The BMW X5 is entering its fourth generation, and that means it gets an all-new interior. From a 12.3-inch touchscreen to massaging seats as well as heated and cooled cupholders, the 2019 X5 has lots of notable updates. Following our 2019 X5 First Drive review, we spent more seat time in the new luxury crossover to see how its interior kept up with our comfort.
With a 12.3-inch touchscreen, the new X5 has a sharp, modern look. It appears BMW and Mercedes have tried to differentiate from Tesla- and Volvo-style screens by mounting their central screens horizontally instead of vertically. In the 2019 X5’s case, users can control it via either the touchscreen itself or the rotary knob located next to the shifter. Apple CarPlay comes standard for one year, but unfortunately, after that you’ll have to spend $80 USD each year.
Directly in front of the driver is another 12.3-inch screen that makes up the digital instrument cluster.
Following in Apple’s footsteps, BMW integrated its Intelligent Personal Assistant system, which drivers can use by saying “Hey, BMW.” We briefly tried it and enjoyed its conversation-like commands, which make it easy to control the navigation system or turn the climate control up or down. Although we didn’t experience any interruptions in our brief time with the X5, Mark Rechtin noticed some intrusions every time he or someone in the car said “BMW” in a conversation (this happened inside a 3 Series, but the system is the same). We’ll have to spend more time with it to see if there are any improvements.
With seating for up to seven, the X5 is a comfortable SUV. The driver’s position is set up well, with good visibility ahead and to the sides. The cargo space is quite spacious at 33.9 cubic feet, and if you need even more room, the second-row seats fold flat to allow 72.3 cubic feet.
As we noted in our 2019 BMW X5 First Drive, the new crossover will offer a power cargo cover that can roll back and disappear in the floor between the second and third rows.
Luxury All Around
Depending on the model you get, you can have everything—from heated and ventilated seats with massage, to heated or cooled cupholders. One of my favorite features is the crystal shifter, which gives the cabin an elegant touch. For those who live in colder weather, the heated front armrest option ($250 USD) will make the cabin even more comfortable.
Remote Software Upgrades
In order to get software updates and improvements to the vehicle, BMW has equipped the X5 with Remote Software Upgrades. It’s technically the same as over-the-air upgrades, but there are two ways to get the upgrades: via the BMW Connected app or by downloading the upgrade directly into the car’s built-in SIM card. You can use the BMW Connected app and download the upgrade via Wi-Fi to your phone and then connect the phone to the car. The download takes place directly in the app, and as soon as the phone is connected to the vehicle, the installation will begin. If you opt to download directly to the SIM, the X5 will need to be parked and you must confirm the installation. The whole process should take about 20 minutes, during which time the vehicle cannot be driven.