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The 2014 BMW X5 xDrive50i

Credit: NAUMAN FAROOQ

BMW's xDrive35i is certainly a sight for sore eyes. This beauty might surprise you with it's growl.


Nauman Farooq | Interrobang | Sports | January 12th, 2015



It was early on a Sunday morning. The sun had just come up, and what lay in front of me was a familiar two-lane black top, which was smooth and had no interrupting driveways.

This empty stretch presented me the ideal opportunity to bury the throttle in, if only for a few seconds. What followed was eye-opening acceleration and a wonderful growl from the motor.

The vehicle I was in was not some low-slung sports car; it was a big and heavy SUV, which can pick speed up well. The vehicle I was in was the 2014 BMW X5 xDrive50i.

This model comes equipped with a 4.4 litre, V8 engine that features two twin-scroll turbo chargers. Net result is 445 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. Power is fed to all-wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

According to BMW, the X5 xDrive50i model can accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in just 5.3 seconds, and if you buy one with the M sport package it has a top speed electronically limited at 250 km/h.

I got no where close to that in my run, nor was I planning to test that claim on a public road, however, I did experience some of the performance potential of this vehicle, and trust me, this is one of the few SUVs that anyone would love to drive every day.

While it has the speed, its body composure was not the greatest when you’re going for it. Nothing to be alarmed about, at no point did the vehicle felt unsafe - it just reminded me that I was in a five passenger SUV that has the kind of cargo space to carry a months worth of groceries. So while it can do silly speeds, I say, just enjoy its luxuries and practicality and use its power for quick and safe overtaking maneuvers.

Similar to its straight-line performance, it is a familiar story when it comes to its handling. While the X5 handles well – especially when equipped with the M performance package – it will never encourage you to take the twisty route home. It has lots of grip, but the size and weight of the vehicle (4,882 mm long, curb weight is 2,336 kg) is far from ideal for a back road carver. The electronic power steering also lacks feel, which makes it tricky to place the vehicle on curvy roads, but I will say the X5 is better at this than just about any other SUV on the market.

It is also better than its competition in terms of fit and finish and the luxuries it presents. For instance, BMW offers an optional panoramic sunroof on the 2014 X5, and it is the largest such unit I have ever come across. Couple that with its latest iDrive system and an infotainment system that gives you live weather updates based on your geographical location on its dashboard-mounted screen, and you can’t help but feel satisfied with the vehicle you’re driving.

Driving the 2014 X5 is not cheap. The asking price is a bit steep - base version of the xDrive50i model starts at $76,590. Want the M Sport package? That will add another $4,000. My tester was so highly equipped, its price tag was well over $90,000. Filling one up is not cheap either, since it only wants to drink premium fuel, and even with mostly careful driving, I averaged just 13.0 litres/100km.

Those looking to save some money can opt for the xDrive35i and xDrive35d models, which carry a base price of $62,990 and $64,490 respectively.

I haven’t driven the diesel version yet but have driven the xDrive35i model, which I found to be just as entertaining to drive (albeit with a little less power), drank less fuel, and had all the same luxuries. This could be the SUV for me.
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