First Drives: BMW X5 xDrive30d by Autocar, Autoexpress

by Bernie McGroarty on August 30, 2013, 12:07 pm
”f15x5”

First drives of the 2014 X5 are coming in. The new X5 boasts clean looks, plush, comfortable interior and the 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo diesel engine. But how does how is it on the road? Autocar and Autoexpress got to drive it and here is what they thought.

Driving:

Autocar:
Quote:
So the essence of the 1999 X5’s mini-revolution is preserved intact, and this latest edition is pleasingly nimble and precise when the going gets twisty. The keen will enjoy such roads in sport setting, which enlivens the drivetrain, girds the dampers and weights the occasionally uncertain steering to produce a well-resolved driving experience.

And the ride? It swallows most small bumps whole, as promised, although the odd clatter across ridges and potholes in sport suggests that it’s the comfort damping mode you’ll mostly want on Britain’s roads. Given how well the rest of the system performs, it’s unfortunate that in Sport mode setting the steering turns over-light - and you can’t mix and match the steering, drivetrain and suspension settings.
Autoexpress:
Quote:
We tried the xDrive 30d, which is as punchy as ever with all the performance you’re likely to need. It sounds familiar too – a distant gruff growl, which gathers into a more distinct snarl as you press hard on the throttle. The extra grunt leads to sharper acceleration - the 0-62mph time drops by 0.7- to 6.9 seconds - but fuel economy and CO2 emissions have improved by 7.4mpg and 31g/km to 45.6mpg and 164g/km.

The X5 has always had impressive handling for a car of its size, and the new model continues the trend. All new X5s will be fitted as standard with BMW’s Driving Experience Control, a toggle switch that lets the driver switch between Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Eco Pro modes.

Comfort really is comfortable, bringing to the X5 a fluidity and level of bump absorption that simply wasn’t present in the old version. Even in Sport mode (Sport+ has the same level of damper stiffness but dials out the assistance from the ESP and traction control) this new X5 has a level of comfort that would have been utterly alien to its predecessor. Unfortunately that means it can’t match the steering feel and chassis responses of its predecessor.
”f15x5”

Overall:

Autocar:
Quote:
The sports steering is, however, is one of the few flaws in this plush, practical and decently powerful set of family wheels. The X5 formula is unchanged and, steering apart, its mix of sporting edge and refined, big cabin comfort remains a compelling draw. Buyers will undoubtedly find this to be a very comfortable, very capable, off-road cruiser.
Autoexpress:
Quote:
These things are relative though and the X5 will still dance rings around the Audi Q7 and Mercedes ML-Class. The fact that BMW has dialled down the dynamics slightly and upped the comfort levels shows they are fully aware of this car’s target customers – people who want a safe, high-riding SUV with an alluring badge on the bonnet. If a customer want to set lap times, they’ll buy an M3, if they need something to drive around the farm, they’ll buy a Land Rover anyway.
”f15x5”



Read the full review by Autocar here.
Read the full review by Autoexpress here.


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33 responses to First Drives: BMW X5 xDrive30d by Autocar, Autoexpress

AutoUnion commented:
August 30, 2013, 12:38 pm

Wow, the X5 looks boring in that color. Interior is superb though.

That being said, slightly less sporty? mediocre steering wheel? Looks like we called it months ago. Come on BMW
solstice commented:
August 30, 2013, 2:16 pm

Yet another smooth,luxurious,isolated, vague and soft F-Series BMW. I'm looking at getting the new F80 M3 next year but I'm growing more annd more concerned with every new BMW that exhibits the same lack of traditional sportiness.
Steven@BMWRockville.com commented:
August 30, 2013, 3:39 pm

I was just about to post my write up with my thoughts on it and details on the model.

I guess I'll leave this here if anyone wants some supplemental reading...

http://www.sixspeedandcaffeine.com/2...l#.UiD0s2TEq5I
Capobranco commented:
August 30, 2013, 3:45 pm

I would not be overly concerned....like the F25 - the standard setup is oriented to economy and comfort - add M Sport, 3.5 and DHP and the F25 becomes a very fast responsive decathlon champ - likewise sportier X5 variants. Obviously, the new X5 and M3/M4 have different target audiences and the orientation of the X5 has little bearing on the M3. As to the coming M3/m4 - the F30's lighter - stiffer structure provides good bones for M magic. I am standing in line for a new M3.
AutoUnion commented:
August 30, 2013, 3:48 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven@BMWRockville.com View Post
I was just about to post my write up with my thoughts on it and details on the model.

I guess I'll leave this here if anyone wants some supplemental reading...

http://www.sixspeedandcaffeine.com/2...l#.UiD0s2TEq5I
Thanks for the writeup. When should we see the X5s on lots?

