Step inside and you immediately feel comfortable in the BMW leather Sport Seats for driver and front passenger with multiple electric adjustments especially the lumbar support. In front of the driver is the M leather steering wheel with gearshift paddles and all the controls you need. It is very comfortable to hold and assists in the driving experience.
In front of the driver is an excellent heads up display that projects speed and arrow directions for navigation, directly into the driver’s field of vision and the dash is typically BMW, which means crisp, clear to read and functional.
The BMW X5 M50d is distinguished by a number of features internally such as Door sill finishers with M designation Interior trim, Aluminium Shadow Brushed and 4-zone Automatic air conditioning.
The Navigation System has a high-resolution 8.8-inch colour display (one of the best in the market), arrow and map display, favourite buttons, DVD drive, split screen function, 12GB hard drive for storage of audio files, 3D display, electronic owner’s handbook and internet functionality.
The On-board computer, displays average speed, fuel consumption, range, temperature, time and date etc.
There are adequate spots for drinks and ‘junk’ etc in the centre console etc, however the split lid is annoying. The i Drive controls are easy to use.
Rear seats are more suited for two people but have enough head, shoulder and knee room to be comfortable for most adults. Boot space is great for a family of four.
The heart and soul of the BMW X5 M50d is the M Performance TwinPower Turbo inline 6-cylinder diesel engine, combining common rail direct injection and triple turbocharging. Mated to an 8-speed sport automatic transmission with Steptronic, this lusty powerplant pumps out 280 Kw of power @ 4,000 rpm and an awesome 740 Nm of torque @ 2,000 rpm.
This combination grips the road through the xDrive, permanent all-wheel drive system with fully variable torque split between front and rear axles, M Sport suspension with self-levelling suspension and pneumatic rear suspension. In short it’s a ripper to drive.
Safety is provided by driver and front passenger airbags, seat occupancy detector for front passenger airbag; head airbags in the front and rear; side airbags for driver and front passenger, Dynamic Braking Lights, DSC incl. ABS, BA, CBC, DTC and HDC.
Other features include rear view camera, Bi-Xenon headlights, Adaptive headlights with variable light distribution, cornering lights and High-Beam Assist.
The BMW X5 M50d is a gem. Don’t mistake it for an AWD SUV that you can take far off road, rather it is a sports SUV that provides fun in abundance with its awe inspiring engine and handling and reasonable owing capacity. At almost $160,000 it is expensive but could be considered a bargain. It is also a worthy winner of the OzRoamer Sports SUV of the Year 2012.
What is good:
• Diesel’s awesome power/economy
• Practical family car
• Lots of standard features
What’s not so good:
• Not suited to off road
• Expensive to buy and service
• We had to give it back to BMW
Model BMW X5 M50d
Model Price $159,225 RDAP
Drivetrain AWD 3.0L TDi 8 speed Auto
Power 280 Kw @ 4,000 rpm
Torque 740 Nm @ 2,000 rpm
Safety 5 Star ANCAP
CO2 Emissions 199 g/km
Green Vehicle Rating 3 ½ Star
Economy (ADR comb) 7.5 L/100km
Tow Capacity – Max 2700 kg
Tow Ball Rating 270 kg
Warranty 5yr/ 130,000 km with full roadside assist
Overall OzRoamer Rating 81/100
Behind the Wheel 8
Ride & Handling 9
Fit for Purpose 9
Towing Ability 7
Off Road Ability 5
Value for Money 9