Although the exterior has submitted itself to notable reinterpretation, the X5 is closely related to the previous model underneath. With a 2993mm wheelbase, the platform is much as it was before.
Instead, BMW claims to have focused on cutting some excess weight from its unibody by making extensive use of ultra-high-tensile steels in the structure and introducing an aluminium bonnet along with thermoplastic side panels.
The near-2.4-tonne kerb weight of the xDrive M50d that we tested suggests there is still some way to go on that account, but the five per cent gain in rigidity is a useful attribute, given that improving the X5’s ride quality was also high on the fix list.
Entry-level cars will get a fettled steel set-up as standard, but many buyers will benefit from the adjustable dampers and self-levelling air springs that appear higher up the trim list. Adaptive Comfort – with two damping modes accessed via the (new-to-X5) Dynamic Damper Control – will appear in all SE models.
In the UK, where a penchant for M Sport is predicted, most will have the Adaptive M Suspension that adds Sport and Sport+ to the setting list. Beyond these, there are two more optional packages: Adaptive Dynamic, which significantly beefs up the active roll bars’ resistance to lean, and Adaptive Professional, which includes all modes in one integrated bundle.