#6 in Luxury Midsize SUVs Overall Score: 8.7 / 10
2016 BMW X5 View More Photos »
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2016 BMW X5 Overview

The 2016 BMW X5 ranks 6 out of 19 Luxury Midsize SUVs.

According to our analysis of automotive reviews, the 2016 BMW X5 offers poised handling, and its full range of engines deliver potent acceleration. Even the X5’s fuel-efficient diesel and plug-in hybrid models provide lively ...

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Pros & Cons

  • Spry handling
  • Muscular engines
  • Plush, supportive front seats
  • Below-average cargo space
  • Rivals offer more standard features

Notable for 2016

  • xDrive40e plug-in hybrid model introduced

BMW X5 Rankings and Research

The 2016 BMW X5 ranking is based on its score within the Luxury Midsize SUVs category. Currently the BMW X5 has a score of 8.7 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 22 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.


Overall: 8.7
Critics' Rating: 9.1
Performance: 9.0
Interior: 8.1
Safety: 9.4
Reliability: 3_5

2016 BMW X5 Pictures

2016 BMW X5 Review

By Courtney Jones May 27, 2016

According to our analysis of automotive reviews, the 2016 BMW X5 offers poised handling, and its full range of engines deliver potent acceleration. Even the X5’s fuel-efficient diesel and plug-in hybrid models provide lively performance.

With a base price of about $55,000, the BMW X5 leans toward the more expensive side of the class. The price quickly climbs when adding equipment like a rearview camera, which comes standard with most rivals. The top-of-the-line X5 M trim costs almost $100,000 and still isn't fully loaded with features. The X5 performs better than most competitors, but you may find a better value with rivals that have a smaller price tag and more standard technology and safety features, as well as extra cargo space.

Interior Summary

Superlative Seating

The 2016 BMW X5 has standard seating for five, or seven with an optional third row. The front seats can be adjusted 14 ways, so they can accommodate nearly any body shape or seating preference. Heated front seats are standard. Upgrade to the available 20-way adjustable multi-contour seats, and you'll be sitting in some of the most comfortable seats on the market.

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The second row has good legroom and can recline. However, when the X5 is equipped with a third row, you lose the reclining feature in the second row. Adults will probably not be comfortable in the third row, but there's decent space for kids.

Like many SUVs in the class, the X5 comes standard with leatherette seating, and leather upholstery is an option. However, some rivals, like the Infiniti QX70 and Volvo XC90, have standard leather.

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Aside from seating, the 2016 X5's cabin has sound construction with no gaps in the dashboard seams. Interior materials, like wood, metal and optional leather upholstery, are top-notch.

Convenient Cargo

The BMW X5 has a distinctive power liftgate configuration that creates a versatile, easy-to-load cargo area. The liftgate has a horizontal split through the center. The top half rises and shuts automatically, while the lower section drops manually like the tailgate on a pickup truck.

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If you value cargo space over cargo versatility, however, you should look at some of the X5’s competitors. When you have the rear seats upright in the X5, there are 23 cubic feet of cargo space behind them. When they're folded, there are 66 cubic feet of space. That's slightly below average for the class. Both the Volvo XC90 and the Land Rover LR4 provide about 24 more cubic feet of space than the X5.

Simple and Sizeable Infotainment

The BMW X5 comes standard with an iDrive infotainment system that has a 10.2-inch touch screen. That is quite substantial for a standard display, considering that every rival's base touch screen is 9 inches or smaller. The large screen makes it easy to see menu icons and read text.

There are a number of different ways to operate the BMW X5's infotainment system. You can use a control knob located on the center console to scroll through menus. A touch pad allows you to use your fingers to write things like navigation addresses. As you begin to write the address, the system will offer destination suggestions and narrow them as you write more.

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If you don't want to use the touch screen, you can control the iDrive system using redundant physical buttons and voice commands, which may be easier than trying to glance at a screen while driving. Still, some options are buried multiple levels into the menus, so you may spend some time clicking and scrolling before you get to some settings.

