What is it?
The X5 evolved. Evolution is the key word behind the new X5. Given the success of the previous model, that’s probably not surprising. The basic look is quite familiar: it still has a little ducktail on the tailgate and exhausts that poke from the rear bumper, while the front bumper still has that silly chunk of dark grey plastic masquerading as a nudge bar.
The proportions are different, though. The new car is 5cm taller and 6cm wider than before, but it’s an overall length increase that most changes its character. The new X5 is nearly 20cm longer than before, with 15cm of that going straight into the wheelbase, allowing the option of a third row of seats.
There are neat touches, too. It’s handsome, with some new-style BMW styling etched into a familiar shape. But it’s not just the styling that’s evolutionary. The formula’s much the same as well. Despite the size increase, the X5 remains an executive SUV. Believe it or not, it’s even more road-oriented than the first-generation X5.
What's it like?
Lovely to drive, even though the V8 version that we tested weighs 2400kg and feels all of that. It’s a solid thing that barrels down the road with authority. The longer wheelbase improves the ride quality and smothers road imperfections deftly. It’s particularly impressive given that the standard wheels are 18-inchers on run-flat tyres. High-speed stability is also excellent - the X5 feels more like a large saloon than an SUV.