test: 2014 BMW X5 30d F15 review



+ Excellent driving feel despite being a big SUV
+ Extremely versatile range of accessories
+ The most modern 7-seater
+ Powerful and economical engines and excellent gearbox
– No Euro NCAP crash results yet, the previous model was not crash tested at all
– No rear side airbags
– Complex service program

It has been quiet in the field of large SUV’s. WV Touareg and Porsche Cayenne are a few years old, and the Volvo XC90 and Audi Q7 arrive next year at the earliest. Therefore, the arrival of the new X5 is refreshing. For those seeking a 7-seater have only one option unless they desire a 10 -year-old Q7 or XC90.

Externally, the car has changed only moderately, but the end result is excellent. Weight is almost unchanged from the E70 body style in the 30d-model (2145kg vs 2150kg), but the overall length has increased by 3 cm. The newly styled headlights extend all the way to the kidney grille giving the car a more sporty look compared to the predecessor and it is obvious that styling overall has been a higher priority in the new X5. The M-Sport package adds further sportiness to the appearance and for sporty car fans it is a must. In addition to the appearance the M-sport package includes standard equipment such as the M-chassis, alcantara electric sports seats, a sports steering wheel, parking sensors and a flappy paddle gearbox.

Engine and drivability :

The 30d proved to be faster than we had anticipated. The factory acceleration figures (0-100 km / h in 6.9s ) were achieved after one try with studded winter tyres. Summer tires and a dry asphalt would have resulted in a signifficantly better time, but as our test car had a mere 300 km on the odometer further attempts were left to another time.

The engine is powerful and torque is sufficient for all situations. We can only imagine how the top of the model range M50d accelerates when the “basic three-liter” is so fast. The standard 8-speed automatic transmission is rapid and works seamlessly . It completes the efficient engines’ capabilites as it is so rapid and smooth. For its size it has a typical BMW-like highly accurate steering and it is easy to drive too self-confidently to parking garages, where the size of the car suddenly reminds of itself. It is especially evident when parking into tight spots, because the car has a fairly large turning radius (Auto Motor und Sport magazine measured it to be about 1 m larger than for example in the Mercedes ML or Porsche Panamera).

On the highway it feels very agile, but windy weather conditions are noticed in the car as it is large and boxy. The driver has a choice of three driving programs: Sport, Comfort and Eco Pro. The Comfort mode is most suitable for daily driving. In the sport setting, the throttle response is clearly more rapid, but when driving on the freeway the steering becomes too sensitive and steering corrections have to be made constantly, similarly to an old movie. This feature is overemphasized because of the studded tires. The Eco Pro mode promises surprisingly good additional savings in consumption, taking into account that it works almost as well in highway traffic as the Comfort-mode, even though kickdowns are slow and this makes it difficult to use in rush hour traffic. The driving options are, in any case a welcome standard option. We did not have an opportunity to try the adaptive comfort nor dynamic chassis, but even the basic chassis is so good that it provides an adequate combination of sportiness and comfort for most driving situations. The visibility from the large windows is excellent and it is almost unmatched.



The X5 ‘s interior is modern and stylish. The M-sport package adds a nice sports wheel to the already pleasant interior. The optional interior light package includes decorative lighting to spice up the cabin especially in the dark. The only minus is the traditional analog instrument cluster that stands out in the otherwise modern cabin. The digital instrument panel found in the 7-series would have been the right choice and more in line with the rest of the interior. The red glow and visual style reminds us too much of old 90’s BMWs. However, by chosing certain optional equipment such as the HUD-display and Driving Assistant Plus-aid, it is possible to obtain an extended LCD display to the lower part of the instrument cluster (6WA).

The sports seats are very comfortable and we can recommended them to everyone. Even large-sized drivers can find a good driving position easily, and they felt comfortable even after a long driving day. The rear seats are very spacious and the middle passenger has also ample space as the floor is completely flat also in the center. The boot is roomy and it has a split tailgate for easier loading. The loading depth is greater than in the VW Touareg and Mercedes ML SUV’s, even though the total volume of 650 liters is less than the competition promises. Surprisingly, also a big stroller fits longitudinally, especially if the car is a 7-seater (the 2nd row can be moved a few centimeters forward). Back seat folds in a ratio of 40:20:40. All in all, there is enough room for even large families and the boot size is ample and well proportioned.


