More than 1.5 million BMW X5s have been sold since it singlehandedly created the luxury Sports Activity Vehicle market way back in 1999.
It’s one of those cars that took the automotive world by storm.
Everyone liked the look of it and everyone wanted one.
It remains the biggest seller in its class but over recent years the X5’s domination of the SAV sector has been eroded by the outstanding Mercedes ML, Porsche Cayenne, Audi Q5, and the Range Rover Sport.
Perhaps with that in mind BMW decided it was time to freshen it up with a design tweak, more efficient and powerful engines and upgrade the interior.
The result is a very impressive third generation that looks set to write a new chapter in the X5 success story.
To look at, the new X5 is not dramatically different.
The front looks sharper and sportier with a wider grille, super-cool headlights, bold air intakes and a pleasing aggressive stance but I don’t like the back.
From the side view the rear looks too square and blocky.
The angle is too severe and lacks any real sleekness but the rest of car is a triumph.
Although I wouldn’t describe this as an aesthetic masterpiece, the beauty of this vehicle lies within.
The interior is magnificent and BMW should be applauded for setting a new benchmark in comfort and driver focused useability.
You find youself surrounded by highgrade leather, aluminium, wood trim and the very best in automotive technology.
The instrument cluster is simple, modern and effective.
The BMW idrive infotainment system is operated via a 10-inch screen which at first seems a bit obstrusive protruding like an iPad from the leather dash, but you soon get used to it.
There is plenty of room in the back for normal sized people who also get their own individual tv screen.
The range of driver assist technology is particularly impressive although the majority of it is available on most prestige cars.
There is an optional Driving Assistant Plus package available which includes Active Cruise Control with a Stop and Go function which maintains a safe following distance up to 210km/h, using a front camera and radar sensors which register traffic ahead.
If the driver fails to react to an imminent collision warning the brakes are automatically applied, to a standstill if necessary.
The car also monitors the driver’s behaviour and advises when you should take a break if there are signs of tiredness.
But as with all BMWs the real joy of this vehicle is the way it drives.
The xDrive 5.0i M-Sport is powered by a 4.4 litre twin-turbo V8 which make a glorious noise and is extremely potent, particulary with the drive mode switched to Sport Plus.
It delivers 450bhp to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox with paddle-shifts giving more direct control.
If you want a more casual and economical drive there is a Comfort mode and an Eco Pro mode.
Our M-Sport came fully loaded and had the optional Dynamic Adaptive Suspension which tightens everything up when the car is being driven in a more sporty fashion and adapts to a softer feel for a more relaxed drive.
Having owned a second generation X5 I was curious to see how much better this new model would be and I wasn’t disappointed.
Apart from a personal dislike for the back of this car, it has raised the benchmark in quality, economy and performance.
As BMW say themselves in their marketing campaign…the Boss Is Back.
Why Buy It
BMW X5 M-Sport – Specifications
Manufacturer : BMW
Production : 1999 to present
Class : SAV
Body style : Four-seater
Layout : All-wheel drive
Engine : 4.4 litre V8
Output : 450bhp
Transmission : Eight-speed automatic with paddle-shifts
Torque : 650nm
0-100km : 5.0 seconds
Kerb weight : 2175kg
Top speed : 250km/h
Price : Dh440,000
Rating out of 10: 9
Here's an official video from BMW explaining the best assets of the X5 M-Sport
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