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2018 BMW X5 Review

The 2018 BMW X5 ranks in the top third of luxury midsize SUV class. It combines a luxurious cabin with exceptionally athletic performance, and it has no glaring downsides.

Pros & Cons

  • Compelling lineup of robust engines
  • Agile, smooth handling
  • Sleek, easy-to-use infotainment system
  • Extremely comfortable front seats
  • Small optional third-row seats




Critics' Rating: 9.1
Performance: 9.1
Interior: 8.2
Total Cost of Ownership: 6.4
Safety: 9.7
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 BMW X5 Overview

Is the 2018 BMW X5 a Good Used SUV?

Yes, the 2018 X5 is a great luxury midsize SUV that stands out for its performance. Spirited drivers will find satisfaction in its sharp handling and potent engines, especially the twin-turbo V8s. With a smooth ride quality, passengers also have something to smile about. Additionally, the X5 offers lots of cabin space and plenty of advanced safety technology. Because of its excellent combination of positive professional automotive reviews, safety and reliability ratings, seating and cargo volume, and the availability of family-friendly features, we named the BMW X5 our 2018 Best Luxury 3-Row SUV for Families.

The BMW X5 has an abundance of strengths:

  • Lively base engine
  • Potent upgraded engines
  • Agile, refined handling 
  • Handsome, comfortable cabin

It has relatively few weaknesses:

  • Higher estimated five-year ownership costs than most rivals
  • Cramped optional third-row seat
Why You Can Trust Us

Our goal is to make shopping for your next car as easy as possible. You'll find everything you need to know about the BMW X5 in our comprehensive review. It combines concrete data (like fuel economy estimates, horsepower specs, and cargo space dimensions) with 29 professional BMW X5 reviews.

The Best Cars team – a division of U.S. News & World Report – has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007. With more than 75 years of combined automotive experience, our editors, writers, and analysts rank a wide variety of new and used cars and issue three annual awards: Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands. To keep our recommendations unbiased, we decline expensive gifts from carmakers, and a third party handles our advertising.

How Much Is the 2018 BMW X5?

There are about 450 listings for the 2018 BMW X5 on our site, with an average list price of $54,300. Prices range from $46,700 to $64,700 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 BMW X5 Cost to Own?

The 2018 X5’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be $36,757, or about $7,350 per year. That’s above average for a luxury midsize SUV.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New X5?

The 2019 X5 marks the beginning of a new generation that boasts numerous improvements over the previous generation. The base engine is more powerful and better on gas. BMW also added a wealth of standard features for 2019, including Apple CarPlay, a larger touch screen, and a comprehensive suite of advanced safety systems. There's a steep price to pay for these enhancements, though, with retail prices for the 2019 X5 starting at $60,700, which is $6,400 more than the average price of a 2018 X5. Many of these newly standard features were available as options for 2018, and you may be able to find a used 2018 X5 with these upgrades for less than what a new X5 costs.

Read about the new BMW X5 »

The 2018 X5 belongs to a generation that launched for 2014. Changes over the years include the introduction of the plug-in-hybrid X5 for 2016, and new tech options (such as wireless device charging and a Wi-Fi hot spot) added for 2017. You can likely save money by shopping for an older model, but you may have to forego some features.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 X5 »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 BMW X5?

The BMW X5 has a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about X5 reliability »

2018 BMW X5 Recalls

As of this writing, there are three safety recalls for the 2018 BMW X5:

  • Risk of shock or fire from charging cable
  • Lower control arm may break
  • Improperly torqued wishbone suspensions bolt

Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on BMW X5 safety recalls »

Which Used BMW X5 Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2018 BMW X5 comes in six trim levels: sDrive35i, xDrive35i, xDrive35d, xDrive40e iPerformance, xDrive50i, and X5 M. Each has a different horsepower rating, and all but the base trim come with all-wheel drive. With its selection of styling choices (including the xLine, Luxury, and M Sport designs) and upgrade packages (such as the Premium Tier and Executive Tier), BMW presented a cornucopia of options for the 2018 X5.

There’s no need to steer clear of any X5 trim, as all models are energetic and nicely equipped. If you aren't attached to one of the uplevel powertrains, we recommend seeking out a base sDrive35i or xDrive35i, which tend to be much less expensive. Plus, the 300-horsepower engine that comes standard in both models is sufficient for most drivers.

