Best BMW for a road trip

best bmw for a road trip

For a long road trip, you need plenty of room for the family, a comfortable and safe ride, and enough horsepower to keep yourself aware and fully enjoying the ride at all times. The BMW X5 xDrive is the perfect candidate for the job with enough leg and headroom, luggage space and more than enough power.

The BMW X5 xDrive

The first BMW X5 aired its debut in early 1999 and later became a benchmark for luxury midsize SUVs. So far, there have been four generations with the present one being led by the G05 BMW X5. There are also three new X5 M models coming in the series.

The 2021 BMW X5 is a combination of style, status, comfort and power. If you are heading on a long road trip, you will definitely need enough room for all family members, unless you are going alone. The BMW X5 is the second-largest SUV that BMW offers to its fanbase.

The 2021 version has sacrificed a few its off-road capabilities, in favor of better handling and more comfort on the road. Moreover, the interior is superior to earlier models and it feels quite relaxing to ride in the X5.

BMW X5 engine capabilities

Being a relatively large vehicle, the BMW X5 SUV offers many engine options, both gasoline and diesel. All of them come in an 8-speed automatic ZF 8HP transmission. There is an option to pair a gasoline engine with a fuel-cell-powered electric motor, as well.

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Gasoline engine options:

  • X5 xDrive40i: B58B30M1 3.0 L l6 turbo, 330 horsepower
  • X5 xDrive50i: N63B44M3 4.4 L V8 twin turbo, 456 horsepower
  • X5 xDrive45e, a combination of B58B30M1 3.0 L l6 turbo and a Synchronous Electric motor, 389 horsepower
  • X5 M, twin-turbo S63 4.4 L V8, 591 horsepower
  • X5 M Competition, S63 4.4 L V8 twin-turbo, 617 horsepower

Diesel engine options:

  • X5 xDrive25d: B47B20 2.0 L l4 turbo, 231 horsepower
  • X5 xDrive30d: B57D30 3.0 L l6 turbo, 261 horsepower
  • X5 xDrive40d: B57D30A 3.0 L l6 turbo, 335 horsepower
  • X5 M50d: B57D30C 3.0 L l6 quad-turbo, 394 horsepower

The BMW X5 M Competition has the quickest engine option and reaches from 0 to 62 miles per hour in just 3.7 seconds. While this mind sound insanely fast for an SUV, the other “slower” engine options are very fast as well, with an average time of 5 seconds.

The entry-level engine is the xDrive 30d, which does the job in 6.1 seconds and feels amazing, despite being the slowest engine. Our top choices in terms of engine options are the X5 xDrive30d and the X5 xDrive40i. But whatever you pick, all of these accelerate very quickly and would allow you to pass other vehicles safely.

BMW X5 G05 – Suspension, handling and driving

All BMW X5 models, aside from the M50i, come with a standard air suspension. The ride is very smooth and impressive. You won’ notice most potholes or sharp edges on the road, with the only exception being the BMW X5 xDrive 45e, since it has a slightly firmer grip on the road, perhaps due to its 21-inch wheels.

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When it comes to handling, the control is very stable during the entire ride. Twisty roads, straight lines, rain or snow do not bother the BMW X5 xDrive.

Engine noise, interior and features

You can clearly hear the engine revving, even with the diesel options which is a pleasant surprise. A funny little detail is that if you select the Sport driving mode, the speakers will actually enhance the sound of the engine and artificially play racing sounds to you.  This might appeal to some, but definitely not all.

The driver position is impressively comfortable. With the typical BMW electric seat adjustment system and a backrest angle, and an extendable cushion with lumbar support, the BMW’s seating can please anyone, regardless of how spoiled they are.

The infotainment system comes in a standard 12.3-inch screen with the finest features BMW has to offer. The navigation is very reliable and easy to use. Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available to connect with your smartphone, as well as USB and Bluetooth.

The seat’s elevated position gives the rider an ample view angle and a commanding place on the road. The infotainment controls are simple and intuitive, yet very effective. The BMW leather is of high quality, and the dashboard is stunningly luxurious.

On the other hand, the visibility in the back is not as ample as the front. Therefore, BMW has implemented quite a few parking cameras and sensors to assist you while parking. The side windows are near vertical, scoring bonus points for visibility on the sides. The reversing camera can also play a big part in helping you drive in reverse. A top-down view is also available to guide you.

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Your BMW X5 questions answered

How much does the entry-level X5 BMW cost?

Depending on the features and engine options, the price of the 2021 BMW X5 varies widely. The lowest cost for a brand-new SUV of the model is around $60,000 for a sDrive40i. The vehicle has stellar reviews and great ratings. Despite it being the entry-level X5, it brings in a great performance, comfort and style.

Is the BMW X5 costly to maintain and service?

Owners of BMW X5 have reported that average repairs vary between $150 and $400 per servicing each 10,000 miles. Bigger repairs of drive-train components might cost between $1,000 and $3,500 or even more in major cases. Yearly maintenance is estimated to be an average of $1,400 or in some cases, as much as $1,800.

Is a second-hand BMW X5 reliable?

When purchasing a second-hand BMW, a lot of factors come into play. Has the vehicle been serviced and maintained regularly and properly? Has it been driven aggressively? Generally speaking, X5s are durable machines and the newer X5s score second in terms of reliability in the category of midsize luxury SUVs, ahead even of the Volvo XC90 and the Range Rover Sport.

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Dan Gurbalov

Why do you love cars? I love the sound of most gasoline engines. I love the smell too.

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