2019 BMW X5: Everything We Know Plus Our First Good Look Inside

The next-generation BMW X5, set to land as a 2019 model, has been spied undergoing testing in base, and potentially, performance-oriented guises.

As with previous spy images of the SUV, the prototypes pictured are bathed in camouflage and some of the styling changes are hard to pick. With that being said, a number of obvious changes immediately catch the eye, none more so than the kidney grilles which are significantly larger than those of the current model. While it’s a little too early to judge, we think the enlarged grilles look a little odd.

Nonetheless, there are some more convincing elements of the 2019 X5’s exterior, including different headlights with LED DRLs, horizontal taillights drastically slimmer than the current model, and squared-off tailpipes.

One of the prototypes spied is also sitting on a set of sporty wheels and could very well be an M-branded variant.

A brand new interior with a different center console layout

Like most German premium carmakers these days, BMW follows a strict evolutionary path when it comes to both exterior and interior redesigns. So color us a bit surprised to see a few changes taking place inside the new X5. Beyond the more rectangular (instead of oval) instrument panel cowl over the digital gauges, there’s a new layout on the center console with different air vents than what we’ve been accustomed to the past decade – yes, we know how that sounds, but remember, this is BMW we’re talking about.

In what could only be characterized as a seismic shift for traditionalists, the Bavarian designers swapped the position of the audio and climate controls, with the former now sitting up high. And like those TV infomercials yell at you at 3am in the morning, but wait, there’s more, because BMW has replaced the ergonomic air-conditioning knobs with what appear to be small toggle switches placed under an equally small digital screen positioned between the central vents. The 5- and 7-Series-sourced steering wheel hinders our view, but we’re hoping that at least one knob has made it out alive for the audio system volume on the left side.

Further back on the lower console between the seats, BMW has revamped the design of the automatic gearbox shifter that looks more compact in size, while adding a plethora of buttons on the left side, including what looks like the start-button. There’s also new toggle switches, one of which is for an off-road mode, as well as the familiar iDrive controller.

Different underpinnings should drastically alter the X5

While the interior and exterior design of the 2019 X5 will likely be all that many customers think about, the most drastic upgrades from the current model will come under the skin. Like the latest-generation 5-Series and 7-Series, BMW’s cluster architecture (CLAR) will underpin the X5.

This will make the SUV longer, lighter, and more rigid than the current model. In X5 M guise, those latter two characteristics could bring about fundamental handling and performance improvements, particularly if a reported weight cut of 250-300 kg (550-660 lbs) comes to fruition.

Another thing to be borrowed from the 7-Series is expected to be the two-axle air suspension, albeit as an option, with lower trim models making do with steel springs and available adaptive dampers.

Plenty of engines to choose from

BMW customers will have a plethora of engines to choose from depending on their location. Included in this range are bound to be a number of 2.0-liter four, 3.0-liter six and 4.4-liter eight-cylinder petrol and 2.0-liter four and 3.0-liter six-cylinder diesel units from the 5 and 7-Series. Given BMW’s interest in electrification, it’s probable that a plug-in hybrid mixing a 2.0-liter turbo four with electric power, like the current xDrive40e, is also being developed. In news that will surprise no one, the range-topping X5 M is tipped to use twin-turbo V8 engine delivering up to 600 hp.

Read also: our scoop story on the new BMW X5 M

A global premiere for the 2019 BMW X5 is expected for later this year, likely at the Paris Motor Show in September.

Additional reporting from John Halas

more photos...

Photo Credits: S. Baldauf / SB-Medien and CarPix for Carscoops

  • roy

    Don’t know about the handsome part but definitely bigger and lighter

    • Andrewthecarguy

      I think we ought to defer judgement until later.
      I remember when the F15 debuted. I did not like it. It looked off to me and it did not stand out.
      Now I like it a lot. I think the same will happen to this.

      • roy

        Yes that’s why not commenting on the aesthetics

  • Galaxium

    Taillights aren’t very BMW-esque

    • Javokhir_Sam


  • Harry_Wild

    Forgot to say more expensive too!

  • Bash

    I already like it more than the X7.

  • Tumbi Mtika

    And it’s also an X3.

  • Hot Twink

    It might be bigger and lighter, but handsome? I don’t think so with that pig nose.

    • Javokhir_Sam

      The grille design makes it more piggier

  • Sébastien

    Bigger nostril for sure

  • salamOOn

    “2019 BMW X5: It’s Bigger, Lighter And More Handsome”

    i would prefer reliable and cheaper to service….

    • Harry_Wild

      I don’t think that will happen, since the local BMW dealerships makes most of it money on after warranty expired repairs.

  • Nordschleife

    The rear 3/4 is giving me a non-German vibe.

    • Javokhir_Sam

      Korean vibe perhaps

  • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

    Nothing is handsome about those giant ass kidney grilles.

    BMW, clean and simple is more elegant and timeless.

  • izzey04

    look at my big NOSTRIL…who design BMW these days??

  • john1168

    Front grille way too big for this vehicle. The current X5 looks ssoooo much better. I’m getting a Hyundai vibe off the rear too. Not a bad thing but BMW should be making something a bit more special for the money they charge.

  • Charlie Medina’s Smiling Coach

    They should just make the whole front of the car one big set of nostrils and be done with it.

  • An Existing Person

    I’m hoping it won’t be simply just a larger X3, but I feel like I will be disappointed as that is exactly what it’s turning out to be. I’ll reserve all judgement until they release it.

  • Jay

    Think they’re messing up some of the new designs detaching the headlights from the grill. It’s almost a signal for their lesser cars now, especially with the bigger grills. The x7, 5, and 7 series all connect n work well but now the x3 looks like the purposely cut it short n doesn’t even follow the shape of the grill.

  • Javokhir_Sam

    Apart from questionable rear taillights and radiator grille, the car feels and looks like a well proportioned muscle-car. Let’s wait and see the release.

  • Elmediterraneo

    Where is the X6 ?

  • fathornyblackandjoe

    That shoulder line is…interesting. Could be OK, but I’d like see it without the camo. I think the headlights and grill look OK, but tailights kind of look meh.

  • SteersUright

    Shorter overhangs look excellent, as they always do. The new ginormous grille just looks like a pig’s nostrils though.

  • Harry_Wild

    I take reliability over lighter any day! The last X5 was a disaster in terms of spending 1/3 of it time in the shop waiting for parts! I sold it a year before the warranty was to expired! Does not hold it value either! I like the luxury interior that the X5 has. I will wait and see how it actually looks in the Summer when it is to be release!

  • Six_Tymes

    Thankfully its lighter, the current is a pig

  • This looks better than the M-B versions…

  • no25

    “first look inside” nah, we’ve seen that interior on every other BMW to ever exist.

  • Elpatore

    I’m having a very hard time liking the new tailight design of BMW SUVs of late, they look way too big and unnecesary, besides they don’t seem to have any BMW Design Dna.

  • Harry_Wild

    Touchscreen or not?

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