BMW X5 SUV (2014-2018) - Interior & comfort
Compared to the sensible and well equipped SE, the BMW X5 M Sport looks unnecessary
Time was when prestigious German cars were light on standard equipment, but not anymore – and especially not the BMW X5. In basic SE trim, the model wants for very little, while M Sport simply adds some luxury touches and an adaptive suspension system whose Sport setting makes the suspension too hard and the steering too heavy.
The new X5 has a very classy and solidly built interior. Options are, naturally, very expensive, so as ever you should be careful what you choose, since most of them will add little, if anything, to the car's future value. If you're a business user, they'll cost you more in tax by increasing the car's purchase price.
BMW X5 dashboard
The X5's dashboard is a strikingly designed but typically well organised affair. It's dominated by a 10-inch high-definition screen displaying infotainment and sat-nav functions operated by BMW's intuitive iDrive control system, which is located down near the gearstick.
The X5 has a touch-sensitive pad enabling you to spell out commands. The seating position is high, allowing you to easily see over the car's long bonnet. If you're struggling, it's possible to adjust the seat and steering wheel positions exactly to your taste.
In addition to the items already mentioned, SE trim also features a 20GB hard drive for storing your music, Bluetooth-connected services, DAB digital radio, cruise control and climate control. There's also Driving Experience Control, which lets you toggle between Comfort, Sport and Eco modes. To BMW's credit, SE spec also features metallic paint as standard. It's usually an expensive extra on cars like this. During 2018, BMW also introduced 'remote services', which allow you to check on the status and location of your car via a smartphone app, and even carry out basic tasks like operating the locks, flashing the headlights and setting the ventilation.
The xDrive models have some extra goodies over sDrive cars, including twin exhaust pipes, high-gloss trim and power-adjustable front seats. Together they help make the £2,000 xDrive premium easier still to swallow.
When you consider the SE's generous and well chosen array of features, M Sport trim looks unnecessary. Highlights include a subtle and not unattractive body kit, 19-inch alloy wheels (which make the ride noisier), adaptive M suspension (which can make the suspension too stiff) and sports seats (the standard ones are already very comfortable). In our opinion, it's not worth the extra £4,000 it costs over SE trim.
The X5 M also has the Adaptive M suspension as standard, along with LED headlights, BMW's ConnectedDrive and a head-up display.
The BMW X5's options list is both extensive and expensive. It features a choice of suspension systems, including Adaptive Professional (£2,495) and Adaptive Comfort (£1,495) – neither of which does anything for the X5's ride comfort. The same goes for the optional 20-inch wheels, which can cost around £2,400.
A leather instrument panel (around £2,000) and soft-close doors (around £500) are other items that add little to the X5’s appeal, new or used. However, the optional panoramic glass sunroof (around £1,300) would be money well spent as it should add to your X5's future resale value.