Best BMW for off-road

best bmw for off road

The BMW X5 G05 xDrive40i is one of the most suitable BMW SUVs to go off-road or drive high in the mountains. The mid-size SUV is a combination of power, control, and style. The all-wheel-drive, along with a powerful gasoline engine, makes it a good fit for off-road driving, as well as driving in harsh conditions like snow and rain.

BMW X5 G05 xDrive40i

The G05 aired in 2019 and is the fourth generation BMW X5. We recommend the F4 layout xDrive version for off-roading since the sDrive and the FCV rear-wheel-drive might not be suitable for slippery conditions. Moreover, the BMW X5 has an adaptable off-road driving mode that changes your SUV settings according the surface you are driving on.

The BMW X5 is our SUV of choice since the BMW X7 is quite large and might not be as agile to manage off-road like the X5. There are many engine options available, ranging from gasoline, diesel, and electric fuel cell-powered combo.

X5 G05 – Engine options

With the large variety of engine options, the most suitable for the vehicle are the X5 xDrive40i and the 4.4 L V8 of the xDrive50i. While BMW X5 is better on the road than off it, it still has some off-road driving capabilities.

Gasoline engines available:

  • X5 xDrive40i, 2018, B58B30M1 3.0 L l6 turbo, 335 horsepower
  • X5 xDrive50i, 2018, N63B44M3 4.4 L V8 twin-turbo, 456 horsepower
  • X5 M50i, 2019, N63B44T3, 4.4 L V8 twin-turbo, 523 horsepower
  • X5 xDrive45e, 2019, B58B30M1 3.0 L l6 turbo plus a Synchronous Electric Motor, 389 horsepower
  • X5 M, 2020, S63 4.4 L V8 twin-turbo, 597 horsepower
  • X5 M Competition, 2020, S63 4.4 L V8 twin-turbo, 617 horsepower
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Diesel engine options:

  • X5 xDrive25d, 2018, B47B20 2.0 L i4 turbo, 231 horsepower
  • X5 xDrive30d, 2018, B57D30 3.0 L l6 turbo, 261 horsepower
  • X5 xDrive40d, 2018, B57D30A 3.0 L l6 turbo, 335 horsepower
  • X5 M50d, 2018 – 2020, B57D30C 3.0 L l6 quad turbo, 394 horsepower

It takes the average diesel-engine xDrive30d 6.1 seconds to reach from 0 to 62 miles per hour, whereas the entry-level gasoline xDrive40i reaches it in 5.7 seconds.

The gasoline version feels far more responsive on the gas pedal than the diesel one and also feels better on the revs. If you are more of a speed fan, the M50i engine allows the BMW X5 to reach from 0 to 62 miles per hour in only 4.3 seconds, which is astonishing for an SUV.

BMW X5 G05 – Suspension and driving

All BMW X5s aside from the M50i come with a standard air suspension. The G05 generally maintains a smooth ride even on bumpier surfaces, which makes it a somewhat good off-road vehicle. The exception of the bunch is the BMW xDrive45e, which feels rougher on the edges while driving on less maintained roads. Perhaps, the main reason for that are the large 21-inch wheels it comes in.

If you are looking for an off-road vehicle, we do not recommend the BMW M50i, since it comes with an Adaptive M suspension, designed for sports vehicles. The M50i suspension is very nimble on the road but a lot harsher and less absorbent on bumpier surfaces. Even more, if you are driving in Sport mode, you will feel as if you are bumping into every rock along the way.

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All BMW X5 models provide a very serious and quite stable grip on the road, regardless of the road conditions. The BMW X5 makes sharper and more secure turns than the Range Rover Sport, even in off-road places.

Adaptable off-road driving modes

The standard all-wheel-drive of the BMW X5 allows the vehicle to have an off-road mode that adapts the ride height and the settings to the different surfaces you bring your vehicle to. The touch screen allows you to select from multiple surfaces just with one click on the infotainment system. (You can select between sand, gravel-strewn, rocky, and snowy terrain.)

The X5 is a good off-road vehicle and with the innovative driving mode it almost ranks up near the best ones. It is still not as good as the Land Rover Discovery or Defender SUVs. Regardless, they cannot match the X5 on the road, and you might be looking for a combination of both.

Interior and safety

The driving position is impeccable and the electric seat adjustment works wonders, as you would expect from a BMW. The view of the cabin is commanding and ample, which serves a great function while driving off-road, so you can spot uneven surfaces or areas you want to avoid.

The infotainment touchscreen display is a standard 12.3 inches. It is extremely intuitive to use, even for people who haven’t touched one before. The interior does not feel like the one of a strict off-road vehicle, but rather, a high-end luxury SUV.

The BMW X5 Scores 5 out of 5 in terms of Euro NCAP safety rating with an impressive adult occupant safety of 89 % and a child passenger safety of 86%.

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More about off-roading in your BMW

Is the BMW xDrive system a reliable full-time all-wheel-drive for off-roading?

The BMW xDrive is a full-time all-wheel-drive. It is reliable for mild to moderate off-road conditions. Some models like the newer BMW X3, X5, and X7 come with a standard surface selection for different off-road terrains. The X5 and X7 are 10.3 inches off the ground, which makes them suitable for moderate off-road driving or snowy conditions.

Why are most BMWs bad to drive in the snow?

Rear-wheel-drive cars tend to perform worse in the snow than front-wheel drive powered ones. The reason for the prejudice of BMW being bad in the snow is the fact that most older BMW models were rear-wheel drive.

On the other hand, newer BMW SUVs are powered with an xDrive, an all-wheel-drive system, which allows them to perform better in the snow or rain.  The tires of your vehicle are also just as important as the drive system when driving in the snow.

best bmw for off road
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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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