After 1.3 million copies sold over two generations dating back to 1999, BMW has announced an all-new version of its X5 midsize SUV.
Wait, check that, this is an SAV, if you’re to believe the folks at BMW. Seeking some individuality in a crowded luxury SUV marketplace, the German automaker has long preferred to call the X5 a sports activity vehicle.
Whatever you call it, it has been an immensely successful vehicle for the company, which is why this new 2014 model isn’t a dramatic makeover.
The new model will still come with either a six- or eight-cylinder gas engine, or a six-cylinder diesel power plant. Most models will be all-wheel drive, though for the first time on the X5, BMW is offering a rear-wheel-drive base model.
The engine six-cylinder engine remains a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder that makes 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. Adhering to BMW’s wonky naming conventions, this engine will be on the sDrive35i and its all-wheel-drive brother on the xDrive35i.
Meanwhile, the optional twin-turbocharged V-8 on the xDrive50i gets a healthy power boost. It now makes 445 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque, gains of 45 and 30, respectively.
The new models are also a bit lighter than their predecessors. The six-cylinder versions shed about 170 pounds, while the V-8 models lose around 230 pounds. BMW said it was able to do this by using high-strength steel, aluminum and magnesium strategically throughout the new X5.
With less mass to carry, acceleration times predictably drop. The xDrive35i will do zero to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds, while the xDrive50i can do it in 4.9 seconds.
Finally, the xDrive35d gets a new 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder diesel engine. This power plant makes 255 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque.
All 2014 X5 models will get an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Aesthetically, the new model freshens up the X5 look without alienating the owners of the current model. The 2014 version picks up crisper lines and a more taut profile, while remaining essentially the same size as the outgoing X5.
Inside, the cabin gets a complete makeover, with a 10.2-inch infotainment screen serving as the centerpiece in the X5’s dashboard.
BMW said the two gas-powered models will go on sale sometime in the fourth quarter of this year. The diesel X5 will join the lineup in early 2014.
ALSO:Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times