  • BMW X5 sDrive35i: Starting off the lineup is the X5 sDrive35i, which comes with synthetic leather seats, heated and 14-way power-adjustable front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a panoramic moonroof, a power liftgate, push-button start, a rearview camera, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and front and rear parking sensors. Its infotainment system consists of a 10.2-inch touch-screen display, a touchpad controller, a nine-speaker sound system, navigation, a USB port, Bluetooth, and HD Radio. A turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and rear-wheel drive are standard.
  • BMW X5 xDrive35i: This is the all-wheel-drive version of the base trim.
  • BMW X5 xDrive35d: The diesel-powered X5 xDrive35d has most of the same interior features as the base trim. It swaps out the gasoline engine for a 3.0-liter turbodiesel six-cylinder engine, and it comes standard with all-wheel drive.
  • BMW X5 xDrive40e iPerformance: The plug-in hybrid X5 xDrive40e comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, an electric motor, a lithium-ion battery pack, and all-wheel drive. BMW only adds a few extra features, such as cabin preconditioning for remote heating and cooling and an adjustable suspension system called Dynamic Damper Control.
  • BMW X5 xDrive50i: The X5 xDrive50i offers a nice compromise for spirited drivers who want a V8 engine but can't bankroll an X5 M. This edition features a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine, all-wheel drive, leather upholstery, 20-way power-adjustable multi-contour front seats, four-zone climate control, a Harman Kardon surround-sound system, satellite radio, and a proximity key.
  • BMW X5 M: Under the hood of the X5 M is a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine with a 567-horsepower rating. This range-topping model comes with sport-tuned steering and suspension, launch control, 18-way power-adjustable front seats, aluminum trim, a leather-wrapped dash, and many of the same interior upgrades as the xDrive50i.

See 2018 BMW X5 trims and specs »

What Does BMW's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

The BMW Certified CPO program is available on vehicles with between 300 and 60,000 miles on the odometer. The program covers buyers for one year with unlimited mileage after the four-year/50,000-mile new-vehicle limited warranty has expired. This warranty can be renewed for a fee, but there is a maximum of five years of coverage. Each BMW must pass a road test and a 196-point inspection before earning CPO status. Additional benefits like towing and 24-hour roadside assistance may be available. Restrictions apply on transferring CPO coverage to subsequent owners. Read the BMW warranty page carefully.

BMW has one of the less-attractive CPO programs among luxury car manufacturers, according to our research. You’ll get better warranties from Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and Jaguar.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the X5?

The 2018 X5 earned an overall safety rating of five out of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The X5 also received the highest rating of Good in both crash tests that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted. Additionally, models equipped with optional front collision warning and extended collision mitigation received the IIHS' highest rating of Superior for front crash prevention. The IIHS also gave the X5 the second-highest rating of Marginal for how well the headlights illuminate the road.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • rearview camera
  • rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • front and rear parking sensors

Available advanced safety features:         

  • head-up display
  • active blind spot monitoring
  • speed limit information
  • adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality
  • surround-view parking camera
  • night vision with pedestrian detection
  • automatic high beams
  • lane departure warning
  • frontal collision warning
  • city collision mitigation (includes automatic braking)
  • pedestrian detection
  • active park assist
  • adaptive headlights

See X5 safety scores »

2018 BMW X5 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 BMW X5 or 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE?

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE and BMW X5 represent two sides of a coin. On one side is the GLE, with interior highlights that include comfortable seats, lots of cargo space, and an abundance of high-tech safety features. On the other side, the X5 dominates in the performance category, as much for its athleticism as for its smoothness. The winner of this coin toss comes mostly down to your personal preferences.

Which Is Better: 2018 BMW X5 or 2018 Audi Q7?

The 2018 Audi Q7 is one of the few in this class that can hold its own against the X5 when it comes to performance. The Q7 is agile, lively, and smooth. The BMW has more powerful engine options and a better predicted reliability rating, but the Audi is more lavish inside. Ownership costs such as fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repairs are drastically lower in the Q7, saving the average driver around $7,500 over five years. For these reasons, the Q7 is a better SUV than the X5.

Compare the X5, GLE, and Q7 »

2018 X5 Performance

How Does the 2018 BMW X5 Drive?

The entry-level twin-turbocharged X5 sDrive35i is smooth and energetic. Those who yearn for faster acceleration or a meatier engine won’t be disappointed by this BMW. Powertrain choices for the X5 also include a plug-in hybrid, a turbocharged diesel engine, and two twin-turbo V8s. The X5's road manners are also impressive, as it combines athletic handling with a comfortable ride. The base trim comes with rear-wheel drive, while all others have all-wheel drive.