Options, Trims, and Pricing

The BMW X5 sDrive35i base model starts at about $55,000 and comes standard with an iDrive infotainment system and one of the largest standard display screens in the class. Navigation and a touch-pad controller are standard. For a few thousand dollars more, you can upgrade to the xDrive35i, which has all-wheel drive.

The xDrive35d model, starting at nearly $58,000, has a diesel engine, which helps it earn impressive fuel economy. For about $62,000, you can get the BMW X5 xDrive40e plug-in hybrid, which is powered by a gas engine and an electric motor. Both trims come standard with all-wheel drive and are a great option if high gas mileage is important to you.

The xDrive50i starts at about $72,500 and comes with all-wheel drive and a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 that makes 445 horsepower, as well as a 16-speaker Harman Kardon stereo and a rearview camera.

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If you want serious power and have the money to spend for it, the performance-oriented BMW X5 M has the strongest engine in the lineup – a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 that produces 567 horsepower. According to BMW, the X5 M can go from zero to 60 mph in just four seconds. Its starting price is nearly $100,000, and it comes with a specially tuned all-wheel drive system and performance-enhancing features like Dynamic Performance Control, which helps evenly distribute toque between all four wheels.

To find out if you can get a good purchase or lease deal on a 2016 BMW X5, check out our BMW deals for the latest incentives. Then build and price the right X5 for you with our Best Price Program.

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Safety and Reliability Summary

The 2016 BMW X5 doesn't come with many standard safety features. Front and rear parking sensors are standard, and they will warn you to apply the brakes when the vehicle gets too close to an object or person.

While nearly every other SUV in the class comes standard with a rearview camera, the X5 does not. Considering that SUVs often have poor rear visibility due to their size and their thick back roof pillars, a rearview camera is something you should consider adding. You can also upgrade to the 360-degree camera system, which uses multiple cameras to give you a full overhead view of your surroundings.

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Other safety features available on the 2016 BMW X5 include a night-vision camera with pedestrian detection, which can help you see the road when it's dark and warn you when a person is in your path. An available head-up display projects pertinent information, like speed and navigation instructions, directly into your driving sightline, so you won't have to look down at the gauge cluster. When you venture into the city for an evening out, parallel park assist will help you by detecting a parking spot when you approach it, then controlling your steering and braking to maneuver the X5 into the space. Also available are adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, forward collision warning with automatic braking, and blind spot monitoring.

The BMW X5's safety scores are slightly below average. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the X5 four out of five stars in their front and side crash tests, and four stars in their rollover test.

The 2016 X5's predicted reliability rating is slightly above average. The Porsche Cayenne's predicted reliability is best-in-class, and the Lexus RX 350 and Lincoln MKX's predicted reliability ratings follow closely behind.

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Performance Summary

Muscular Engine Array

From the base X5 sDrive35i to the top-of-the-line X5 M, the BMW X5's engine lineup has plenty of muscle. The 2016 BMW X5 sDrive35i has a 300-horsepower 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine. The xDrive40e is a plug-in hybrid model powered by a 2.0-liter twin-turbo four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that together make 240 horsepower. The xDrive35d has a six-cylinder turbodiesel that makes 255 horsepower, and the xDrive50i has a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine that generates 445 horsepower. If you're a driving enthusiast with deep pockets, the X5 M delivers rapid acceleration, getting from zero to 60 mph in four seconds, according to BMW. 

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While each engine in the X5's lineup will more than satisfy you when it comes to power, the xDrive35d offers a combination of brawn, fuel efficiency, and standard all-wheel drive that makes it one of the most practical and appealing options.

All models come with an eight-speed automatic transmission that shifts smoothly. The base model has rear-wheel drive, while all other trims come standard with all-wheel drive.

