Regardless of how the all-new 2019 BMW X5 stacks against its predecessor, automakers will always be more interested in how new models are perceived within their specific segments. The X5 needs to worry less about the past and more about the likes of the Audi Q7, Volvo XC90 and Porsche Cayenne.
Why you ask? Sales, of course. Two of these three models (the Q7 and the XC90) have ran almost neck and neck with the old X5 in European sales, while the race has have been reasonably close in North America too.
The Cayenne isn’t as popular on the sales chart, but that’s only because of it costs more, especially when you pile up extras, pretty much everywhere in the world. Still, we can’t overlook the Porsche in any sort of comparison when it comes to BMW’s SUV.
A quick word on why we skipped Mercedes‘ GLE
As in any other segment BMW is present these days, one of the X5’s chief rivals comes from Mercedes-Benz. The reason why we didn’t include the GLE here is that it would have been an unfair comparison, as it’s living on borrowed time, having been in production since 2011. An all-new model is just around the corner, with an anticipated world premiere this fall at the Paris Motor Show.
The more things change…
BMW’s all-new X5 is bolder than its predecessor, looking more modern than the car it leaves behind, albeit not by much. It’s still instantly recognizable as a BMW from most angles.
At the same time, you could argue that if you take away the badges, you could call it anything, especially a far as its rear-end styling is concerned. Will we miss the X5’s well known L-shaped taillights? That remains to be seen.
In the Audi Q7, we have an SUV that already looks modern, as this latest-generation model is only 3 years old. This makes it more capable of holding its own against a newly launched X5, than say the Mercedes-Benz GLE – eagerly awaiting its own generational shift.
Moving on to the third-generation Porsche Cayenne, it came out last year and features an evolutionary design compared to its predecessor. Its styling is a lot simpler than that of the new X5, as there aren’t as many angular creases within the bodywork. So choosing between the two from a visual perspective will always come down to personal taste.
What about the Volvo XC90 you ask? Well, say what you will, but it’s proven to be an immensely popular SUV. It’s been called boxy, stylish, elegant, you name it. Next to the X5, it definitely looks less sporty, but you could make a case for it as being more imposing.
Altogether, we’d say that the BMW and the Porsche look the most dynamic, as expected, while the Audi and the Volvo stand out a little less, especially when looking at their rears or profiles.
So many bells and whistles, we need to cover our ears
We’ll admit that the Volvo XC90 is a bit too “2015” when it comes to on-board tech and overall dashboard aesthetics.
Don’t get us wrong, the Swedish SUV looks great inside, and the build quality is top notch, but the interior of the Audi Q7 just looks more modern. Meanwhile, the 2018 Cayenne represents the very best Porsche has to offer today, and the same can be said about the all-new BMW X5.
Again, choosing your favorite ambiance out of the four comes down to personal taste, although, whichever model you sit down in, it should feel plenty luxurious.
According to BMW, the all-new X5 features higher quality materials than its predecessor, to go with the new switchgear and 2018-worthy tech. The steering wheel is the same as on the new 5-Series, while that little climate control display between the air vents is a fresh new touch.
Speaking of which, the Audi’s dashboard looks like it’s one big air vent (yet it works, visually), while the Porsche’s mirrors that of a 911, best it can. As for the XC90, it definitely has the most minimalist interior design.
But wait, there’s more!
As we mentioned before, this year will also mark the arrival of the all-new Mercedes-Benz GLE, which should look something like this:
Rendering Copyright: CarScoops / Josh Byrnes
So technically speaking, the 2019 BMW X5 won’t enjoy much of a sales head start against its upcoming rival from Mercedes.
Your turn now. Which one of these four premium SUVs do you think looks best?