  • Base engine: 300-horsepower turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder
  • Available engines:
    • 255-horsepower 3.0-liter six-cylinder turbodiesel
    • 308-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder plug-in hybrid with an electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack
    • 445-horsepower turbocharged 4.4-liter V8
    • 567-horsepower turbocharged 4.4-liter V8
  • Drivetrain:
    • standard rear-wheel drive in base trim
    • all-wheel drive available in base trim and standard in all others
  • Transmission: eight-speed automatic transmission
Does the 2018 BMW X5 Get Good Gas Mileage?

The base X5 sDrive35i earns typical fuel economy for a vehicle this size. Commuters may want to consider the more efficient X5 xDrive40e, which is a plug-in hybrid, or the X5 xDrive 35d, which is powered by a turbodiesel engine. On the other end of the spectrum is the extra thirsty X5 M, which will cost the average driver an additional $650 in annual fuel costs. 

  • sDrive35i, RWD: 18/25 mpg city/highway
  • xDrive35d, AWD: 23/29 mpg
  • xDrive40e, AWD: 56 MPGe/24 mpg combined
  • xDrive50i, AWD: 15/21 mpg
  • X5 M, AWD: 14/19 mpg

For more information on understanding the ratings of the plug-in hybrid, check out our What Is MPGe? article.

2018 BMW X5 Alternative Fuels and Charging

The X5 xDrive40e is a plug-in hybrid that has an all-electric range of 13 miles.

The charging time depends on the method used:

  • 220-volt charging station: about 3 hours
  • Household outlet: about 8 hours
 2018 BMW X5 Towing Capacity

The X5 can tow up to around 6,000 pounds when properly equipped.

Read more about X5 performance »

2018 X5 Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 X5 Seat?

The 2018 X5 seats five people in two rows. Some models come with an optional third row, adding an additional two rear seats, though only small children fit in this cramped zone. On the other hand, the front seats are supremely comfortable. This is especially true when the X5 is outfitted with the upgraded 20-way power adjustable seats.

Standard seating features:

  • heated and 14-way power-adjustable front seats
  • synthetic leather upholstery
  • leather-wrapped steering wheel

Available seating features:

  • Nappa leather seats
  • ventilated front seats
  • heated rear seats
  • 18-way power-adjustable or 20-way power-adjustable multi-contour front seats
  • heated steering wheel
  • rear side window sunshades
  • soft-close doors
How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2018 BMW X5?

The 2018 X5 has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats and an upper tether on the rear middle seat. You should have no problem with the tether anchors, but be prepared to sweat over the hard-to-access lower anchors. The X5’s LATCH system received the second-lowest rating of Marginal for ease of use from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

2018 BMW X5 Features

After spending a little time getting to know the iDrive infotainment interface, most professional reviewers say it's user-friendly, making it easy to find your way around the menus. The 10.2-inch touch screen has sleek graphics. You can also adjust settings using a knob and a small set of buttons in between the seats. 

  • Standard infotainment features: a navigation system, a nine-speaker sound system, a USB port, Bluetooth, and HD Radio
  • Available infotainment features: Apple CarPlay, a Wi-Fi hot spot, satellite radio, two high-end surround-sound systems with 16 speakers (one by Bang & Olufsen, one by Harman Kardon), and a rear-seat entertainment system with two 9.2-inch screens
  • Additional standard features: dual-zone climate control, a panoramic moonroof, and push-button start
  • Other available features: four-zone climate control, cabin preconditioning for remote heating and cooling, proximity keyless entry, and wireless charging for enabled smartphones

See 2018 BMW X5 specs »

Read more about X5 interior »

2018 BMW X5 Dimensions

BMW X5 Cargo Space

Behind the rear seats, the X5 offers 35.8 cubic feet of cargo room, which is slightly above average for a luxury midsize SUV. Its maximum capacity of 76.7 cubic feet – attainable by folding the 40/20/40 split-folding second-row seats – is among the largest in the class. The plug-in hybrid X5 xDrive40e has to share some of its space with its lithium-ion batteries, leaving you with about 34.2 cubic feet behind the seats.

Active households that need even more space should take a gander in the back of a 2018 Volvo XC90, which has a 41.8-cubic-foot cargo hold.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 BMW X5 Length and Weight
  • Length: 16 feet, 1 inch
  • Curb weight: 4,625 to 5,220 pounds
  • Gross vehicle weight rating: 6,070 to 6,550 pounds

Where Was the 2018 BMW X5 Built?

BMW built the X5 in South Carolina.


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