Decent Fuel Economy, Excellent MPG-e

The EPA estimates that the X5 base model gets up to 18 mpg in the city and 25 on the highway, which is on par with the class. The xDrive35d turbodiesel model earns 23 mpg in town and 30 mpg on the highway, which is better than most rivals, including diesel-powered models.

The plug-in hybrid xDrive40e earns 56 mpg-equivalent when using electricity and gas. Running on gas alone, it earns 24 mpg in mixed city/highway driving. That's better than the Porsche Cayenne S e-Hybrid's estimates.

Sporty Handling

The 2016 BMW X5 is one of the sportiest SUVs in the class. It has precise steering and takes corners nimbly, especially for an SUV of its size. It also feels secure at highway speeds. Add the optional Dynamic Damper Control and the X5 gets even sharper handling. The suspension constantly adjusts to road conditions to keep your ride comfortable and poised. The X5 also has powerful brakes, which is important for an SUV weighing nearly 5,000 pounds.

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Other SUVs to Consider

If you are big on power and handling but don’t need seating for more than five, take a look at the Porsche Cayenne. The Cayenne is available with a number of engines, including a hybrid and a diesel model, and all deliver astounding power and acceleration. The Porsche Cayenne is one of the most agile SUVs in the class, delivering sports-car-like performance. The Cayenne's ride is also comfortable. Sit inside the Cayenne's ritzy cabin and you will find that soft-touch and high-quality materials abound. Its cockpit-like center stack puts the driver in control, and the front seats are incredibly comfortable all day.

The Volvo XC90 has a lower starting price than the X5 by about $10,000 but still matches or beats the X5 in several areas. The Volvo XC90 has tons of standard features that the X5 only has as options. For example, the XC90 comes with lane departure warning, a rearview camera, and automatic emergency braking. The XC90 has one of the largest cargo holds in the class, giving you about 24 more cubic feet than the X5. With top-notch interior materials, the XC90's cabin is very luxurious and handsome. The XC90 has some of the most comfortable front seats in the class. Its sliding and reclining second row is convenient, and adults will have good room in the third row, which is rare for the class.

Compare the X5, Cayenne, and XC90 in more detail »

Details: 2016 BMW X5

The 2016 BMW X5 has seats for five, or seven with an optional third-row seat. There are six trims, including the sDrive35i and xDrive35i, which come with a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine. The xDrive35d has a turbodiesel 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine and the xDrive50i has a turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine. The xDrive40e is a plug-in hybrid that has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor. The performance-oriented X5 M comes with a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine. All models come with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive system is optional. The X5's last full redesign was for the 2014 model year, so this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2014 through 2016 model years.

Standard features include a panoramic moonroof, front and rear parking sensors, dual-zone automatic climate control, HD Radio, and BMW's iDrive infotainment system with Bluetooth, navigation, and a 10.2-inch display.

Available features include a 360-degree camera system, a Harman Kardon or Bang & Olufsen surround-sound audio system, a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system, a night-vision camera, quad-zone automatic climate control, a head-up display, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, automatic pre-collision braking, blind spot monitoring, and parallel park assist.

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  • "… the 2016 BMW X5 is a luxurious and well-built midsize crossover SUV that's spacious enough for everyday family use and capable enough to get you through a snowstorm. What really sets it apart from rivals, though, is its engaging character. It's a delight to drive any day of the year." -- Edmunds
  • "It might be smaller than some of its rivals, but sacrificing space pays off in agility. The new interior is a step up in luxury, and the diesel engine provides plenty of thrust. The V-8 is a monster even if the exterior is less constrained. The X5 is a solid choice for anyone shopping for an enjoyable SUV, especially if you require three rows." -- Motor Trend (2014)
  • "The BMW X5 has become a showcase of style, technology and even performance, a far more relevant expression of luxury than the usual big sedan for plutocrats." -- Automobile Magazine (2014)

Research Prices: 2016 BMW X5

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