BMW'S biggest SUV, the American-built X5 has just got bigger with the introduction of the fourth generation of this high riding off-roader.
The already substantial X5 is now longer by 36mm, to 4,922mm, taller by 19mm and wider by 66cms to a width restrictions worrier at 2,004mm.
The new BMW X5 will be available from launch in November with a choice of one V8 and three six-cylinder in-line engines. All will team up with an eight-speed Steptronic transmission aimed at optimised efficiency and gearchange dynamics, and all meet the current and tougher EU6d-TEMP exhaust standard.
The engines include a newly developed eight cylinder petrol unit under the bonnet of the BMW X5 xDrive50i, which will not be available in Europe. We will be offered an X5 xDrive40i powered by a six-cylinder petrol engine developing 340hp, while a quartet of turbochargers allow the six-cylinder in-line diesel engine in the new BMW X5 M50d to produce 400hp.
The BMW X5 xDrive30d also comes with a six-cylinder, in-line diesel engine with 265hp on tap.
The task of maximising traction, agility and directional stability in the new X5 falls to its intelligent all-wheel-drive system. The latest generation of BMW xDrive is now able to split drive torque between the front and rear wheels even more efficiently as the situation demands.
The two-axle air suspension caters to anyone seeking greater ride comfort and also allows the vehicle height to be adjusted by up to 80 millimetres at the touch of a button.
Customers can now order an off-road package - another new feature for a BMW X model.
Here, a separate button gives drivers the choice of four driving modes, allowing them to activate the ideal settings for the vehicle's ride height, the xDrive system, the car's accelerator response and transmission control, and the DSC system's corrective inputs in preparation for driving on sand, rock, gravel or snow.
Folding down the 40/20/40 split rear seat backrest increases boot capacity from 650 litres to a maximum 1,870 litres. A third row of seats for two additional passengers can be ordered as an option.
The new BMW X5 also has a two-section tailgate for ease of loading. If the optional comfort access is specified, both sections can be opened and closed automatically and hands-free. The optional two-axle air suspension allows the loading sill to be lowered. And the boot cover can now be lowered electrically into the load compartment floor.