BMW X5 XDrive 35i Test Drive Review


Published on February 3rd, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


BMW X5 XDrive 35i Test Drive Review


BMW has had 2 generations of the X5 SUV (sorry it should tagged as a SAV, ‘Sports Activity Vehicle’ which is what BMW marketers insists) that has seen success in all major markets. Now comes the 3rd generation X5 SAV which still carries a 3rd row seat. The X5 from start has been built completely in America in the small town of Spartanburg. Targeted at a market looking for performance in a 4×4 vehicle, the X5 has been delivering an exhilarating drive from the first model. Yes, the first X5 took the market by storm with its sporty handling and aggressive looks. The 2nd model came with 3rd row seats added in to accommodate a buyer that wanted extra seats for a growing family. The extended size and added weight has been an issue for some buyers but after a test drive all issues were quashed with the 2nd generation X5.

Now comes a 3rd generation X5. It’s bigger, more spacious but lighter and with a new generation of diesel and petrol engines. We test drive the 3-liter twin turbo petrol which has just been local assembled to give it a more attractive selling price.


The X5 may look like a traditional sports utility vehicle but it doesn’t drive like one. Customers keen to make the configuration of the exterior and interior a little more individual can vary the car’s basic equipment with the M Sport package. The defining features of the on-board experience of the new BMW X5 are an exclusive interior ambience with luxurious design, high-quality materials and innovative comfort-enhancing functions. The cabin also features the very best in entertainment with a rear-seat entertainment system comprising of two 9.2” coloured display monitors which passengers are able to operate via remote-control whether for radio, navigation or – with BMW ConnectedDrive – BMW Apps and surfing the Internet. The range of BMW ConnectedDrive features is now also larger than ever, and includes innovative driver assistance systems, some of which are unique among the BMW X5’s rivals. The Sports Activity Vehicle also impresses with its outstanding practicality, headlined by its standard 40 : 20 : 40 split/folding rear seat backrest, load capacity rising from 650 to a maximum 1,870 litres and an optional third row of two additional seats.


This X5 also comes standard with a more comprehensive safety package that includes;

  1. Lane Departure Warning, a driver assistance system which is based on a video sensor to help drivers keep their attention on the road ahead by recognizing when the vehicle is straying out of lane unintentionally. The Lane Departure Warning system will provide the driver with an early warning with a discrete vibration of the steering wheel.
  2. Forward Collision Warning, a brake application function which operates via visual and acoustic warning to prevent collisions by providing timely warning should the driver approach a vehicle ahead too quickly.
  3. City Collision Warning Mitigation prevents collisions by automatically braking, at speeds of up to 60km/h with the aim of preventing collisions with cars, trucks, motorcycles, and even pedestrians.

BMW EfficientDynamics technology allows all variants of the Sports Activity Vehicle to combine raised performance with reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The increases in efficiency over the predecessor model have been achieved through measures including intelligent lightweight construction techniques and aerodynamic optimisations, which give the new BMW X5, for example, a class-leading drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.31.


Standard BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive can be complemented by Dynamic Performance Control as part of the optional Dynamic and Professional adaptive suspension packages. The Dynamic adaptive suspension package also includes Dynamic Drive active roll stabilisation for a targeted improvement of the car’s sporty handling attributes. Using the standard-fitted Driving Experience Control switch on the centre console, the drive settings can be matched to the requirements of the moment or to different driving situations. The COMFORT, SPORT, SPORT+ and ECO PRO modes, which can be selected at the press of a button, allow the driver to customise the accelerator response characteristics, the power steering characteristics, the characteristics of the automatic transmission and also, on vehicles fitted with the optional Comfort and Professional Adaptive Suspension packages, the characteristics of the Dynamic Damper Control. On vehicles with the optional Dynamic and Professional Adaptive Suspension packages, the characteristics of the active roll stabilisation system and the Dynamic Performance Control can also be customised.


This new locally assembled BMW X5 is offered in two variants – the BMW X5 xDrive35i and the BMW X5 xDrive30d. Our test unit pictured here is the petrol driven twin turbo which competes directly with the Audi Q7 and the Lad Rover Discovery.

Both the Q7 and Discovery are older products against the X5 however new models will be introduced in 2015. The new Disco will come as the Discovery Sport and will have 7 seats and a powerful 2-liter petrol turbo and 2.2 diesel turbo engines. The 2015 Q7 will carry a 3-liter TFSI engine. Both will be fully imported which means their selling prices will not match this X5 pricing. However the segment will be rocked when the all new Volvo XC90 arrives as it will be a powerful hybrid with a selling price to put all the above in quandary.


Drive this X5 in comfort mode and you will enjoy its comfort, suspension absorption on our badly maintained pot-hole riddled roads. Power delivery is good and when you get a little adventurous, its handling will entertain. Switch on ‘Sport +’ mode and this X5 character changes with more aggression. The steering tightens up, suspension gets firmer and the gear ratios move closer to each other to steer this large vehicle into sports sedan territory. Yes, it gets very entertaining and offers dynamics that is reminiscent of the 7-Series sedan. Acceleration is impressive and when taking a sweeping corner, the X5 hunkers down and carves the corner with ease. There are of course limits to its abilities, as the driver must understand that this is after all a high riding 4×4 and not a low riding sedan.

On the average test drive session for a customer, you will not be able to exploit all the possibilities that this X5 can deliver and most buyers will see no need to do so. Still, it is all there if called on.


Specifications BMW X5 XDrive 35i
Engine 3.0-litre BMW TwinPower Turbo six-cylinder Petrol
Capacity 2979cc
Transmission 8-Speed Sport Automatic Transmission
Max Output 306bhp @ 5800-6000rpm
Max Torque 400NM @ 1200-5000rpm
0-100km/h 6.5 seconds
Top Speed 235km/h

Price: RM579,800.00

Nearest Rival: Audi Q7

Goodyear f1 650x85(DSF)

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