2018 BMW X5

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MSRP: $57,200 - 101,700

2018 BMW X5 Review

The 2018 BMW X5 finishes near the top of our luxury midsize SUV rankings. It delivers the upscale feel you want in a luxury vehicle while also providing plenty of driving enjoyment.

Pros & Cons

  • Lineup of powerful engines
  • Sleek, user-friendly infotainment system
  • Supremely comfortable front seats
  • Nimble, stable handling

 

  • Cramped optional third-row seats 

 

Is the BMW X5 a Good SUV?

Yes, the BMW X5 is a good choice among luxury midsize SUVs. From a driver’s perspective, it's everything you could want. It has engines that provide plenty of power, a ride that’s smooth over rough roads, and better handling than many of its peers. Inside, things are equally appealing. The cabin uses premium materials throughout, and you have lots of tech features to choose from. The first two rows of seats are spacious, but the third row is pretty cramped.

Should I Buy the BMW X5?

There are few reasons not to buy this SUV, but that doesn't mean the X5 is a great value. It costs more than most competitors, so you have to pay for the quality you get, and you might decide that lower-priced – but still highly rated – competitors provide more value. If that's the case, the Lexus RX and Audi Q7 make great alternatives.

Compare the X5, RX, and Q7 »

Should I Buy a New or Used BMW X5?

BMW launched the current X5 generation for the 2014 model year. The plug-in hybrid X5 was introduced for the 2016 model year. The 2017 model added a couple new tech features, including wireless device charging and a Wi-Fi hot spot. For 2018, a rearview camera becomes a standard feature. You can potentially save thousands of dollars by shopping for a used car instead of a new one, just know that older models may not have as many features.

If you're interested in a used model, be sure to visit our overviews of the 2016 BMW X5 and 2017 BMW X5. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 X5 »
We Did the Research for You: 29 Reviews Analyzed

Our goal is to make shopping for your next car as easy as possible. You'll find everything you need to know in our comprehensive BMW X5 review. It combines concrete data (like fuel economy estimates, horsepower specs, and cargo space dimensions) with 29 professional reviews. This overview incorporates data and reviews from every year of the current generation, which spans the 2014 through 2018 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

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 Does the BMW X5 Cost?

Retail prices of the 2018 X5 start at $57,200 (for the X5 sDrive35i) and reach as high as $101,700 (for the X5 M). That slots the X5 as one of the pricier midsize SUVs you can buy. Other trim levels for 2018 include the diesel-powered X5 xDrive35d ($61,000), the plug-in hybrid X5 xDrive40e iPerformance ($63,750), and the athletic X5 xDrive50i ($74,050). Some shoppers may also qualify for a $4,668 federal tax credit on the plug-in hybrid X5.

For great deals at your local BMW dealer, check out our U.S. News Best Price Program. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our BMW deals page.

BMW X5 Versus the Competition

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

The Mercedes-Benz GLE carries a smaller price tag than the X5, but it also finishes lower in the class rankings. The GLE features two rows of comfortable seats and a good amount of cargo space. It also offers a lot of driver assistance features and scores well in crash tests. However, the Mercedes can't hold a candle to the BMW when it comes to athleticism. The GLE is an appealing SUV, but it doesn't have the all-around quality of the X5.

Which Is Better: BMW X5 or Audi Q7?

The Audi Q7 offers many of the same positives as the X5 but for thousands of dollars less. That makes it a better value, provided you can overlook its low predicted reliability rating. Both vehicles are close in our rankings, so you can't go wrong with either. Both have adept handling, a cushioned ride, three rows of seats, and a decent amount of cargo space. Both also feature luxurious interiors, with the Audi having arguably the nicest cabin in the class.

Which Is Better: BMW X5 or Porsche Cayenne?

The Porsche Cayenne is perhaps the one class rival that the X5 can't keep up with from an athleticism standpoint. The Cayenne also features a posh cabin that provides plenty of creature comforts, though it doesn't have as many standard features as some rivals. But while the Cayenne finishes highly in our class rankings, it’s also more expensive than most rivals, including the X5. With that in mind, you may decide the Porsche isn't worth the extra money.

