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The 2021 BMW X5 is the epitome of what a luxury SUV should be. The interior is decked out with all sorts of luxury amenities, the cabin is spacious, and the components under the hood are impressive. Not only does the X5 look like a premium model, but it also drives like one. There are actually a few powertrains to choose from, and this is sure to please a lot of customers. BMW knows what it's doing, and its X5 deserves its spot amongst the leaders in its class.
What's New for 2021?
BMW has made a few changes to the X5 for the 2021 model year. First, there's a new plug-in hybrid version available. This hybrid is called the xDrive45e, and it offers a nice option for anyone looking to conserve gas. A mild hybrid system has also been put into the 40i models to improve their efficiency. Most drivers likely won't notice any difference in how these vehicles perform, though. An addition to the X5's long list of standard amenities is SiriusXM, and the M50i trim now benefits from having ventilation in the front seats as well as remote start.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2021 BMW X5 – The Pros
1. Three Capable Powertrains
BMW has given its customers a lot to consider, starting with the powertrain. The X5 sDrive40i and xDrive40i both run on 3.0-liter, six-cylinder engines that can churn out 335 horsepower, thanks to having turbochargers to kick things up a notch. The xDrive45e also uses a turbocharged engine, but this hybrid model has an electric motor as well. The result of these two components working together is 389 horsepower and nearly 450 pound-feet of torque.
Finally, the M50i model is the best performer out of this collection. With a twin-turbo V8, it can do amazing things. Its 523 horsepower and over 550 pound-feet of torque will certainly keep drivers happy.
2. Hugs the Road
The BMW X5 handles itself beautifully. In any model, drivers can take tight corners with ease and have great control at all times. Standard on the SUV are a double wishbone suspension in the front and a multi-link rear suspension in the back. On the hybrid version, dynamic damper control can smooth out the ride, as can the two-axle air suspension. On the M trim, the damper system is even more advanced, and this enhancement is key because the strong engine needs high-quality components to balance it out.
3. xDrive is Key for Tough Conditions
Rather than working only part of the time, BMW's xDrive system is always engaged. If the road is clear and well paved, the standard ratio of power sent to the front and rear axles is 40:60. If things aren't ideal, then the SUV can send more power to the wheels that have better traction. xDrive can compensate for oversteering and understeering, and it can actually be utilized more than one might think. When the X5 is taking a quick turn, driving in wet conditions, climbing mountains, or dealing with rough patches, xDrive can prove to be useful.
4. M Model is Hard to Beat
In a M50i, drivers will definitely be the center of attention. The M50i can easily leave everyone behind coming off a starting line, and it does so with a lot of elegance. High-quality mechanical components, sporty interior accents, and premium materials make the M model of the X5 a stunning vehicle.
5. Plenty of Cabin Space
The front row of the X5 is comfortable and spacious, and so is the second row, which has over 37 inches of leg room. Five people can be accommodated in the cabin in a standard X5 configuration. Though adult passengers might compete with each other for a spot up front, the back has ample room to stretch out. If a potential customer is planning on driving children around town, there's the opportunity to get two extra seats in a third row. When not needed, those seats can fold flat.
Cargo space behind the second row is nearly 34 cubic feet, and it can be increased to over 72 cubic feet by folding down all the rear seatbacks.
6. Modern and Bold Exterior Stylings
BMW's unmistakable style is clearly seen in the X5, as it has the bold kidney grille in the front. LED lights give the SUV a sense of modernity, and the chrome exhaust and roof spoiler make it look sporty. The X5 can either have 19-inch or 20-inch wheels, and the exterior trim can be satin aluminum or a dark "Shadowline" color.
7. Sophisticated Cabin
Depending on the trim selected, the X5 can have SensaTec upholstery on the seats or Vernasca leather. BMW has carefully selected every detail in the cabin, from the sleek Anthracite headliner to the wood or Aluminum Tetragon interior trim.
