BMW will release its 2013 X5 later this year, and it’s given us a wealth of new information on what to expect from this third-generation ‘sports activity vehicle’ (that’s 4×4 to you and us). Aesthetically, it doesn’t look too different to the previous two models, but that’s no bad thing — it was always a bit of a looker. More important is the fact the company’s engineers have shoehorned a fair few tweaks under its gigantic metal shell. So without further ado, let’s take a look at a few of the most essential tweaks.
#1 The BMW X5 is faster than a Porsche Boxster
It’s big, but it’s no slouch. Plump for the top model, known as the X5 xDrive50i, and you get a 449hp engine that spazzes out 650Nm of torque, which is enough for a 0-62mph time of five seconds. That, friends, is enough to send a Porsche Boxster packing. Hell, it’ll even frighten a Porsche 911 if the driver isn’t fully on his or her game. It’s cheaper than a 911, too. If performance isn’t your bag then even the mid-range X5 xDrive40d is quick, knocking off 0-62mph in a Ford Focus ST-beating 6.9 seconds.
#2 Its more economical than a Mercedes M Class
Big SUVs (sorry, SAVs) often get a bad rap for being gas guzzlers, but the latest X5 sips diesel in a very un-lush-like manner. The 3-litre six-cylinder xDrive30d is an impressive 19 per cent more fuel efficient than its predecessor, returning 45.6mpg and CO2 of 162g/km. That’s 7.4mpg more and 33g/km of CO2 less than the outgoing car. The new X5 sDrive25d is set to be the most frugal model in the range, with an expected 50.4mpg and 149g/km.
#3 The BMW X5 is lighter than a Range Rover
Everybody and their dog, particularly in the motoring press, bangs on about how impressively light the new Range Rover is. Having shed 420kg during its transition from previous to current generation models, the car is the poster child for lightweight SUVs – but the X5 is lighter. The new BMW X5 tips the scales at 2,145kg (5kg less than before) while the Range Rover clocks in at 2,160kg.
#4 Its boot is bigger than ever
Want more junk in your trunk? That’s no problem because the new, 2013 BMW X5 has a larger boot than ever. We’re talking 650 litres of luggage space with the rear seats in place and 1,870 litres when you fold them down – that’s 30 litres and 120 litres more, respectively. BMW also reckons the car has more storage space in the cabin, too.
#5 You probably won’t die in an X5
Let’s face it – if you ever get into a crash in an X5, whatever you hit is probably going to come off worse. The new model doesn’t promise to be any harder, but it is festooned with a wider array of safety technology that should help prevent accidents – not so much for your sake, but to protect other drivers. A new Driving Assistant feature includes an anti-collision system that detects when pedestrians hop out in front of the car and can apply the brakes (moderately) at speeds of up to 35mph. If you do get into mischief, the car can automatically call the emergency services and alert them as to where you’ve had a prang.
#6 It comes with its own concierge
Want recommendations for a movie tonight? Need to find a hotel in a hurry? Can’t find the telephone number for Local Bob’s BBQ an Fish Emporium? No big deal – the new X5 is available with a concierge service. Just select the right option on the infotainment display and you’ll be put through to your own personal assistant.
#7 The 2013 BMW X5 drives it itself
Most luxury cars have some sort of active cruise control system, but the 2013 BMW X5 goes a step further. The vehicle will follow traffic, braking, accelerating and stopping as necessary and, thanks to its Traffic Jam Assistant feature, will even maintain its position in lane at up to 25mph.
#8 It has Internet access
While you’re being driven autonomously, you might fancy doing a bit of Web surfing. The car coms with Internet access and Online Entertainment, allowing you to surf the Web, access up to 12 million music tracks, as well as update Facebook and Twitter (when you’re at a standstill).
#9 The X5 goes on sale in November 2013
The entry-level X5 xDrive25d will start from an expected £42,590 on the road. The xDrive25d, 30d and 40d will go for £44,895, £47,895 and £50,665, respectively. The X5 M50d and xDrive50i will set you back £63,715 and £63,920, respectively. Start saving those pennies.