Compare the X5, GLE, and Cayenne »

X5 Interior

How Many People Does the X5 Seat?

Seating in the X5 is extremely comfortable. Its supportive cushions and standard 14-way power-adjustable front seats make for a cushy place to spend the day. For extra opulence, add the multi-contour front seats, which feature 20 different power adjustments for seemingly limitless fine tuning. The X5 comes with seating for five and two rows of seats. In select models, you can add a third row. These seats are quite small, though; they’re best left for small kids or adults in rare circumstances.

X5 and Car Seats

The X5 comes with a tether anchor for every seat in the second row, as well as two sets of lower anchors in the same row. The tether anchors can be found on the backs of the seats, and they’re clearly marked and easy to reach. It can take more effort to clip a seat into the lower anchors, which are buried in the X5's thick seat cushions.

X5 Interior Quality

The interior of the X5 is handsome and well-built. Materials start with standard poplar wood trim and synthetic leather, but you can add more swank with options like Nappa leather seats, a leather-wrapped dash, ceramic controls, and aluminum running boards. 

X5 Cargo Space

The X5 has an agreeable amount of cargo space, with 35.8 cubic feet behind the second row and 76.7 cubic feet with all rear seats folded flat. That's a little more room than the typical luxury midsize SUV, though rivals like the Volvo XC90 have even larger cargo holds. Adding to the X5's convenience is a split rear hatch: the top glass opens with the touch of a button and the lower portion lowers like a tailgate. This setup is handy for when you need a bench or table on the go.

X5 Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The X5 has one of the better infotainment systems among luxury SUVs. Its iDrive interface takes little time to master, with straightforward menus and user-friendly controls. The large display has a sleek look and crisp graphics, and it includes a touch interface, giving drivers the option of using either the touch screen or central knob to make selections. Navigation is included, and options like a Bang & Olufsen surround-sound system, Apple CarPlay, and a Wi-Fi hot spot are available. (For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and the Best Cars With Apple CarPlay.)

Read more about interior »

X5 Performance

X5 Engine: Lots of Options  

For most drivers, the 300-horsepower six-cylinder engine in the base X5 sDrive35i is powerful enough, delivering smooth performance and energetic acceleration. BMW offers plenty of alternatives to this, including a turbodiesel and a plug-in hybrid. If none of these satiate you, one of the V8-powered X5s is sure to tickle your fancy. The top-level X5 M is rated at 567 horsepower and can sprint from zero to 60 mph in an impressive 4 seconds.

X5 Gas Mileage: From Fuel Sipper to Gas Hog

Fuel economy varies dramatically between the different X5 models. The base trim, the X5 sDrive35i, gets typical gas mileage for the class, earning 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. The most economical of the bunch is the X5 xDrive40e, a plug-in hybrid that gets 56 mpg-equivalent (click here to learn more about mpg-e). This iteration can drive in all-electric mode for about 13 miles. Not far behind is the turbodiesel-powered X5 xDrive35d, which gets 23 mpg city/29 mpg highway. At the bottom of the scale is the X5 M and its EPA-estimated 14 mpg city/19 mpg highway rating.

X5 Ride and Handling: Balanced and Nimble

With its responsive steering and well-controlled body movements, the X5 is athletic – and it’s comfortable as well. The suspension adds to its nimble nature and never feels harsh, though the X5 rides a little stiffer than some. With the exception of the starting trim level, all-wheel drive is standard.

Read more about performance »

X5 Reliability

Is the BMW X5 Reliable?

The 2018 X5 has a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

BMW X5 Warranty

The 2018 X5 comes with a four-year/50,000-mile new car limited warranty.

Read more about reliability »

X5 Safety

X5 Crash Test Results

The 2018 X5 has an overall safety rating of five out of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It aces almost every test, receiving five stars for its frontal crash and side crash tests, but four stars for its rollover test. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave it the highest rating of Good in the only two categories they tested.