- Sent from Galaxy S4
Steven@BMWRockville.com commented:
August 30, 2013, 3:53 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by AutoUnion View Post
Thanks for the writeup. When should we see the X5s on lots?

- Sent from Galaxy S4
First models in November followed by diesel in January


Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
pixma commented:
August 30, 2013, 4:22 pm

Why is BMW trying to become more like Audi or MB when it outsells them? I find it hard to understand.

"The fact that BMW has dialled down the dynamics slightly and upped the comfort levels shows they are fully aware of this car's target customers – people who want a safe, high-riding SUV with an alluring badge on the bonnet. If a customer want to set lap times, they'll buy an M3, if they need something to drive around the farm, they'll buy a Land Rover anyway."

If that is true, wouldn't most people have already gone with Audi or Mercedes? Last time I checked, X5 is still outselling them 2013 even with its end of cycle model. The direction BMW is going is just absurd. Fixing something that is not broken. Trying to please everyone. http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2013/07...-2013-ytd.html
finnbmw commented:
August 30, 2013, 7:31 pm

Here's Edmunds take on the new F15 http://www.edmunds.com/bmw/x5/2014/road-test.html
Lance Alot commented:
August 30, 2013, 9:15 pm

I don't dislike the front profile like I thought I would based on these new series of photos. The side profile however is really bad IMO though....just looks disjointed. I also am disappointed to hear that the steering is "soft" like most new Bimmers. The interior looks great...really nice upgrades! I am actual hopeful that when the LCI updates are ready, some of the flaws might get fixed. As it stands today, I am happy that I went with an E70 though.
pixma commented:
August 30, 2013, 9:24 pm

Agreed. From the side the front looks like it is hit, the back looks like a Mercedes. Definitely the worst angle there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Alot View Post
I don't dislike the front profile like I thought I would based on these new series of photos. The side profile however is really bad IMO though....just looks disjointed. I also am disappointed to hear that the steering is "soft" like most new Bimmers. The interior looks great...really nice upgrades! I am actual hopeful that when the LCI updates are ready, some of the flaws might get fixed. As it stands today, I am happy that I went with an E70 though.
ChazmanE39 commented:
August 30, 2013, 11:14 pm

Looking good BMW the new X-5 is going to be great!!! Can't wait to drive the 1st demo that gets in stock...Just wish they were producing the Diesel's before December not sure if I can wait that long might have to go with the 50 instead...
rawskyb commented:
August 30, 2013, 11:57 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by AutoUnion View Post
Thanks for the writeup. When should we see the X5s on lots?

- Sent from Galaxy S4
My CA said he is expecting to have their demos hit the lot in late September. There may not be units for sale on the lot until October or November, but you should be able to see them in person before then. I'm hoping to be test driving one in 4 weeks...
pharding commented:
August 31, 2013, 7:05 am

The black vertical elements flanking the rear window is hideous. That has to be the worst BMW detail in decades. The X5 is more refined aesthetically but it is bit disappointing due to its lack of innovation.
Bigtop commented:
August 31, 2013, 1:10 pm

The article is interesting in that it indicates they are softening up the suspension and handling. So to get the firmer suspension and handling characteristics similar to the E70 (I like the sporty side of suspension characteristics) would I have to select the M Sport Line with Dynamic Handling package as opposed the regular Dynamic Handling Package that is offered in the xLline and Luxury Line? From what I see the M Sport Dynamic Handling Package has Sport and Sport+ profiles that possibly would offer a firmer ride??
blue dragon commented:
August 31, 2013, 1:34 pm

Hey, those are Ontario plates....
760Lifan commented:
August 31, 2013, 3:59 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigtop View Post
The article is interesting in that it indicates they are softening up the suspension and handling. So to get the firmer suspension and handling characteristics similar to the E70 (I like the sporty side of suspension characteristics) would I have to select the M Sport Line with Dynamic Handling package as opposed the regular Dynamic Handling Package that is offered in the xLline and Luxury Line? From what I see the M Sport Dynamic Handling Package has Sport and Sport+ profiles that possibly would offer a firmer ride??
As soon as you opt for the Dynamic Handling Package, it doesn't matter what line you pick - the suspension (and its modes) will be identical.
Bigtop commented:
August 31, 2013, 4:27 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by 760Lifan View Post
As soon as you opt for the Dynamic Handling Package, it doesn't matter what line you pick - the suspension (and its modes) will be identical.
Are you sure, because I thought I saw that the M Sport line had Sport and Sport + that would stiffen up the handling even further? However, that Sport + calibration was not available on the other Lines even if you did order the Dynamic Handling Package.
AutoUnion commented:
August 31, 2013, 8:14 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by blue dragon View Post
Hey, those are Ontario plates....
They're going the press launch in Canada right now

- Sent from Galaxy S4
760Lifan commented:
August 31, 2013, 8:53 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigtop View Post
Are you sure, because I thought I saw that the M Sport line had Sport and Sport + that would stiffen up the handling even further? However, that Sport + calibration was not available on the other Lines even if you did order the Dynamic Handling Package.
It's true that this calibration is exclusive to the M Sport line - but as soon as you opt for the Dynamic Handling Package, the stiffer option is replaced by the smoother one.