The base model of the X5 comes with 16-way sport seats that provide plenty of support for the driver and front passenger. The driver's seat has a memory function, as does the steering wheel. On the higher trims, the heated and ventilated front seats can move in 20 ways, and the memory function is included on both front seats. All of these elements can make people feel like they're being treated like royalty.
8. Advanced Infotainment System
BMW decided to put in not one, but two large digital screens in the X5. Behind the steering wheel, the instrument cluster is called Live Cockpit Professional. It provides drivers with a lot of easy-to-read information. Since navigation is standard on all X5s, this "cockpit" can show a map of where someone is heading. The central display, like the Live Cockpit Professional, measures 12.3 inches. It can be operated through voice commands, its touchscreen, or a physical knob that some people may prefer.
As one would hope, the X5 comes with multiple USB charging ports, smartphone compatibility, and remote services. It's now so simple to access all types of information, even from the road.
9. The Hybrid is Impressive
Making a hybrid version of the X5 was a smart move. The X5 sDrive40i has more capability than one might imagine a hybrid having, as it can get to 60 miles per hour in a little over six seconds. The best part about the sDrive40i is its fuel efficiency. It's estimated to have an electric-only range of 30 miles, and it's MPGe is estimated to be 50. As a plug-in, it does have to be charged to run at its most efficient level, but the gas-fueled part of the powertrain can take over whenever the battery is depleted.
10. An SUV That Looks Out For Problems
At the very least, having driver-assist technology gives people a lot of reassurance as they head out into unpredictable situations. In the X5, the safety package includes forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking. These systems can detect the presence of both pedestrians and vehicles in the X5's path. In addition, the X5 can keep an eye for rear cross traffic and vehicles in blind spots, and it can help people as they park by warning them when they get too close to objects. Advanced cruise control can be very convenient on highways, as it allows the BMW to adjust its own speed according to the speed of the vehicle in front of the X5.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2021 BMW X5 – The Cons
1. A High Price Tag
With a starting price just shy of $60,000, the 2021 X5 isn't practical for everyone. Its high cost puts it out of the range of most people, in fact. Upgrading from a xDrive40i to an xDrive 40i with all-wheel drive costs over $2,000. The plug-in hybrid is priced at about $65,000, and the M50i skyrockets to over $82,000.
2. Third Row Not Very Functional
As mentioned previously, the third row of the X5 isn't suited for most adults. It can feel extremely cramped back there, and it may be best to leave this row for children.
3. Non-Hybrids Not That Efficient
With the 3.0-liter engine, the X5 can get up to 26 miles per gallon on the highway. Fuel efficiency while driving in the city is only 21 miles per gallon. These numbers aren't that bad, but they also aren't that good.
How it Stacks Up to the Competition:
In the luxury SUV market, several brands are continually working to outpace their competitors. Fortunately for BMW, the X5 does very well.
2021 BMW X5 vs 2021 Audi Q7
Audi's Q7 has a similar size to the X5 and has many of the same qualities. However, the BMW X5 edges out the Q7 in the safety department, and it does better in terms of performance. People looking for luxury vehicles are likely to care about things like horsepower and torque, and if this is important to a potential customer, the BMW X5 would be the winner.
2021 BMW X5 vs 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE
In all honesty, the GLE does very well in a match-up against the X5. They are very close to each other in many regards, but from a driver's standpoint, the BMW X5 comes out ahead. It's the more performance-oriented model that has better handling, and anyone who really loves driving will pick up on that. A second point in the BMW's favor has to do with technology. The infotainment system on the BMW is considered by many to be a bit easier to control.
When someone is looking for a new vehicle that can do almost everything, there aren't that many models that would fit the bill. The 2021 BMW X5 is one of those vehicles that seems to have it all, from elegance and sophistication to durability and toughness. The X5 has an ideal combination of features, and people will feel confident getting behind the wheel of one of these high-end SUVs. With its size and strength, the X5 is ideal for people who have a lot in store for their vehicles and need a lot of room in the cabin. The X5 will give them the freedom to explore, and they can do so in style.
• Why buy a 2020 BMW X5? w/ pros vs cons