Small changes add up
Entering its fourth generation, the BMW X5 receives a new architecture, new engines, and an optional off-road package. Design changes are more subtle, but all together, they contribute to a more refined look compared to its predecessor. The question is: Did BMW go far enough given this is a full redesign and not a midcycle refresh?
The front face of the 2019 BMW X5 retains the same basic design, with a few changes. The headlights are no longer connected to the kidney grilles, which are taller than before. The new model boasts standard adaptive LED headlights, and optional laser lamps add a blue x-shaped signature. You’ll also notice the lower vents command more space than before, particularly on the sides. Lighting elements have been incorporated more subtly into front end.
Take a peek at the side profile, and you’ll hardly notice the X5 has grown in size. The model is just 1.1 inches longer, 2.6 inches wider, and slightly lower, with a 1.6-inch longer wheelbase. There is a new character line that runs from behind the front wheel through the front door, turning up sharply when it reaches the rear door. This effect contributes to the model’s new, more prominent wheel arches. Standard xLine models feature aluminum side window surrounds and chrome accents, while M Sport versions come with black side window trim, bumper trim, body-color side skirts, bigger wheels, and other updates.
In the rear, the only change you’re likely to notice is the new taillights. They’re thinner than before, and unlike the old taillights, they aren’t disturbed by the cut lines of the trunk. BMW also redesigned the rear bumper area and lower lights.
You would think the cabin would look more distinct from its predecessor, but in reality, the two interiors look similar. That is, the cabin is dominated by a large central touchscreen, and the general layout is the same. Look closer and you’ll find there is a new shifter and a simpler array of buttons on the center console. The new model features BMW’s next-generation iDrive operating system, with a 12.3-inch center screen and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster that modernizes the cabin. Instead of hard physical buttons, the round iDrive controller is surrounded by haptic controls.
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