The stiffened up handling on the M Sport Line is part of the M Sport Line's exclusive, optional 2VF - Adaptive M Suspension. If you opt for the M Sport, you can decide between 2VF or ZSU Standard Suspension.

However, the order guide states that if you go with the M Sport line AND the Dynamic Handling Package, you won't be getting 2VF. It says "2VM cannot be ordered with 2VF" so you have to decide between the Adaptive M Suspension and the Dynamic Handling Package since the Dynamic Handling Package always comes with 2VM Dynamic Damper Control + rear axle air suspension.

As a result, any F15 ordered in the US with Dynamic Handling Package comes with the "regular" 2VM Damper Control instead of 2VF Adaptive M Suspension. They are both the same technology but have a different set-up - that's why you can't have both. 2VM is regular and 2VF is stiffer.

In Germany (and probably anywhere else), it is a bit different. There you can indeed get 2VF and combine it with "2VP Dynamic Performance Control + Active Role Stabilization" because 2VF is standard on the M Sport Line and you can't get one without it. Therefore, ordering the Dynamic Handling Package is not possible (because it is actually unnecessary) because you can simply add 2VP as a stand-alone option (which we in the US, on the other hand, can't do).
Bigtop commented:
September 1, 2013, 3:47 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by 760Lifan View Post
It's true that this calibration is exclusive to the M Sport line - but as soon as you opt for the Dynamic Handling Package, the stiffer option is replaced by the smoother one.

The stiffened up handling on the M Sport Line is part of the M Sport Line's exclusive, optional 2VF - Adaptive M Suspension. If you opt for the M Sport, you can decide between 2VF or ZSU Standard Suspension.

However, the order guide states that if you go with the M Sport line AND the Dynamic Handling Package, you won't be getting 2VF. It says "2VM cannot be ordered with 2VF" so you have to decide between the Adaptive M Suspension and the Dynamic Handling Package since the Dynamic Handling Package always comes with 2VM Dynamic Damper Control + rear axle air suspension.

As a result, any F15 ordered in the US with Dynamic Handling Package comes with the "regular" 2VM Damper Control instead of 2VF Adaptive M Suspension. They are both the same technology but have a different set-up - that's why you can't have both. 2VM is regular and 2VF is stiffer.

In Germany (and probably anywhere else), it is a bit different. There you can indeed get 2VF and combine it with "2VP Dynamic Performance Control + Active Role Stabilization" because 2VF is standard on the M Sport Line and you can't get one without it. Therefore, ordering the Dynamic Handling Package is not possible (because it is actually unnecessary) because you can simply add 2VP as a stand-alone option (which we in the US, on the other hand, can't do).

Thanks for the detailed reply.
finnbmw commented:
September 1, 2013, 6:36 pm

Xbimmers has some videos of the new X5 driving in BC

http://www.xbimmers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=883940
760Lifan commented:
September 2, 2013, 12:32 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigtop View Post
Thanks for the detailed reply.
You're welcome!

It took me a while to get through the "order guide jungle" and with the help of the more detailed German pricing-guide, I finally figured it out. The German guide provided detailed information about what 2VF actually consists of. The name "Adaptive M-Suspension" makes you believe that it is nothing more than a specific suspension-tuning but the German guide explained that it was much more.

Once I got that, it all made sense..
Kar Don commented:
September 4, 2013, 3:31 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by finnbmw View Post
Xbimmers has some videos of the new X5 driving in BC

http://www.xbimmers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=883940
I was in Vancouver BC and saw this exact X5 driving around downtown, same plate. They were having the launch party at my hotel (Fairmont pacific Rim). They had an F15 X5 under a sheer cloth in the lobby. Looks great in person!

Those pics above look like the sea to sky highway from Vancouver to Whistler... one of the most beautiful roads in the world IMO.

BTW, whats up with the yellow angel eyes/corona rings? I thought we were done with those... When I saw it driving they weren't on.
rickp commented:
September 4, 2013, 6:42 pm

Oh no, not another corona-gate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kar Don View Post
I was in Vancouver BC and saw this exact X5 driving around downtown, same plate. They were having the launch party at my hotel (Fairmont pacific Rim). They had an F15 X5 under a sheer cloth in the lobby. Looks great in person!