Xenon lights are available as standard, but many wonder whether the optional LED lights are worth the extra money, especially as tests have proven the light intensity and range to be identical and in some cases even worse. When we saw the below video from BMW and tested the LED’s ourselves, we were convinced they are worth the extra cost. LED-technology is the future and one should consider this option especially in combination with night vision, especially if driving frequently in the night and through areas with deer or moose.

The biggest difference to the previous generation and other more outdated competitors is its extensive and modern range of accessories. The only problem is that the total cost rises rapidly due to optional equipment that require other optional equipment that one would otherwise not choose.

The list of options is also confusing and a variety of equipment choices have a surprising amount of impact on the availability of other options. To clarify, the 360-degree parking camera is a good example. To get this equipment one must also purchase the rear parking radar, reversing camera and automatically folding mirrors for full price. The Speed ​​Limit Display requires a 4000 euro navigation system. Selecting a specific option might also affect other options in many instances: in the M -sport and M50d models, it is not possible to select the Dynamic suspension, the parking assistant deletes the active steering, the 3rd seat row deletes the ski bag and the night vision deletes the LED fog lights.  A positive surprise is that in a 7- seater car there is more practical space available, because the 2nd row of seats can be moved by several centimeters. In the 5 -seater, the seats are fixed. On the other hand, the extra seats will take away the space below the boot floor. For the reasons mentioned above, when placing an order you should read the price list carefully.

On a sidenote, we would like to comment on the standard sound system that our test car was equipped with. We were ready to recommend the more expensive stereo options, but a short experience with the basic sound system convinced us to believe that it certainly is enough for most people as the quality of the sound was surprisingly good.


As a whole, the new X5 is an excellent vehicle, and a great combination of space and a sporty driving experience. It is a pleasure to drive and the engine works like a dream. There is a lot of modern technology avaialable and it is very spacious, without being too large. It is the only modern  7-seater SUV on the market at the moment and we can recommend it gladly.

Test results:
Acceleration from 0-100 km / h ( HAKKA 7 – studded tires, a full tank and driver): 6.9s
Test consumption 9.3 l/100 km

Models : BMW X5 xDrive 25d , 30d, 40d , M50d , 50i and 35i .

Photo gallery:

Owner’s manual: LINK

German brochure can be found here : LINK

Below you can find the dimension comparison pictures of the previous (E70, above) and the new (F15, below):



2014 BMW X5 30d technical specifications :


Urban (ltr/100km)

– [7.0]

Urban (mpg)

– [40.4]

Extra-urban (ltr/100km)

– [5.7]

Extra-urban (mpg)

– [49.6]

Combined (ltr/100km)

– [6.2]

Combined (mpg)

– [45.6]

CO2 emissions (g/km) upper band

– [164.0]

CO2 emissions (g/km)

– [162.0]

Tank capacity (ltr)


Tank capacity (gals)



Top speed (km/h)

– [230]

Acceleration 0-62 mph (sec)

– [6.9]

Acceleration 50-75 mph in 4th (sec)



Unladen (EU) (kg)

– [2145]

Max permissible (kg)

– [2780]

Max permissible (lbs)

– [6129]

Permitted load (kg)

– [710]

Permitted load (lbs)

– [1565]

Permitted axle load, front/rear (kg)

-/- [1320/1545]

Permitted axle load, front/rear (lbs)

-/- [2910/3406]


Cylinders/valves per cylinder


Capacity (cc)


Capacity (cinch)


Stroke/Bore (mm)


Stroke/Bore (inch)


Max output (kW/hp/rpm)

190 (258)/4000

Max torque (Nm/rpm)


Compression ratio : 1



Tyre size front

– [255/55 R18 109V XL]

Tyre size rear

– [255/55 R18 109V XL]

Wheel size front

8,5J x 18 LM

Wheel size rear

8,5J x 18 LM

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