The first leaked photos of the new 2014 BMW X5 that surfaced on the internet earlier today left few doubts about the path that the Bavarians would follow with the third generation of their premium midsize SUV, or as the brand with the blue and white roundel likes to call it, SAV for Sports Activity Vehicle.
If you were talented enough on the drawing board to imagine the current X5 with various styling elements from the latest 3-Series sedan and the X3, what you would get is the new X5, which is clearly an evolution of the outgoing model with a more upright and serious face dominated by the twin kidney grilles and the extended headlamp covers.
In a similar fashion, the interior styling of the X5 has evolved to incorporate the latest styling trends at BMW like the four round gauges on the instrument panel and the oversized 10.2-inch Control Display Monitor.
At the rear, the folding backrest of the second-row seat can now be split 40:20:40, which allows load capacity to be increased in stages from 23 cu.ft. to 66 cu.ft. (650 – 1,870 liters), based on EU measurements, which BMW says represents up to seven percent more volume than its predecessor.
There are also more storage compartments inside including door pockets that can accommodate 1.5-liter bottles up front and one-liter bottles in the rear.
BMW has introduced two new trim levels named Luxury Line and xLine with bespoke interior and exterior features, while the M Sport package will continue to be offered adding all the usual goods like an aero kit, sports seats and interior trim, 19-inch wheels and an available M Adaptive Suspension.
The F15-codenamed X5 is 29mm longer, 5mm wider and 14mm lower than the outgoing X5 at 4,886mm (192.3 inches) long, 1,938mm (76.3 inches) wide and 1,762mm (69.4 inches) tall respectively. The wheelbase remains the same at 2,933mm (115.5 inches).
Even though it’s a little bit bigger than the model it replaces, BMW states that the new X5 is as much as 90kg or 198 pounds lighter than a comparably equipped corresponding variant from the previous X5 generation.
If you live in Europe, the new X5 will launch this fall with a choice of three models: the xDrive30d with revised 3.0-liter six-cylinder in-line diesel unit churning out 255hp (258PS); the xDrive50i featuring a new generation of BMW’s 4.4-liter V8 petrol rated for 444hp (450PS), and the M50d M Performance with a tri-turbo six-cylinder in-line diesel producing 376hp (381PS) for a 0-100km/h (62mph) time of 5.3 seconds. All of these models come with standard all-wheel drive and an 8-speed automatic.
In December of 2013, BMW will expand the X5’s range with the xDrive40d diesel, xDrive35i turbocharged petrol, X5 xDrive25d diesel and for the first time in the model’s history, a rear-wheel drive version named the X5 sDrive25d with CO2 emissions of 149 g/km.
In North America, the BMW X5 will arrive in dealerships during the fourth quarter of the year as with a 300hp turbocharged straight-six gasoline unit for the rear-wheel drive sDrive35i and the all-wheel drive xDrive35i, and the 445hp 4.4-liter V8 gasoline engine for the xDrive50i that completes the 0-60mph (100km/h) sprint in 4.9 seconds, or 0.4 seconds quicker than its predecessor. The diesel-powered xDrive35d will follow in early 2014.