Those pics above look like the sea to sky highway from Vancouver to Whistler... one of the most beautiful roads in the world IMO.

BTW, whats up with the yellow angel eyes/corona rings? I thought we were done with those... When I saw it driving they weren't on.
Steve J commented:
September 5, 2013, 12:03 am

I'm inferring that the UK xDrive 30d is the same as the USA xDrive 35d. If that is the case why do BMW alter the name for the identical car? All this breeds is confusion.

It will be interesting to peruse reviews of the more sporty suspension choice ie M Sport Line with the optional 2VF: Adaptive M Suspension as I'm not interested in a float boat.

It looks like the Porsche Cayenne is the benchmark here. Mercedes is clearly beaten.

I wonder what the third row is like since the vehicle only grew by one inch in length. I doubt whether adults could sit comfortably there. Apparently third row is for toddlers or the extremely vertically challenged adults!

Aesthetically the F15 looks more modern than the E70 but is not as good looking as the predecessor. No problem! I still believe it is an improvement because it looks more futuristic in F15 guise. I like the way the headlights kiss the grill. The taillights are a definite improvement. The downer is the side profile. The front iooks pushed in and the angle and rendition of the Hoffmeister kink could have been better implemented.
760Lifan commented:
September 5, 2013, 1:07 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve J View Post
I'm inferring that the UK xDrive 30d is the same as the USA xDrive 35d. If that is the case why do BMW alter the name for the identical car?
Marketing.

In the US, the 35d is $1500K more than the 35i. In Germany, the 35i is EUR 500 more than the 30d. Selling any kind of 30 for an up-charge over a 35 will be difficult.

For enthusiasts like us this might sound silly - for the average Joe browsing the showroom and making a "gut-decision", this can be a deal breaker.
Steve J commented:
September 5, 2013, 1:22 pm

Perusing the front of the car I can't understand why the fog lights had to be rendered circular. Rectangular would have been the way to go. It would have been in harmony with the F15 nascent generation and would have further differentiated it from the E70 LCI. Those big circular fog lights are misplaced. They are reminiscent of two giant pimples and it seems that the designers were reluctant to stray too far from the E70 LCI. So, essentially we have evolution rather than revolution and I can't help thinking BMW missed an opportunity here.
Steve J commented:
September 5, 2013, 2:04 pm

760Lifan, I find it hard to reconcile that successful people - let's face it, one has to be successful to afford a BMW - would fall for the old switcheroo trick. I would have thought that customers would be glad to know that their car manufacturer is transparent and treats them as though they have more than bricks between their ears.
Kar Don commented:
September 5, 2013, 4:35 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve J View Post
Perusing the front of the car I can't understand why the fog lights had to be rendered circular. Rectangular would have been the way to go. It would have been in harmony with the F15 nascent generation and would have further differentiated it from the E70 LCI. Those big circular fog lights are misplaced. They are reminiscent of two giant pimples and it seems that the designers were reluctant to stray too far from the E70 LCI. So, essentially we have evolution rather than revolution and I can't help thinking BMW missed an opportunity here.
I don't see it that way. Look at ALL BMWs today, circular fogs. Look at 99 and 2000 BMWs, rectangular fogs. Circular fogs is part of their current design language.
760Lifan commented:
September 5, 2013, 4:40 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve J View Post
760Lifan, I find it hard to reconcile that successful people - let's face it, one has to be successful to afford a BMW - would fall for the old switcheroo trick. I would have thought that customers would be glad to know that their car manufacturer is transparent and treats them as though they have more than bricks between their ears.
I certainly can't tell for sure if what I stated is the actual reason for their labeling-stunt - but honestly, I can't think of any other.
henrycyao commented:
September 8, 2013, 12:09 pm

"Unfortunately that means it can’t match the steering feel and chassis responses of its predecessor."

I want my ultimate driving machine company back.
AutoUnion commented:
September 8, 2013, 1:24 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by henrycyao View Post
"Unfortunately that means it can't match the steering feel and chassis responses of its predecessor."

I want my ultimate driving machine company back.
Looks like Cayenne sales will go up. Lol

- Sent from Galaxy S4
pixma commented:
September 8, 2013, 10:14 pm

No doubt. Here in the Bay area the number of Cayennes on the road already rivals those of the E70 LCI. With Cayennes offering the cheaper base model and superior reliability and handling, I don't see any reason they will not become more and more popular. I'll take a serious look at the Cayenne for my next vehicle as well. BMW is so obsessed with competing with Audi/Mercedes in this segment that it loses sight of another truly sporty SUV that will kick its butt in its core competence. It might lose the battle on both ends.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AutoUnion View Post
Looks like Cayenne sales will go up. Lol

- Sent from Galaxy S4