When the X5 first saw the light of day as BMW's first foray into the world of the four-wheel drive back in 1999, not too many of us imagined the format would explode in quite the way it has done. Perhaps the most amazing development that few, if any observers would have predicted back then, is the increasing availability of two-wheel drive versions of what we now know as crossovers. But if you haven't taken a close look at the X5 for a while now, our 2017 BMW X5 Overview will show you how what was one of the originals is still one of the best, and there's now more variety in the lineup than you might have imagined.
It's quite an endorsement of BMW's designers that what is now part of the third-generation of the X5 isn't a million miles away from how the vehicle looked when it was first launched back in 1999. The current model does perhaps adopt a somewhat softer approach to exterior styling than its predecessors. There's a definite X3 influence in the 2017 X5's profile, and the current sedan styling makes a major contribution to the look of the front end. The tapered roofline and lower window line combination gives the current X5 a slightly wagon-type appearance, but without moving too close to X6 territory.
The interior of the X5 is as contemporary as you'd want it to be but it's also instantly recognizable as a BMW. The horizontal shelf layout and the driver-focused cockpit is bright and clean, and the high quality of build and materials is plain for anyone to see.
There are four different models in the 2017 BMW X5 lineup, which starts off with the rear-wheel drive sDrive35i and then goes to the xDrive35i, xDrive40e iPerformance and finally the top-of-the-line xDrive50i.
Unsurprisingly, the sDrive35i and xDrive35i both share the same engine, which is the familiar 3.0-liter TwinPower turbo inline six-cylinder that develops a very healthy and symmetrical 300 horsepower and 300 lb.-ft. of torque. Depending on which model you choose, that ample power is then sent to either the front or all four wheels through BMW's excellent eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission with Sport and Manual shift modes. This combination gets you to 60 mph in a pretty brisk 6.1 seconds and onwards to a top speed of 130 mph.
As its name suggests, the X5 xDrive40e iPerformance offers something pretty different for the midsize crossover SUV segment, which is a plug-in hybrid powertrain. The system utilizes a 2.0-liter turbo-four and batteries for a net output of 308 horsepower, which gives the option of running on electric-only for a range of up to 14 miles. As for fuel economy, the xDrive40e gets you a combined rating of 58 MPGe rating, or 24 mpg combined on gas alone.*
The most powerful option in the 2017 BMW X5 lineup is therefore the xDrive50i, which puts you in control of a 4.4-liter TwinPower turbo V-8 that produces 445 horsepower and 480 lb.-ft. of torque, which is sent to all four wheels through that eight-speed auto. Getting to 60 mph from a standing start takes just 4.7 seconds in the xDrive50i, which is seriously quick for a vehicle of this size and type.
There is another X5 in the 2017 lineup, but that's another story entirely as it's the X5 M, which means it falls into the M Series instead of the regular X5 lineup.
*All vehicle mileage based on 2016 EPA mileage estimates. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary, depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.