2019 BMW X5Should you buy?
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The X5 has been one of BMW's most popular models since its inception four generations ago. Although it sits mid-range in the SUV (or SAV, for "sports activity vehicle", as BMW fans call it) line-up, this year's model is a fine mixture of power, off-roading capabilities (which have been enhanced for the model year), and luxury.
What's New for 2019?
There have been a few important changes made to the 2019 BMW X5, including a slightly taller and longer body, a longer base, and 2.6 inches of extra width. The grille has also been made larger and reshaped. The interior now hosts an optional 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen display on the center console. Also, the steering wheel, shifter, and controls have all been redesigned for the model year.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2019 BMW X5 – The Pros
1. Enhanced Off-roading Capabilities
One of the biggest changes that comes with the 2019 BMW X5 is that it is more capable of off-roading than ever before. There is an optional off-roading package available that includes different modes for handling various road conditions and has a new rear-locking differential. Raising the X5's ground clearance is as easy as pushing one button. There is also a camera system that helps the driver know what is ahead on the trail that the naked human eye cannot see. Hill descent control also works well at keeping the X5 from sliding around on steep hills.
2. A Chic Exterior Redesign
Of course, the exterior design of the BMW X5 is itself a rather attractive feature. The body has a number of redesigned elements that make it look more athletic and contemporary, including reshaped front and rear fascia with sleek adaptive LED headlights, wrap-around taillights, and curvier wheel arches. Also, the vehicle's length, width, and wheelbase have all been slightly enlarged to provide more interior space.
3. A Spunky Acceleration
Accelerating on the 2019 BMW X5 is just downright fun. Whether you are driving the xDrive40i with its I-6 (which is capable of producing 335 hp and 336 lb-ft of torque) or the V8-powered xDrive50i (which garners a stellar 456 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque), you will find that the X5 has more than enough power. Flip it into Sport mode to maximize acceleration, and this will get the vehicle from 0 to 60 mph in well under 5 seconds, an impressive speed for this class.
4. It Remains Stable At Higher Speeds
Even when you take the BMW X5 to higher speeds, it remains consistently steady on its feet. If you opt for the active steering features, the X5 will perform flawlessly at higher speeds, which is where the vehicle seems to thrive the most. Of course, the X5 handles lower speeds just as well and is easy to navigate around on crowded city streets and through cramped parking lots.
5. Steering Feels Natural and Effortless
Steering on the 2019 BMW X5 feels both natural and effortless to the driver. There is very little input required from the driver, and the wheel returns feeling to the driver almost immediately. There is no guesswork to be made as to how the four wheels are performing on any road surface and at any speed. In other words, drivers can feel confident in the vehicle's directness and stability regardless of driving conditions.
6. The Brake-by-wire System
Brake-by-wire is a relatively new technology that BMW has adopted for use on both the X5 and the 8 series this year. This means that, when you apply the brakes, you are asking the car's computer to interpret and select how much pressure should be applied to the brake calipers. This allows the vehicle to come to a quicker and safer stop. While this is still a new technology for the everyday driver, it is a beneficial one for those craving extra safety features and systems.
7. Strong Suspension Choices
Even the base suspension on the X5 is a solid performer. However, if you really want to amp things up, the M suspension is a strong option. Its active steering and roll stabilization functions keep the vehicle from experiencing much in the way of body roll when winding around turns. Also, it boosts Sport mode performance by dropping the vehicle height by 0.8 inch, which can be readjusted for loading and unloading purposes.
8. Plenty of Standard Features
The 2019 BMW X5 is loaded with a long list of standard features that will be attractive to drivers. The base trim comes with a HiFi 10-speaker sound system, HD radio, BMW Connected Drive services, a rear-view camera, a power tailgate, engine stop-start, parking distance control, and a panoramic moonroof.
9. An Abundance of Well-Designed Cargo Space
Cargo space on the BMW X5 is quite generous and well-designed. With all seats in place, the cargo area offers 33.9 cubic feet of cargo space. This can be maxed out when you fold the rear seats down to get 72.3 cubic feet of cargo space. There is a power split tailgate that allows for easy access to the cargo area, and there is a good-sized storage bin and anti-slip rails that make the space more accommodating.
10. Safety is a Priority
Safety is a priority for BMW. In addition to the new brake-by-wire system, the 2019 BMW X5 features quite a few helpful safety features. This list of features includes the Active Protection System (which detects, prevents, and prepares for possible collisions) with the Fatigue and Focus alert (which detects and alerts when it senses the driver becoming sleepy or distracted), the Assist eCall system, an impact sensor, a roll-over sensor, and the Active Driving Assistance suite (which bundles advanced driver aids like lane departure warning and blind-spot monitoring).
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2019 BMW X5 – The Cons
1. Steering Assist Can Be Rough
This is merely a minor gripe, but when steering assist tries to navigate the 2019 BMW X5 back into a lane, it causes the vehicle to feel a little bit jerky. You can fiddle around with the settings on the digital menu, but even if you select the lightest response mode, you will still feel the system pulling the vehicle when steering assist is engaged.
2. Gesture Controls Are Sensitive
Some of the gesture-based controls on the X5 seem to be overly-sensitive when they are engaged. A few quick arm or hand motions could activate a control that you did not want to have activated, such as turning the volume up too high on the speakers. Those who like to talk with their hands will probably find this degree of sensitivity to be somewhat intrusive and annoying.
3. Optional Add-ons Get Expensive
When it comes to adding on options, they get expensive on the 2019 BMW X5. It is easy to tack several thousand extra dollars onto the vehicle's already-pricey price tag. Sticking with the base trim and its generous amount of standard features is a safer bet for those who are not looking to spend the extra money.
4. A Cramped Third Row
The third row of seating seems a bit extraneous since it leaves very little space. The BMW X7 is going to be the better option for a third-row seven-seater since it offers more space. The X5 functions better as a five-seater. Trying to fit even smaller-sized adults into the third row can make the vehicle feel a little too cramped and takes away from passengers' comfort.
How it stacks up to the competition:
2019 BMW X5 vs. 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class
The 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class is kicking off its new generation this model year and has a lot of big changes to marvel over. It features a brand new inline-6 engine, and all engine options are paired up with a 9-speed automatic transmission. A plug-in hybrid variant is slated to join the line-up later in the model year, which makes the GLE-Class a strong competitor for the X5.
2019 BMW X5 vs. 2019 Volvo XC90
The 2019 Volvo XC90 might not look as luxurious as the X5, and, for some reason, the advanced driver aids are only optional this year. However, the XC90 offers a quiet and smooth ride quality, and both the T6 and T8 powertrain options provide plenty of power. Overall, the XC90 is fun to drive even though it isn't as off-road capable as the X5.
The 2019 BMW X5 has a lot to offer in terms of power, luxury, and off-roading. The versatility of the X5 cannot be denied, and there are not too many qualms to be had with how the vehicle behaves. While some of the tech features might seem a bit touchy and the third row is a bit impractical, the X5 gives the impression that it was designed to be both exciting and comfortable.
• Why buy a 2018 BMW X5? w/ pros vs cons