New BMW X5 – Teeth Bared and Claws Drawn

The BMW X5 has always been a killer car to drive because of its ride and handling. Although it looks like a baby elephant and is equally weighty it zips around corners like a cat on a hot tin roof. For BMW to therefore improve on the X5 they would either have to completely overhaul the vehicle replacing all of its current characteristics or add some new ones. BWM has chosen the latter option and had decided to update the X5 to keep it in tune with the times.

To start of with BMW decided to change the exterior façade of the X5, not by much but slightly to revamp its looks and give it a fresher image. This they achieved by sticking on a new bumpers at the front and rear to give the X5 a newer front and rear fascia, freshening up its profile. It is still the large similar SUV that we have all come to adore but that does not mean we do not deserve some cosmetic changes at least.

BMW has also reworked the interiors and now uses the steering wheel from the 5 series and is also equipped with the new iDrive system albeit with a smaller central console display unit. Most of us who heard through the grapevine that BMX was upgrading the X5 were waiting for the new engine specifications to be released to see if engineers had made any changes and I am happy to say BMW did not disappoint.

The engines on the whole are the same ones in the previous X5 version but there has been some slight tuning and remapping done to change fuelling character as well as to the thermodynamic effectiveness which has allowed the car to have better emission ratings. These calibration changes have resulted in a slight increase in both power and torque. The xDrive30D now makes a maximum of 248 PS up by 5 PS from before and torque has also increased from a maximum of 520 Nm to 540 Nm with the new engine tuning.

The new BMW X5 in India get a new transmission mated to the tweaked engine that powers the rear wheels and the new 8-speed tiptronic transmission has been included with the only purpose of improving efficiency, performance and emission ratings. But how does it stack up to the older one? Well, for starters performance has no doubt improved because of the slight increase in horsepower and the closer ratio settings have led to quicker acceleration. The BMW X5 now completes the 0-100 kmph time in only 7.4 seconds which is almost a whole second quicker than the older model. It also zooms past the kilometer mark in 28.6 seconds which is faster by almost one and a half seconds.

The most surprising part is that the increased performance results have barely made a difference to emission ratings. The opposite has in fact come true with overall efficiency of the X5 now coming in at 8.06 kmpl up slightly from the older X5 which came in with an efficiency rating of 7.98 kmpl. Carbon emissions conversely have reduced as well and are now confined to a range between 195 to 292 gm/km.

BMW has ensured that the new BMW X5 in India is better performing as well as nicer to look at. The front bumper has some well designed vents and cuts that provide a more prominent look to the front end. The positioning of the fog lamps could seem slightly odd to some but there are definitely similarities in its front fascia to the Porsche Cayenne definitely putting it in the “good looks” category. Its price of Rs. 52.99 lakh seems a very tempting price to pay for the xDrive30D and with dealerships across India now open to BMW financing, owning the X5 has become that much easier.

The BMW X5 is available in two engine variants in the Indian market – the xDrive30D which has a 3.0 liter turbocharged six-cylinder diesel that puts out 245 PS of power and the xDrive50i that gets a big 407 PS power from its V8 turbocharged petrol engine. The 407 PS ensures that the xDrive50i gets from 0-100 in around 5.5 seconds, which is as fast as some sports cars! BMW will still keep the larger metro cities like Mumbai, Delhi, etc as their prime focus markets as they still account for almost 70 percent of BMW’s sales, but smaller Tier 2 cities are soon to follow.

BMW X5 Specifications

Drivetrain

Type: Inline six-cylinder, diesel
Installation: AWD, Front
Max Power: 248PS @4000rpm
Max Torque: 540 Nm @1750-3000 rpm
Valvetrain: 4 valves per cylinder, double overhead camshaft
Displacement: 2993cc

Performance

Acceleration (0-100 km/hr): 7.47 secs
Braking (100-0 km/hr): 39.95 m / 3.09 secs
Fuel Economy (cty / hwy): 7.42 kmpl / 9.98 kmpl
Fuel Economy (overall): 8.06 kmpl
Tank Capacity: 85 liters
Range: 685 km
Tires: 255/55 R18

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