It’s been two weeks since I got my new BMW X5 35d. The back story first:
I had a 2012 X5 Diesel on a lease, I had it then for about a year and a half, and me and my wife started to think about the replacement. First of all – another X5 was out of the question. We got the 2012 mainly because we have two kids, we were thinking about another one, and my wife said that we have to get a car with a 3rd row, so X5 was it. However I didn’t really like it – heavy, big, stiff steering, mileage not great. So the debate was between the 5 series and X3.
Then my dealership got our first 2014 X5, and a week later I went to BMW Ride and Drive Event. When I got back – the only question what do I want on my next X5, because I was sold.
Then there was the dilemma between gas and Diesel. On one side – gas was smoother, and my wife had one traumatic experience of almost running out of Diesel without a Diesel station nearby. On the other side – I love the torque Diesel offers, but mainly the waiting list for 35i xDrive was too long, and I wanted to get a new car before I had to pay registration for the old one. So Diesel it was. Here is what I got:
- Alpine white with Mocha Nappa leather
- Luxury Line
- Premium package
- Driver Assistance package
- Driver Assistance Plus with ACC
- Luxury seating package
- Mocha Interior Design package
- 3rd row seats
- Running boards
A couple of notes about the build:
- M Sport Line looked like a bit too much, but I would definitely recommend any line at least because you get a sport steering wheel, which feels much better than standard.
- We actually decided against the 3rd row seats because we don’t really used them, but I added them in the end for resale value. It helped me to unload my old X5.
- Mocha was kind of expensive, but my wife really liked it, and it looks amazing. Leather dashboard is great too.
- I am not sure if I made the right decision by not getting Harman Kardon, but the stock system is not bad at all, definitely better than the one on the old X5.
- Multi-contoured seats are worth the money, very comfortable. I hoped for massage, like the 5 and 7, but it is not offered.
The driving experience
You have to concentrate or rev it up to feel that it is a Diesel, but normally the car is smooth and quiet. Steering feel is very different, but I got used to it very fast, and I like it a lot. Driving Dynamics Controls make a big difference in the feel of the car. I mainly drive in Eco Pro mode, Comfort mode is very peppy, and I used Sport mode only for the video demonstration.
The big part of the driving experience is all the active safety features that I got on the car:
Active Cruise control is the best, and this is something I really wanted. You set the cruise control, adjust the distance to the car in front of you, and you steer. The system will see the car in front ahead of time, adjust acceleration, apply brakes if needed, and when it clears – accelerates back. It works just as well in Eco Pro mode, and I see a big difference in mileage (by the way I average 26 MPG vs. 21 in my old car).
Active Driving Assistant: blind spot detection is great, I could live without lane departure, Accident Alert is pretty impressive – the car alerts you if there is a sudden change in speed of the vehicle in front of you, so it doesn’t just warn you when you get close – it warns you if you are closing too fast.
Efficient Dynamics: Eco Pro makes a big difference. Mileage display shows you how much you save by using Eco Pro since reset, and it is measured in miles. On my first tank I got about 44 miles saved out of 400 miles (I didn’t let it get close to empty). The notorious Automatic Start&Stop works rarely, and it is very smooth. It didn’t stop at all in traffic, it starts working only after driving for a few blocks in city driving. When you cruise and let go of the acceleration – RPM drop down to idle.
Overall, you get the feel of the luxury car that the X5 is – much closer to the 7 series feel than the old one. Rush hour commute feels much less stressful, I feel safer, the car discourages you from speeding and taking things personally on the road. You are just more relaxed, and you feel rested after a drive.
Here is the extended test-drive video: