BMW X5 grows larger; fourth-generation model out this year

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A majority of the switchgear is also new, and will likely be rolled out on forthcoming BMW models like the 8-series Coupe.

The fourth generation of the BMW X5 impresses with its wealth of innovations and represents the most compelling embodiment yet of the familiar Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) blueprint: the ability to venture off road combined with a talent for dynamic driving pleasure on it.

The wheel base, too, has been extended by 42mm.

Despite the increase in size, the new BMW offers the same boot capacity as the outgoing third-generation X5 at 645 litres (rising to 1860 litres when the 60:40 split rear seat is folded away).

The exterior styling is evolutionary with the 2019 X5 fusing elements from the current BMW X3 and the forthcoming BMW X7 that we've seen in concept form.

Kistler claims the new platform, which shares key elements with the CLAR architecture used by the BMW 5- and 7-series, elevates the overall capabilities of the X5, codenamed G05 and revealed here in production guise for the first time, to a whole new level, with its long-established reputation for performance and handling enhanced by what he describes as "new found comfort and refinement". At 4922 mm, it's longer by 36 mm, wider by 66 mm, and taller by 19 mm.

Inside the new X5 is restyled leather trim available in four color options, a Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System and optional glass finishings for the shifter, start button and audio controls. The M Sport variant will come with light-alloy 21-inch wheels.

Inside, there's a larger cabin with newly designed seats offering incremental increases in leg-, head- and shoulder room. Here, we'll get a turbocharged 3.0-litre six (340 hp in the xDrive40i) and a twin-turbo, 4.4-litre V8 (462 hp in the xDrive50i).

Inside, the latest X5 will come with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster that works in concert with a similarly sized infotainment screen on the vehicle's dashboard. Should you need to carry more than five people, you'll be happy to hear third-row seating will be available as an option to turn the X5 into a more family-friendly seven-seat SUV.

We also looked at the design of the X5 and its features, and talk about some of the options offered.

The X5 xDrive30d is powered by a 3.0L six-cylinder diesel engine with 265 hp and 457 lb-ft. of torque.

A quartet of turbochargers allow the six-cylinder in-line diesel engine fitted in the new M50d to produce a maximum output of 294 kW while peak torque of 760Nm should result in more than enough oomph off the line. An eight-speed Steptronic gearbox will be standard, and same goes for the rear-biased xDrive all-wheel drive.