$37,531 - $79,143

2017 BMW X5 Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2017 BMW X5 was new.


Interior: 8.1

The 2017 BMW X5 has a first-rate cabin that features contemporary, refined styling, and top-notch materials, including fine leather and real wood. The interior is very well built, though you'll hear more exterior noise than you might expect from such a luxurious vehicle.

The seats in the first and second rows are comfortable and roomy, though the optional third row is only big enough for children. Once you're acclimated to it, the iDrive infotainment system is intuitive to use. Few other luxury midsize SUVs have as much cargo space as the X5.

  • "As with most BMWs, the X5's interior layout is elegant, with solid construction and high-quality materials." -- Edmunds (2016)
  • "Inside, the X5 boasts an appealing, modern cabin design constructed from high-quality wood, metal and leather." -- Left Lane News (2016)
  • "In our interior evaluation of the 2015 X5, we noted tight seams on the dashboard and consistently high materials quality from one side to the other." -- Autotrader (2015)


The 2017 X5 seats five, though an optional third row increases seating capacity to seven. Leatherette upholstery, 14-way power-adjustable front seats, heated front seats, and a power-adjustable steering wheel are standard. Leather upholstery, 20-way power-adjustable front seats, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, reclining second-row seats, soft-close automatic doors, and rear side-window sunshades are optional.

With the base 14-way power-adjustable front seats, you should have no trouble getting comfortable regardless of your body shape or size. Stepping up to the optional 20-way seats will get you some of the most luxurious and accommodating seats on the market. Available reclining second-row seats will help those in the rear get comfortable too. There's plenty of legroom for adults in the first and second rows, but if you buy the optional third row, be aware that there's only enough space for kids, who will likely feel cramped. If you need the extra seating space, a rival like the Volvo XC90, which has a more adult-friendly third row, might be a better fit.

The X5 has two full sets of LATCH connectors in the second-row outboard seats. The center seat has an additional upper tether. The upper tethers in all three seats are easy to find, but the lower anchors are buried deep within the seat cushion, so it's hard to make sure your straps are connected properly.

  • "The standard front seats are ideally shaped and adjust for a wide range of body types, while the available multicontour seats are some of the most comfortable and adjustable seats found in any car." -- Edmunds (2016)
  • "Legroom is good in the first two rows, and the front seats are especially comfortable and spacious, even for adults with large frames." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "We also like the optional adjustable second-row seats, though sadly, they can't be combined with the third-row seat. As for that third row, it's nice that BMW continues to offer it, but most adults will likely find it cramped and uncomfortable. The X5 is more of a 5+2, if you will, than an honest 7-passenger crossover." -- Autotrader (2015)

Interior Features

Standard features in the 2017 X5 include a panoramic moonroof, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, a nine-speaker audio system, HD Radio, a USB port, Bluetooth, a 10.2-inch infotainment screen, a touchpad controller, navigation, and front and rear parking sensors.

Optional features include four-zone automatic climate control, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon or Bang & Olufsen surround-sound system, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, wireless device charging, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a rear-seat entertainment system, active park assist, a head-up display, night vision, a 360-degree camera, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, a traffic sign recognition system, and pedestrian detection.

The center of the X5's technology features is the iDrive infotainment system. It has a 10.2-inch display, navigation, and a touchpad controller that's mounted on the center console. While there are many features to learn, the system is easy to use overall. The touchpad controller lets you use your fingertip to draw letters and numbers to enter addresses into the navigation system. The X5's other controls are all clearly labelled and easy to reach from the driver's seat.

To help keep the whole family connected, there's a built-in Wi-Fi hot spot, along with wireless device charging to make sure all your mobile devices stay charged. Apple CarPlay smartphone integration is an optional extra that will set you back $500, but it will be worth the extra money if you want to access some of your apps on the infotainment screen. You can play music directly from Spotify or take calls and text messages using this system.

See 2017 BMW X5 specs »

  • "Primary driver controls and gauges are thoughtfully placed and easy to read and operate. BMW's iDrive control interface takes some getting used to, but in short time the menus become second nature, aided by the touchpad on the controller dial that accepts handwritten inputs." -- Edmunds
  • "… [iDrive] has evolved over the years into one of the most user-friendly infotainment systems in the industry. Redundant buttons and voice commands give users alternate means of accessing the electronics." -- Left Lane News (2016)
  • "The 2015 BMW X5's user-friendly infotainment system is displayed on a predominant 10.2-inch screen. This setup not only makes it easy to see and operate the various icons, it provides a crystal clear picture from the available rear camera." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)


When you fold the rear seats down, the X5 has one of the largest overall cargo capacities in the class, with 76.7 cubic feet. With the rear seats in use, you'll have 35.8 cubic feet, which is still larger than most rivals. If you need even more cargo space than the X5 offers, the 3-row Volvo XC90 has more cargo room whether you have the rear seats up or down. All X5 models come standard with a power liftgate that opens in two pieces. The top half opens upward like most SUV liftgates, while the bottom half opens downward, similar to a pickup truck tailgate.

  • "The X5 also gets points for its two-section power liftgate with its fold-down lower section that provides a handy place to sit for tailgating as well as assisting in loading bulky cargo." -- Edmunds
  • "As with its predecessors, the latest X5 features a Land Rover-inspired two-section tailgate. The lower portion can be folded down horizontally to form a single level with the load surface - good for loading cargo or tailgating - while the upper section is power operated." -- Left Lane News (2016)

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