Autohullut.fi test: 2014 BMW X5 (F15) M50d review

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+ Delivers amazing speeds also on winding roads
+ Travel comfort in a sporty car
+ Consumption and power in this class
– Price in Finland
– Door rubber seals swing out
– Front seat leather worn in a relatively new test car

We were convinced by the new BMW X5 F15 when we tested it and that’s why we decided to test the sportiest version, the BMW Motorsport tuned M50d. On paper it promises a lot from the same three-liter engine, which we found plenty strong already in the 30d. This version promises 381 horsepower (280 kW) thanks to triple-turbo technology and variable turbine geometry. Acceleration 0-100 km/h takes only 5.3 seconds and this was achived easily in the previous model (E70). Similar power can be found in the Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg, but they are equipped with less economical V8 diesel engine and are not available as 7-seaters.

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The car looks impressive, with its large air intakes that visually separate it from other models. Ferric Grey exterior mirrors and a titanium kidneys further emphasize the sporty look. The appearance resembles the upcoming X5M model based on spy photos. The interior is also a significant improvement over the basic car’s already impressive interior. The M-Sport steering wheel is designed to be functional and sporty at the same time, the Hexagon trim is modern and stylish, the iDrive Touch is working perfectly and the LED stripes and M logos promise performance. The cabin is elegant and eye-pleasing, but we still crave for a full-LED instrument panel.

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Is the M50d a real M car ? Yes and no. Acceleration is smooth rubberband-like and devoid of drama, but when the gas pedal is floored, this car moves. A short time ago we test-drove the M5 and that kind of hooligan is not present in this car, but in its defense, let it be said that the M6 is also considerably more moderate, and a car of this size and purpose has never felt sportier. Factory acceleration claims were difficult to achieve due to the snowy weather conditions, but at no time was there doubt if it could deliver as promised in dry conditions, it feels that powerful. It would be interesting to know how much horsepower the engine actually produces, as the previous E70 M50d weighed approximately 40kg (2225 kg vs 2265 kg) less, and yet the rated power and torque figures are unchanged. How then has the acceleration time decreased by 0.1s? A SUV will never be nor should it be a sportscar. The high performance delivered combined with an average fuel consumption of 6.7 l/100 km and CO2-emissions of 177 g / km is a magnificent achievement from a car that produces incredible speeds almost unnoticeably. Nokia Hakkapeliitta 7 SUV tires surprised us with the grip they delivered when cornering. It has a clear sporty character, but at the same time it is very stable and predictable at the limit.

Our test consumption was a positive surprise. Instantaneous consumption rose to more than 9 liters per 100 km, but incredibly at the end of our dynamic cold weather test the consumption fell to even smaler digits. In the SUV class we are accustomed to see such readings in cars with half of the power of the M50d and only in recent years. Unbelievable!

The adjustable M- chassis ensures that the M50d behaves accurately and with a good steering feel. Dynamic dampers and rear air suspension is fitted with a particularly sporty driving style in mind, but not at the expense of passenger comfort, at least in our test car with 19-inch wheels. We drove the M50d back-to-back with an Audi Q5 with the S-line package suspension and the BMW chassis is plenty more comfortable. The M50d is very relaxing to drive and it also offers a surprisingly comfortable ride.

We need to mention the Night Vision -assistant in our test car. It picked up pedestrians wearing dark clothing in the dark without any problems, but luckily we had no chance to test it’s ability to warn us of animals such as moose. This option expands night time driving safety for all concerned. The test car’s high-powered LED-headlights pleased with their tone and function, even though in a recent Auto Bild magazine test the LED’s were destroyed in light performance by the Xenon-headlights in a BMW 435i. The LED headlights of the BMW X5 are higher, however, and it is possible therefore, that they work better than in the 4-series. Subjectively the LED-lights impressed us. In any case, the LED lights should only be considered if their appearance pleases, because the high beam assistant and the adaptive features are available for the standard Xenon lights for 2000 euros less.

Thanks to the Dynamic- suspension package, our BMW X5 M50d was very agile. The Dynamic Performance Control torque vectoring technology and the Dynamic Drive active chassis control system give the car a neutral steering feel and minimize lateral body movement while cornering. One can truly travel at incredible speeds straight and in the bends. From April 2014 onwards the Driving Assistant and the individual tire pressure sensors will be included as a standard option in the X5 and make the car an even more desirable package. The change also renders the Driving Assistant Plus -package unnecessary as by ticking only the active cruise control option box, one saves a tidy sum of money. Of course, the Traffic Jam Assistant Assistant is then not included, but who really needs an assistant that works only in speeds of less than 40 km / h on motorways in Finland? We do not really support equipment, which gives the driver the opportunity to draw his attention away from the traffic. Autopiloting in our opinion should only be reserved for safety equipment, such as in lane departure warning technology, but BMWs do not have this feature at the moment.

The M50d’s only real problem is it’s price in Finland. Even with moderate emissions of only 177 Co2, the environment tax on our car raised the total price to an unbelievable 170 000 euros. The price list will be updated on 1.3.2014, but we have no information on its contents yet. With the popularity of this car causing delays, we suspect the prices won’t be falling. We have heard rumors that for example in the UK the prices have gone up. If one forgets the price, the current M50d is by far the best sporty SUV on the market, as it has an economical and powerful engine combined with seven-seat practicality. The car is a unique combination of practicality and power at least until the new Audi Q7 arrives. Can the upcoming X5M be any better? We look forward to finding out.

Test Results:

Acceleration from 0-100 km / h: 6.2s (1 person , slick and snow-covered surface and a full tank of winter diesel)
Test consumption: 8.9 l/100 km

Technical Specifications:

Fuel consumption
City 7.6 l/100 km
Road l/100 km 6,2
Combined in l/100 km 6.7
Co2 emissions in g / km 177
Tank capacity l (about ) 85

Performance
Top speed km / h 250
Acceleration from 0-100 km / h ( s ) 5.3

Weight
Curb weight 2265 kg EU
The maximum permitted gross weight kg 2900
Load capacity 710 kg
Permissible axle front / rear kg 1.370/1.580

Motor
Number of cylinders / valves per cylinder 6/4

Displacement 2993 ccm
Stroke / bore mm 90.0 / 84.0
Rated output kW ( hp) RPM 1/min 280 ( 381 ) / 4000 to 4400
Maximum torque Nm at rpm 740 1/min / 2,000 to 3,000
Compression ratio : 1 16.0

Wheels and Tires
Front tire size 255/50 R19 107W
Rear tire size 285/45 R19 111W
Wheel size and material in front 9J x 19-inch light alloy
Wheel size and the material behind the 10J x 19-inch light alloy

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