X5 Safety Features

The X5 comes standard with a rearview camera, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and front and rear parking sensors. That pales in comparison to the amount of advanced safety technology included with the Mercedes-Benz GLE. Still, BMW offers a number of add-on safety features for the X5, including a head-up display, active blind spot monitoring, speed limit information, adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality, a surround-view camera, night vision with pedestrian detection, automatic high beams, lane departure warning, frontal collision warning, city collision mitigation (which includes automatic braking), pedestrian detection, active park assist, and adaptive headlights.

Read more about safety »

Which BMW X5 Model Is Right for Me?

Picking the best X5 edition for you comes down mostly to the powertrain you prefer. Each of the five trim levels – sDrive35i, xDrive35d, xDrive40e iPerformance, xDrive50i, and X5 M – has a different engine and horsepower rating. Most come with all-wheel drive (as designated by the xDrive moniker), and all feature an eight-speed automatic transmission. With a $44,500 price gap between the lowest and highest X5 models, your spending limit may also help you decide which X5 to drive away in.

You can see more details on the standard components of each edition below. In addition to the included features, BMW offers several design choices that modify the look of the vehicle (such as xLine, Luxury, and M Sport designs), bundles of amenities packaged as tiers (including the Premium and Executive Tiers), a handful of packages, and numerous standalone upgrades.

The entry-level sDrive35i is an appealing choice if you're looking to keep your costs low. With the multitude of options available, it's easy to cherry pick the upgrades you want, tailoring your SUV to match your lifestyle and budget. Add-ons include leather seats, Apple CarPlay, advanced driver assistance systems, and a high-end surround-sound system. 

BMW X5 sDrive35i

Starting off the X5 lineup is the X5 sDrive35i. This $57,200 SUV comes with a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and rear-wheel drive. The X5 xDrive35i – the all-wheel-drive version – is an extra $2,300. The 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. Synthetic leather seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated and 14-way power-adjustable front seats, dual-zone climate control, a panoramic moonroof, a power liftgate, push-button start, a rearview camera, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and front and rear parking sensors are also included.

BMW X5 xDrive35d

The diesel-powered X5 xDrive35d ($61,000) has most of the same interior features as the base trim level. It swaps out the gasoline engine for a 3.0-liter turbodiesel six-cylinder, and it comes standard with all-wheel drive.

BMW X5 xDrive40e iPerformance

The plug-in hybrid X5 xDrive40e starts at $63,750 and qualifies for a federal tax credit of $4,668. Its hybrid drivetrain is comprised of a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, an electric motor, a lithium-ion battery, and all-wheel drive. Only a few extra features are added, include 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 $74,050 performance-oriented 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 ($101,700) 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.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local BMW dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our BMW deals page.

See 2018 BMW X5 specs and trims »

The Final Call

If you want the size and convenience of a midsize SUV, but salivate over the brisk acceleration and light-footed feel of a sports sedan, the X5 is a good answer for you. This BMW offers more than just vigorous performance, too. The front seats are some of the comfiest in the class, thanks in part to a multitude of seat adjustments. Its infotainment system is also impressive. However, the X5's higher starting price and expensive options may knock this crossover off some shopper's lists.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The 2018 BMW X5 serves as a benchmark for the modern luxury performance crossover SUV. It impressively combines the attributes you normally associate with a BMW sedan and then adds true utility. A wide range of engine choices and trim packages ensures buyers can find the right configuration for their needs." -- Edmunds
  • "As premium midsize crossovers go, the 2017 BMW X5 has something for everyone. Or everyone who can afford it, at least. For the family, there's ample security and safety equipment, road-trip ride quality, plus extra seating for little ones. For the enthusiast, the X5 drives like a big 5,000-pound crossover shouldn't – with precision, poise and punch. Drivetrains range from economical to energetic. Technology fans will also find plenty to engage with. And there's the undeniable prestige of a luxury German marque." -- Autotrader (2017)
  • "Going head to head against the Porsche Cayenne and Mercedes-Benz GLE, the 2017 X5 emphasizes the 'sport' part of sport-utility vehicle. The resulting lineup of luxury SUV models includes a hybrid, a diesel, and even a fire-breathing M version, all of which are fun to drive. The X5 is big, but still midsize, so it's easy to manage through traffic and parking lots, while remaining roomy and comfortable at the same time." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)
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