Given the popularity of the BMW X5 over the years, it’s no surprise that BMW has evolved the car’s styling gently and carefully during this current generation.

External revisions in the 2010 facelift were restricted to revised body-coloured bumpers and new LED headlamps and tail-lights. The biggest changes to the X5 in recent years, as we’ve already said, have been in the engine bay, with the introduction of new powerplants.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
This bigger X5 weighs just 15kg more than the old one

With a kerb weight a little either side of 2.2 tonnes, depending on model, the X5 is usefully lighter than the equivalent Audi Q7 (by nearly 200kg) and the first-generation Range Rover Sport (by a good 300kg). It weighs roughly the same, model for model, as the current Mercedes-Benz M-class, but that still makes it at least 100kg heavier than the Porsche Cayenne, the sportiest of the X5’s rivals.

The X5’s competitive weight is thanks to the use of aluminium for the bonnet, instrument panel and suspension arms and thermoplastic for the front wings. 

With an overall length of 4.85 metres, the X5 now has room inside for an optional third row of seats, bringing its seating capacity in line with the longer-still Audi Q7 and Mercedes-Benz GL.

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The second-generation X5 features double wishbone front suspension, which is a significant part of the reason why it is regarded as one of the best driver’s cars in its class. For those who want to extend the X5’s on-road abilities, the X5 can be specified with adaptive anti-roll bars and active steering.

Drive is directed to all four wheels through BMW’s xDrive system, using an electronic clutch and DSC+ to alter the drive from the default 40/60 front/rear bias to 100 percent front or rear where necessary.

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