The long-standing and most desirable mid-size luxury SUV standard in our Philippine market has consistently been the BMW X5 model series since its launch in 1999. The Lexus RX series periodically upset it over the years and only in the past couple of years has the model series been temporarily dethroned by the all-new Land Rover Defender 110 principally because it had offered more capacity and more real-world utility at a more affordable price point combined with its iconic pedigree. That changes now since the Defender has three sizes (90, 110, and 130) to build from which is great but what isn’t great are the new significantly lofty prices and packaging.
Even with BMW’s own sensational fully electrified iX xDrive40 in play with more luxury, pace, and interior space, the current 4th generation X5 in xDrive30d M Sport trim still manages to drive with pride and deep abilities. Depending on your budget and needs, every BMW X5 through the generations are genuinely awesome and desirable. The lifecycle impulse of the popular crossover is said to occur in late 2023 with worldwide release by 1st quarter 2024. So even if there will be a new look and new features coming, anyone who buys this current model will have a lifetime of driving enjoyment and satisfaction with potential all-weather fuel range of well over 1,000 kilometers.
The Ultimate Driving Machine is always best experienced behind the steering wheel, regardless what family member you choose in the BMW model range. In this X5, you literally sense the crossroads occurring between the future and the present in every component you see and feel. The X5 uses the outstanding Cluster Architecture (CLAR) modular platform that incorporates steel, aluminum, and carbon fiber. The 12.3-inch instrument cluster is fully digital, and it is supported by an additional 12.3-inch central infotainment display with new software, crisp, clear graphics and easy-to-understand menu structures accessed via the familiar iDrive controller. Thankfully default controls are still tactile with knurled knobs, modernized climate-control buttons, and complemented with generous amounts of soft materials. Compared to its predecessor, the X5 (G05) is 36 mm (1-inch) longer, 66 mm (3-inches) wider, and 19 mm (1-inch) shorter in height. The sporty front bucket seats and rear seats are wrapped with ‘Vernasca’ leather with contrast stitching upholstery. Rear passengers have more legroom than before as well as new charging points and better climate control through the updated B-pillar vents and the central control vents. The ‘Tetragon’ trim is attractive, nice to touch, and complements the ambient lighting.
I don’t mind that this xDrive30d M Sport model does not have height control, soft close doors, and a panoramic roof but I wish it did have a standard wireless smartphone charger to support the iDrive 7.0 system that has standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, as well as a more premium audio system like Bowers and Wilkins or Harman Kardon for the surround sound system in place of the satisfactory 205-watt 10-speaker HiFi Sound System.
Under normal driving conditions, the Auto Start Stop function would be welcome to save fuel and carbon generation but in congested Philippine driving conditions, I switch it off even if the system works very seamlessly now. The M aesthetic and aerodynamic treatments are not as obvious as before but they certainly work to keep the X5 running efficiently and planted. The enormous mixed wheels with tenacious rubber, appropriately powerful brakes (calipers painted bright red with M logos) and the large dual exhausts combined are all purposeful yet subtle. You would think the X5 with this packaging would be louder and too eager, instead it drives sublimely, quietly, and with absolute precision and class.
The standard new LED headlights are better than before however once you experience BMW’s laser lights on multiple models you would want the same level of evening illumination. If you don’t need pronounced off-road ability, but instead want a mid-sized all-surface luxury vehicle with a sporty and spirited inclination that can joyously cradle 5 adults with baggage over 90% of the roads in our archipelago, then this early 2023 BMW X5 xDrive30d M Sport is the very best in the business.
Specification – 2023 BMW X5 xDrive30d M Sport
Location: Front, Longitudinal
Displacement: 2993 cc
Cylinder block: Cast Aluminum
Cylinder head: Cast Aluminum, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
Fuel Injection: Direct Injection Commonrail Intercooled Variable Inlet Geometry Turbodiesel with Auto Start-Stop Technology
Max power: 261 bhp @ 4000 rpm
Max torque: 457 lb-ft @ 2000-2500 rpm
Transmission: 8-Speed ZF Automatic with steering wheel paddleshifts, Intelligent xDrive all-wheel-drive.
Front suspension: Independent aluminum double wishbone, M Adaptive dampers with anti-roll bar.
Rear suspension: Independent lightweight steel multi-link, M Adaptive dampers with anti-roll bar.
Fuel Capacity: 80 liters (21 gallons)
Ground Clearance: 214 mm
Wading Depth: 500 mm
Angle of approach (degrees): 25.2
Angle of departure (degrees): 22.3
Ramp angle (degrees): 20.2
Load Capacity: 650 liters with rear seat fixed. 1870 liters with rear seat folded.
L x W x H: 4922 mm x 2004 mm x 1745 mm
Wheelbase: 2975 mm
Brakes: Front 13.7-inch (348 mm) ventilated discs with 4-piston calipers / Rear 12.6-inch (320 mm) vented discs with 1-piston calipers, ABS, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Hill Descent Control (HDC), Dynamic Damper Control, electronically controlled rear differential lock, Brake Energy Regeneration.
Wheels: 20”x 9J Front and 20” x10.5J Rear Mixed 10-Spoke Orbit Grey with Burnished Face (Bright Turned/Diamond Cut) Alloys
Tires: 275/45R20 110Y Front and 305/40R20 112Y Pirelli P Zero RFT
Weight: (kerb) 2085 kg. (4587 lbs.)
0-100 km/h (0-62 mph): 6.4 seconds
Top Speed (mph): 234 km/h (146 mph)
Fuel Mileage: 6.2L/100km (Overall)
Price as tested: PhP 5,990,000.00
C! RATING 9.5/10
+Reestablished segment standard, monumental driver enjoyment, achingly desirable with incredible athleticism, M treatments, ambient lighting, sophisticated and luxurious. More affordable with superior on-road dynamics compared to the competition.
–No Bowers and Wilkins or Harman Kardon surround sound system, no wireless smartphone charger, no Skylounge panoramic glass sunroof, no BMW Laser lights, does not have the uprated 282 bhp / 479 lb-ft 48V Mild Hybrid powerplant.