What does it mean for the 2014 BMW X5 xDrive50i t0 defy the laws of physics? This machine is capable of feats that no large crossover or SUV should be able to manage. Yet it does it with ease and elegance.
|STATS||Starting Retail Price||As Tested Price||HP / Lb-Ft|
|2014 BMW X5 xDrive50i||$68,200||$83,975||445 / 480|
|EPA Rating MPG||As Tested MPG||Curb Weight Lbs|
|Rating: BUY IT!||14 / 22 Combined 17||Combined 17.3||5,150|
This X5 exudes quality and luxury with every touch and look. The doors have a heavy feel and close with a confident thunk, or with a soft-touch automatic close. The seats have a gazillion adjustments and are supremely comfortable and supportive. The quiet rumble of the V8 and the solid feel of the steering wheel combine for a pleasant and satisfying experience.
This X5 is equipped with the M-Sport package, which adds 20-inch M double-spoke wheels with giant 315/35 rear tires, wider wheel arches, and other aerodynamic tweaks to make it appears as an X5M to the casual eye. The only visual giveaway as to its xDrive50i designations are the dual trapezoidal exhaust outlets. The full-on M model would have the quad exhausts and sit a little lower to the ground.
The X5 has been completely redesigned for 2014. As with any new vehicle, the 2014 model is slightly larger, weighs a little less, and has more power and features. All this already sounds like a recipe for success. It also comes at a price. The new X5 is around $5,300 more expensive than its predecessor.
The headlight are now larger and flow into the traditional BMW grille. This top-of-the-line X5 has all LED headlights, which are a $1,900 option. The facia is updated with fresh style and more efficient aerodynamic features, such as the vents that direct the air along the flanks. The profile is traditional X5. Why mess with success? The rear sees slightly larger and stylish LED tail lights.
This is where the laws of physics begin to bend. The specifications say that the 2014 X5 lost approximately 229 pounds in the TwinPower Turbo 4.4L V8 trim. It is still no feather weight at 5,150 lbs of curb weight. The sweet turbocharged V8 has been uprated in power. It now chucks out 445 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm and monstrous 480 lb-ft of torque at a low 2,000 rpm. BMW says that this X5 is capable of 0-60 mph acceleration of 4.9 seconds. Of course, this is at ideal conditions and at sea-level. Boy, were we surprised when it knocked out a 4.89 second 0-60 run on a humid morning and a mile above sea-level. It repeated the result two more times! By the way, this is nearly an identical result as we got in a 2014 Bentley Continental GT Speed.
BMW is known for conservative 0-60 mph estimates and power ratings, and this rocket-ship X5 is no exception. Of course, it also sits five in comfort and has a huge panoramic sunroof.
You are probably thinking that this beast consumes fuel at a prodigious rate. Well, it can be hungry if you keep knocking out sub five second acceleration runs. However, it ignores yet another rule of logic. As you can see, I averaged 23.8 MPG after a 32 mile highway trip. The car was in cruise control and Eco Pro efficiency mode, which makes the 8-speed automatic transmission shift super early (around 2,000 rpm). By the way, this is an excellent transmission. It shifts quickly and incredibly smoothly.
After a week of city and highway driving, the overall average was a still acceptable 17.3 MPG. It is acceptable considering you are piloting a technology-laden and leather-wrapped luxury people mover with 480 pound-feet of torque.
The X5 has four driving modes: Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport, and Sport +. The transition between Comfort and Sport has a perceptible difference in suspension stiffness and steering weight. The Sport setup transfers a lot more road imperfections into the vehicle. You can sense it in the steering wheel and by the seat of your pants. This added feel is just what the doctor ordered for sporty driving. The overall steering feel is not as perfectly direct and precise as in some of the previous BMW products, but it’s still among the best.
There is one law of physics that this X5 cannot overcome. It does lean a little in corners. Although, the huge summer performance tires, suspension setup, and xDrive all-wheel-drive system provide more grip in corners than 99% of drivers can handle. By the way, the Dunlop Sport Maxx GT tires have good performance in the wet. However, do not take them out in snowy or icy conditions. If you do, these tires will provide just enough grip to start moving, but will not let you stop. We learned this first-hand.
|Starting Retail Price||City/Hwy MPG||HP / Lb-Ft||0-60 mph|
|2014 BMW X5 xDrive50i||$68,200||14/22||445/480||4.9 sec|
|2014 Infiniti QX70 5.0||$62,400||14/20||390/369||6.0 sec*|
|2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT||$64,380||13/19||470/465||4.5 sec*|
|2014 Mercedes-Benz ML550||$59,450||14/19||402/433||5.3 sec|
|2014 Porsche Cayenne GTS||$83,300||15/21||420/380||5.4 sec|
|2014 Range Rover Sport||$80,025||14/19||510/461||5.0 sec|
* – non-manufacturer estimate
The 2014 BMW X5 V8 has the most torque and highway MPGs of any competitors listed here. It will also likely out accelerate all of them at elevation (yes, even the SRT Jeep). It’s starting price is near the upper half of the group, but the X5 carries good value as the rest of this segment does.
On the TFLcar scale of:
- Buy it!
- Lease it!
- Rent it!
- … or Forget it!
I give the 2014 BMW X5 xDrive50i a Buy It! The $83,975 price of the tester still represents good value, considering the scary fast performance and comfort that the X5 provides. You can save nearly $15,000 of options and still have a fun and luxurious crossover. Although, the $3,600 M-Sport package does go a long way. It’s not all roses and rainbows. BMW will still not put cooled seats into the nearly $84,000 X5. Also, some of the technology features of the iDrive infotainment system are still not very intuitive to navigate. Nonetheless, this X5 gets an easy Buy It! rating from me.
Andre Smirnov is a life-long automotive enthusiast, writer, reporter, and software engineer. He has been a contributor at TFL since 2011. When not working or spending time with the family – you can find him tinkering in the garage or simply ‘going for a drive’.