F15 BMW X5 evolves to drive and steer itself under 40km/h

BMW’s third generation X5 doesn’t look drastically different to the two before it (although, aesthetically speaking, the 2nd-gen E70 still looks the best to our eyes), but it does debut some interesting tech, such as Traffic Jam Assistant which can drive and steer the car by itself at speeds up to 40km/h (25mph).


The new, slightly larger F15 BMW X5 will initially be available with the choice of a three engines (two diesel and one petrol): the xDrive 30d (3-litre turbo-diesel straight six), xDrive 50i (4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol) and M50d (3-litre tri-turbo straight six diesel). For more on fuel economy, power and performance, check out the table below. Inside there’s seating for 5 people, although a third row of seats (boosting total capacity to 7 peeps) is optional.

Joining the range in December 2013 (at least in Europe) is the aforementioned Traffic Jam Assistant feature, which we’re chomping at the bit to try out. Also joining the range around that time are the X5 xDrive40d, xDrive35i, xDrive25d and sDrive25d variants; the latter is the most significant as it’s the first rear-wheel drive X5, and is claimed to drink just 5.6L/100km and output 149 grams of CO2 per kilometre.

Tech features that can be specified with the new F15 X5 include full colour head-up display, night vision with animal and human highlighting, speed limit detection, automated parking, surround view camera display, collision detection and automated braking, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control.

The entertainment system is again controlled via an iDrive controller and high-spec versions can access the internet to make emergency calls, gather traffic info and provide concierge services. Internet connectivity also allows for in-car access to Facebook and Twitter, as well as speech recognition allowing you to send hands-free emails and SMSes as you drive.

Power, performance, economy

  xDrive 30d xDrive 50i M50d
Displacement 3-litre 4.4-litre 3-litre
Cylinders Straight 6 V8 Straight 6
Turbocharger/s 1 2 3
Fuel Diesel Petrol Diesel
Power 190kW
(258hp)
330kW
(450hp)
280kW
(381hp)
Torque 560Nm
(413lb-ft)
650Nm
(479lb-ft)
740Nm
(546lb-ft)
0 to 100km/h 6.9s 5.0s 5.3s
Top speed 230km/h
(143mph)
250km/h
(155mph)
250km/h
(155mph)
Fuel economy (EU) 6.2L/100km
(45.6mpg)
10.5L/100km
(26.9mpg)
6.7L/100km
(42.2mpg)
CO2 emissions (EU) 164g/km 244g/km 177g/km

Dimensions, weight and capacity

Length: 4,886mm (+32mm compared to E70 X5)
Width: 1,938mm (+5mm)
Height: 1,762mm (-4mm)
Wheelbase: 2,933mm (no change)
Weight (DIN): 2,145kg (xDrive 30d) – 2,265kg (M50d)
Boot space (seats up/down): 650L – 1870L
Tank size: 85L

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Derek Fung

Derek Fung

Derek has a lifelong love for all things automotive, from the dullest Camry to record shattering Bugattis. Prior to starting up Between the Axles he was a reviewer for CNET Australia and the founding editor of its Car Technology channel. [Read more]