BMW Group Malaysia has launched the all-new fourth generation (G05) BMW X5 today, alongside the BMW X2 (additional M35i variant) and BMW X4. Of the three models, it is the X5 with the most history being the first sporty SUV in the BMW range, and a proof of concept that set the stage for many models to come.
The iconic model is now in its fourth generation, and has seen noticeable steps forward in widening the range of abilities of this mainstay in the BMW range. In the pursuit of improving comfort, air suspension has been integrated from the get go, as has the option for integral active steering – or rear wheel steering as its better known. The result is a car that doesn’t trade away an ounce of agility for a more refined driving experience.
Pricing for the model starts at RM640,000 (estimated). Unlike the previous model, the all-new X5 is imported from Spartanburg, USA, thus explains the big jump in price. Local assembly is being considered but details of the new National Automotive Policy and continuation of Energy Efficient Vehicles incentives unclear, there are no immediate plans to locally assemble the all-new X5.
It comes in a singular xDrive40i M Sport variant, which means it packs a turbocharged 3.0-litre inline-6 TwinPowerTurbo engine that sends power to all four wheels via an 8-speed ZF automatic gearbox. Outputs stand at 340 PS (5,500 - 6,500 rpm) and 450 Nm of torque (1,500 - 5,200 rpm), making it quite the adequate engine for the over-two-tonne behemoth.
From a chassis standpoint, the new X5 has much in common with its sedan compatriots. Underpinning it is a variant of the CLAR platform first brought in with the 7 Series and eventually implemented with the current 5 Series and 3 Series. Overall dimensions haven’t changed, with only a 36 mm increase in length, 66 mm increase in width, and 19 mm increase in height, allowing the X5 to maintain its rugged two-box proportions.
The interior features the most up to date styling found in cars like the G20 3 Series and G29 Z4, with an instrument cluster that sports opposing speedometer and tachometer displays, similar to the all-new 3 Series. While it may not be the most user-friendly design, it’s something we are going to be stuck with for the foreseeable future. The centre console layout is simplistic in its button placement, but also keeps everything within easy reach of the driver.
What isn’t offered here is the rather interesting xOffroad Package that is specifically tailored for heading off the beaten path. The first of its kind for a BMW model, the package includes smaller wheels with off-road specific tyres, as well as two axle air suspension and terrain selector in the centre console that helps to optimize powertrain settings for specific conditions.
That being said, the standard equipment list is pretty extensive and is as follows:
- M Aerodynamics package
- Blue M Sport brake calipers
- 20-inch M light alloy wheels
- Panorama glass roof
- Adaptive LED headlights
- BMW Display Key
- Vernasca genuine leather upholstery
- LED ambient lighting with 6 predefined designs
- 4-zone automatic air-conditioning
- Contactless opening and closing tailgate
- 12.3-inch BMW Live Cockpit Professional instrument panel
- 16-speaker 464W Harman Kardon sound system
- BMW Gesture control infotainment
- 2x 10.2-inch touch screen monitor for rear passengers
- Cruise control with braking function (non-adaptive, maintains speed at downhill stretches)
- Lane departure warning and Lane change warning
- Front Collission warning with brake intervention
- Rear cross traffic collision alert and prevention
- Heads-up Display
- Reverse camera with parking assist
As interest in SUVs grow, the X5 is not only one BMW's most important model, but also among its historically significant models, having pioneered the genre 20 years ago.
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