The 2018 BMW X5 remains a thoughtful crossover SUV for families, although enthusiasts may be left wanting unless the right options are selected.
The 2018 BMW X5 is a luxury mid-size crossover that started the craze. It's handsomely equipped and reasonably capable with that all-important roundel planted in its snout.
It’s a strong overall package, albeit one that lacks some of the BMW verve of yore. We’ve rated it a 7.2 out of 10 based on its excellent real-world usability, strong engines, and varied lineup. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
The X5 changes little for 2018, other than a sport-tuned version of its automatic transmission is now standard on almost all versions, and the German automaker has shuffled option packages to act more like trim levels. That means that the popular Premium package—which you’re likely to find on just about every X5 stocked on a dealer lot—now acts as a gateway to most individual options. There’s less configurability, but little lacking in this lineup.
(A new BMW X5 arrives for the 2019 model year. Details should be confirmed later this year.)
The X5 remains available with 3.0-liter turbo-6 or 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 gas engines, a 3.0-liter turbodiesel, and a plug-in hybrid variant that costs a lot for its limited 14-mile electric-only range. Rear-wheel drive is standard with the base gas engine. All-wheel drive is optional on the base X5 and standard elsewhere. All models use 8-speed automatic transmissions. Despite its chunky looks, there’s not a lot of off-road ability here—not that most buyers are likely to go mud-plugging.
An X5 M model tops the lineup with a 567-horsepower version of the X5’s available V-8. With its track-tuned suspension, sports seats, and beefed up steering, it’s a reasonable facsimile of a high-riding sports wagon. It’s as absurd as its six-figure price tag suggests, but it is a lot cheaper than a Porsche Cayenne Turbo.
A roomy interior with great room for five adults awaits buyers. For those who want a little more space, a third row is optional, but it’s not great. For occasional use, the third row is acceptable for kids and may be worth considering for carpooling families.
The X5 lineup has scored exceptionally well in all crash-tests so far, but we don’t have a complete picture from the IIHS and can’t assign a score.