Building on the world-wide reputation for on-road excellence of the original X5, launched in 1999, the second generation car’s larger and more spacious body sits on an entirely revised suspension package and features a pair of refined new engines.
The X5 will arrive in Australia in April with the option of a 4.8-litre V8 petrol or a lightweight straight six 3.0-litre diesel, both coupled to a six-speed shift-by-wire automatic gearbox.
They will be joined by a straight six 3.0-litre petrol option late next year.
The free-revving V8 offers 261kW peaking at 6300rpm and 475Nm of torque at a useable 3400-3800rpm giving the petrol X5 every opportunity to show off its superb road dynamics.
The diesel, with 173kW peaking near redline at 4000rpm, is not as free-spirited but loses nothing in the all-important mid-range application with 510Nm of urge waiting to be called on from 2000-2750rpm.
The car will also be offered for the first time as a seven-seater with the third row tucked away under the rear cargo floor until required.
BMW Australia says no decision has been made on pricing or standard inclusions for the new cars but if the marketing follows typical BMW procedure there will be a raft of opportunities to personalise your purchase with options.
Among the range of options being offered in Europe are Adaptive Drive - electronically controlled active damping and rollbar control; Active Steer - along with active drive, available for the first time on an all-wheel drive model; Heads-Up display which displays a range of information from navigation to speed on the windscreen in the driver’s eyeline.
This has flowed through from the 7 Series and 5 Series models.
The X5’s bi-Xenon headlights will also have an active capability to follow steering direction (possibly optional).
The controversial iDrive control centre has again been slightly modified with the option of storing regular destinations, phone numbers or settings on the radio buttons.
The Daily Telegraph CARSguide liftout on November 18 will feature a full report on the BMW X5.