Years back, BMW had coined the phrase ‘Sports Activity Vehicle’ because it perfectly summarised the character of the X5 – this was the world’s first vehicle which was more of a soft-roader than a hardcore 4x4 vehicle, and did not sacrifice worldly comforts for going off the beaten track. Many incarnations later, the new X5 is ready to join Indian roads on its launch on May 29th, in Pune.
BMW has for long been a flag-bearer of turbo-charged engines and the new X5 will carry on this tradition, mated to a 8-speed automatic transmission. In India, the range will primarily consist of the xDrive30d (with a 3.0-litre diesel) engine. The 3.0-litre six-cylinder xDrive30d has been tweaked even further and is now19 per cent more fuel efficient, with economy improved by kmpl and CO2 reduced by 33g/km – despite power and torque increases of 13hp and 20Nm. While a range of engine options are available, India will probably see only this engine for now, till it is joined by a four-cylinder diesel – taking advantage of the new X5’s considerably reduced weight. The 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engine is new to the X5 and appears in the sole two-wheel drive model, the sDrive25d, and the xDrive25d, which provisionally achieve fuel economy of 18 kmpl and 17 kmpl respectively. The respective provisional CO2 figures are 149g/km and 155g/km.
All versions come with an eight-speed automatic transmission, which not only adds to driving enjoyment but also makes its own contribution to fuel-saving. The ECO PRO mode adapts the engine management, accelerator response and transmission characteristics to support a particularly fuel-efficient driving style, and even programmes the climate control and heated seats and mirrors for the most efficient use of energy.
The new BMW X5 is equipped with a raft of ‘EfficientDynamics’ features which complement the new engine line-up and standard eight-speed automatic transmission to keep fuel consumption and emissions to a minimum. They are joined in the new model by extensive weight and drag-reduction measures, making the new X5 the lightest and most aerodynamic vehicle in its class.
All versions have an electromechanical parking brake and a powerful anti-lock braking system backed up by a vast array of driver assistance features – Dynamic Stability Control, Dynamic Traction Control, Cornering Brake Control, Dynamic Brake Control and an Automatic Differential Brake. Brake Assist, Brake Standby, Hill-Start Assistant, Brake Fade compensation, Brake Drying and Hill Descent Control (on xDrive versions) are also standard.
The design of the new X5 is deliberately evolutionary – a modern and eye-catching update of the style which has made the car the global best-seller in its class – while the spacious interior with seats for up to seven people now offers even greater luxury and functionality. Signature exterior features are a short overhang, long wheelbase, upright A-pillars and a short distance between the front axle and the instrument panel. The forward-leaning and muscular kidney grille is set into a triangle between the three-dimensional twin circular headlights with LED elements, the LED foglamps and the X-shaped contours within the front bumper. Adaptive LED headlights are optional.
Dynamic Safety adjusts the seat belts, front passenger seat, windows and sunroof to the optimum position to survive an accident, while Attention Assistant can sense possible driver fatigue and issue audible and visual alerts.
The Glare-free High-beam Assistant allows full beam to be maintained even when there are other vehicles approaching or immediately ahead by masking the portion of the light pattern which could blind other drivers. It is therefore easier for the X5 driver to see pedestrians, cyclists or unlit parked cars at the roadside. BMW Night Vision now detects not only pedestrians but also animals, and includes the Dynamic Light Spot to illuminate anything heat-radiating outside the headlight beam area. The new X5 is expected to go for sale at an estimated Rs. 70 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi.