The BMW X5, launched in 1999, was the first luxurious large SUV to offer handling capable of putting a grin on your face. Four generations later, the BMW X5 has a far tougher job, with an established list of alternative large, luxurious SUVs to tempt buyers away.
Well, the BMW X5 is still very much a leader on the luxury front. Everywhere you prod there’s leather or soft-touch plastic, from the top of the dashboard, to the door tops, centre console and even lower down on the dash and doors too. Naturally, the X5’s switches are also nicely damped and there’s not a squeak or rattle to be heard when driving.

And in the centre of the dashboard sits one of the best infotainment systems available in any car: BMW’s newly named Operating System 7.0 – catchy eh? It’s actually the most technologically advanced iteration of the system ever, but continues to be a doddle to navigate and is still comprises a rotary controller with menu shortcut buttons between the front seats and a 12.3-inch screen, which can be controlled using the controller, via touch or by voice.

But BMW X5 isn’t done there – also standard is another 12.3-inch screen behind the steering wheel acting at the driver’s instruments. It’s clear, crisp and configurable, so you can have the information displayed that you want, including things like speed, fuel consumption, navigation info and your radio or media selection.

Another important factor in a large luxurious SUV is space and the BMW X5 offers plenty of it. Those in the front will have no complaints about leg or head room and the driver gets a supportive seat with full electric adjustment and a memory function.
BMW’s generosity with space continues in the back seats. Two tall adults will comfortably sit behind those in the front, while a third won’t be sounding off on a long journey either – shoulder room is good enough and there isn’t a significantly raised floor for the middle passenger to straddle.