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In-depth reviews

BMW X5 SUV - Interior & comfort

The X5’s interior is of impeccable quality, while the iDrive infotainment is slick and easy to use

Carbuyer Rating

4.3 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.0 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Interior & comfort Rating

4.5 out of 5

Existing X5 owners looking for an upgrade or anyone shopping in the luxury SUV class generally should find the newest X5’s interior one its biggest selling points. It's beautifully crafted and BMW’s new Live Cockpit Plus curved touchscreen serves up pin-sharp graphics, backed up by the intuitive iDrive interface that's good to use.

BMW X5 dashboard

2023’s facelift brought the X5 in line with several other BMW models, adding a large, gently curved 14.9-inch display to the dashboard that incorporates both the fully digital instrument cluster, and the central touchscreen used for infotainment, navigation, and other iDrive functions – it’s a crisp and responsive system that feels good to use. Even though this Live Cockpit Plus layout lacks physical controls, it is at least very easy to use by the standards of such touchscreens, and the iDrive controller remains an intuitive way of navigating menus, often without needing to look too long at the screen. Our only minor gripes with the dash are that the joystick-style air vent controls are a little gimmicky, and multiple different air vent designs contribute to a busy look.

Equipment

Aside from the high-performance M-badged models, there are two trim levels to choose from: xLine and M Sport. Even the entry-level xLine gets standard leather upholstery, 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and wireless phone charging. The front seats are heated too, there are automatic wipers and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility is now standard.

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The M Sport trim is expected to mop up the most UK sales, though, despite costing around £4,000 more. It adds 20-inch wheels, a sporty body kit and an interior makeover with an anthracite headliner, sports steering wheel and metal pedals.

Buy a BMW X5 M and it's effectively its own trim level, with 21- or 22-inch alloy wheels and features including adaptive LED headlights, an M head-up display, M Sport exhaust and a Harman Kardon sound system.

Options

There are plenty of ways to boost the X5's spec, with new features like laser headlights that can shine up to 500 metres ahead of the car. There's even a Sky Lounge option for the panoramic sunroof that uses LED illumination to generate 15,000 patterns that mimic a starlit sky. Music lovers can choose a Bowers & Wilkins stereo system with 20 speakers and a 1,500-watt output, while 'thermo cup-holders' can help keep your drinks warm or cool. We recommend the £4,300 Comfort Plus Pack – although it’s pricey, it does add heated seats front and back, a massage function for the front seats, four-zone climate control, and soft-close doors for an added touch of class.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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