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BMW X5 2021-2022 Review
It may be BMW’s sedans that have the longest history and arguably the most interesting heritage, but there remains one model in BMW’s stable that redefined and rejuvenated the range, keeping the Bavarian brand relevant and ahead of its peers. That model is the BMW X5, the first of its kind for BMW and the model that coined the Sport Activity Vehicle (SAV) acronym that BMW is insistent on using.
Prior to the launch of the first generation X5, the world had a very different view of what luxury SUVs were and could be. They were loaded with soft touch materials and expensive items, and often very heavy as well – with very little emphasis placed on ride and handling qualities, but a somewhat consistent ability to go off-road.
BMW sought to redefine this at the turn of the century, and in 1999 they gave the world the first BMW X5. For those who aren’t familiar, it wasn’t regarded as BMW’s first SUV, but rather the first SUV to handle like a BMW – and this was at a time when BMW still prided themselves heavily on the way their cars felt and drove.
Now in its fourth generation, the BMW X5 has grown and evolved, being the most comfortable, advanced, and refined version ever. The model saw a global launch in 2018, with a local launch midway through 2019, and a mild revision introduced in 2020. The model was initially offered here in a singular X5 xDrive40i variant, which was then replaced by the xDrive45e plug-in hybrid.
BMW X5 2021-2022 Specifications
What’s interesting about the BMW X5 that’s locally offered is that it is a plug-in hybrid model, but the petrol engine that it comes with is a slightly detuned variant of the one found in the xDrive40i variant which it replaced in 2020. Being a turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol engine, it makes a nominal 286 PS at peak with a torque of 450 Nm from 1,500 rpm to 3,500 rpm.
The electric motor supplies an additional 113 PS and 265 Nm of torque from just off idle. When you combine the two motive sources together, their overlapping power figures result in a total system output of 394 PS and 600 Nm of torque – no small amount, though arguably on par with other plug-in hybrid offerings on the market. Pure electric range for the X5 is up to 77 kilometres, while charging time with a wallbox is roughly 6.8 hours to 100% charge from flat.
As the variant name suggests, all that performance is split across all four wheels through a ZF eight-speed conventional automatic transmission. The xDrive all-wheel drive system is traditionally rear biased to begin with, sending power to the front wheels once the rear wheels detect slip – and also an element that gives the X5 such excellent handling prowess.
Dimensionally, the BMW X5 has a wheelbase of 2,975 mm, sandwiched by overhangs for an overall length of 4,922 mm, and a width of 2,218 mm (inclusive of the side mirrors). While there is an optional upgrade for a third row of seats, this is not offered locally – so you get the full sized boot instead.
BMW X5 2021-2022 Exterior
You can get the BMW X5 in just four different paint options – Black Sapphire, Mineral White, Phytonic Blue, and Arctic Grey with brilliant effect. Regardless of which you choose, however, you’ll be treated with an incredibly handsome two-box design, an evolution of the original BMW X5 that grows sportier with each generation. Roof rails in aluminium really help to highlight the height of the vehicle without making it seem overly tall, and 20-inch wheels at each corner fill out the arches as the designers intended.
Unfortunately, there is no LaserLight here – instead you make do with adaptive LED headlights that still look fantastic within their enclosed housings. Between the headlights is a prominent front grille, though one that is still reasonable sized and not as tall as what you find with the current generation BMW M3 and M4. LED foglights round out the front fascia, in tandem with rear LED tail lights.
BMW X5 2021-2022 Interior
As far as BMW interiors go, the BMW X5 sits on the more luxurious end of things. This goes beyond the material choices – perforated black Leather Vernasca with fine-wood trim inlays – and the layout of the switchgear and shift lever, but in the items that really improve quality of life. Ambient lighting, sports seats for the front, velour floor mats, automatic four-zone climate control, and a wonderfully large BMW Live Cockpit Professional head unit help to round out the look.
BMW X5 2021-2022 Safety Features
Despite living in a world that’s arguably very safety centric, BMW doesn’t seem to want to shout about the safety systems in the BMW X5 – both active and passive. The active systems are looped under the Driving Assistant package, which uses camera based systems to provide approach control warning and person warning with light city braking functionality. There is also speed limit info, lane departure warning, and radar-based equipment like cross-traffic warning, lane change warning, and rear collision prevention.
It goes without saying that BMW also includes your essential items like Dynamic Stability Control (electronic stability control), traction control, ABS with EBD and brake assist, and so on. These systems are some of the best on the market, with a sampling and reaction rate that is over ten times quicker than your average mass market sedan or hatchback.
BMW X5 2021-2022 Strengths and Weaknesses
Like all models from BMW, the BMW X5 handles beautifully. It hides its hefty kerb weight of 2,510 kilograms incredibly well, thanks in no small part to the wide tyres it comes equipped with from factory – 275/45 R20 up front, and 305/40 R20 at the rear. In combination with the CLAR platform on which it sits, the BMW X5 handles impeccably when you’re forced to drive it in anger – or if you’re just enjoying a spirited drive on a back road.
But as times have changed, so too has the expectations of consumers. The BMW X5 still has to tick all the boxes as a lifestyle and family vehicle, and perhaps it trades a bit of packaging and interior space for that uncompromising handling ability. It could be that little bit roomier, that little bit softer – but ultimately these are questions of taste and preference rather than outright weaknesses.
BMW X5 2021-2022 Price
Pricing for the singular variant of the BMW X5 currently available in Malaysia is RM 418,813.85. This is Pensinular Malaysia pricing, exclusive of the optional extended warranty and service package that will bump the price up to RM 439,443.85. Prices are valid until the end of June with the current SST exemptions in place and may continue if the government chooses to extend the exemptions.
BMW X5 2021-2022 Features
For that hefty price tag, you would expect to get a fair amount of features in the BMW X5 – and you’re absolutely right in this case. A Harman/Kardon surround sound system, rear-seat entertainment (screens mounted to the back of the front seats), and a panoramic glass sunroof are just some of the items that you will enjoy wherever you happen to sit in the cabin. The driver gets a heads-up display, and the passenger can make use of BMW’s gesture control system to adjust the onboard head unit.
BMW X5 2021-2022 Fuel Consumption
There is a manufacturer quoted fuel consumption figure for the BMW X5, but it is heavily dependent on whether you keep the onboard hybrid battery packs fully charged before you set out on your journeys. This figure is 2.5 litres per 100 kilometres, which translates to 40 kilometres per litre.
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- Body Type: SUV
- Transmission: Automatic
- Engine Capacity: 2979 cc
- Fuel Type: petrol
- Seat Capacity: 7
- Price: RM 390,800 - RM 418,814
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We could wax lyrical about how the X5 had precise steering, predictable dynamics, and a progressive nature as you approach the limit - but these are things that are par for the course for a BMW. The air suspension and adaptive damping functioned as they do, keeping the car plush and pliant across rough tarmac while sharpening up when pitching the behemoth into a corner. What turned out to be far more exciting was the second half of our testing, which involved bumping around a massive estate in X5s equipped with the first-of-its-kind xOffroad package.View full review
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User Review of BMW X5
Car is so cool and comfortable
First time bmw user
My lovely bmwx1