a trail cruiser. It feels planted and surefooted, and cornering is flat and controlled, especially with the optional active anti-roll bars and rear air-suspension." -- Motor Trend
  • "The truth is, the BMW X5's all-wheel-drive magic is more likely to be appreciated on an icy paved road in winter than a two-track dirt road in late summer." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Braking performance was quite good, easily hauling the 4,800-pound machine down from speed, aided by a slew of acronyms that include ABS, CBC (Cornering Brake Control), DBC (Dynamic Brake Control) and ADB-X (Automatic Differential Brake)." -- Autoblog

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