BMW X5 xDrive50i Pure Excellence Review
Return of the War Chariot

Story and Photos by Benjamin G. Kline
20 Jun 2014


The X5 represents a significant milestone in automotive history because before 1999, the only SUVs that existed were hardcore off-roaders that didn’t quite behave when they were on-road. While BMW had no intention of producing a four wheel drive at first, their acquisition of Land Rover in 1994 however changed that.

After half a decade observing how Land Rover built its off-roaders, the Bavarian company decided to give it a shot but with their own signature of course. When it was launched, the X5 was remarked for its luxurious interior that was coupled with its sporty driving characteristics. Something that was unheard of before the X5 where the steering wheel in an SUV was meant for just that. Steering. With none of the feedback that enthusiasts crave for. 

But BMW is quick to defend the X5’s limited off-road capability by branding it a Sports Activity Vehicle that places on-road manners over off road ability. That seems to have worked because since 1999, the German car maker has sold over 1.5 million SAVs over the last two generations.

Not only that, the X5 spawned a whole new generation of similar SUVs from Porsche, Volkswagen , Audi and Volvo. Giving rise to a new category of luxurious soft-roaders.


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Engine Capacity 4395cc Turbocharged
Engine Type V 8
Compression Ratio 10.0:1
Power 450bhp @ 5500rpm
Torque 650Nm @ 2000rpm
Power to Weight 200 bhp per ton


Acceleration 5s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 250 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 9.5 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 8 -speed Auto
Drive Type F4
Steering Electric


Body Type SUV
(L x W x H)
(4886 x 1938 x 1762) mm
Wheelbase 2933 mm
Kerb Weight 2250 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 85 L


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Ventilated Discs