X5 expected to remain leader
BMW Group Australia expects its new fourth-generation X5 large SUV to retain its place as the best-selling model in the segment, a position it has managed to hold over the past decade despite strong competition from the Mercedesbenz GLE, Range Rover Sport and Audi Q7.
Speaking to Goauto at the launch of the new X5, BMW Australia head of product and market planning Brendan 0LFKHO VDLG WKH FRPSDQ\ ZDV FRQ¿ dent the new-generation model would remain Australia’s favourite over$70,000 large luxury SUV.
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With two months left in 2018, the outgoing X5 remains the best seller in its segment despite its age, with %0: ¿QGLQJ QHZ KRPHV IRU WKH large luxury SUV ahead of the Range Rover Sport, 1900, Lexus RX, 1710, Audi Q7, 1575, and Mercedes-benz GLE, 1749 – the latter set to arrive in all-new guise in the second quarter of next year.
While BMW is launching the newgen X5 with only two variants – the volume-selling 30d and performancefettled M50d – a third variant, the petrol-powered 40i, will join the range in WKH ¿UVW TXDUWHU RI IROORZHG E\ more variants further down the line.
While the 30d has traditionally been the best-selling variant in the range, Mr Michel believes the addition of the 40i may usurp its crown.
“We think the 40i will potentially be the sweet spot in our market given the extra performance it has over the 30d, and such a low engine surcharge over the 30d as well,” he said.
“It will be interesting to see whether our customers gravitate towards getting extra performance in the 40i.”
Further down the line, the range will be bolstered with the addition of the 45e plug-in hybrid, which will feature twice the pure-electric range of its predecessor while upping the petrol engine from four cylinders to six.
A rear-drive, four-cylinder turbodiesel entry-level version is expected to arrive at some point, as is a full-fat M version, which is yet to be announced for the new generation.
While more variants are coming, Mr Michel said the model range will likely be smaller than the outgoing F15 generation’s seven-strong line-up.
“I think we need to evaluate it over the next 12 to 24 months on what extra engines we bring to the market,” he said.
“I think it was at some stage we had seven different engines you could get on the previous-generation X5 – that might have been a little too complex for not only our customers but our dealers to be able to maintain stock, so we’ll focus on the models that we sell well and we know will sell well.”
He said the most likely variant to not be carried over is the 40d, which sits in between the 30d and M50d for diesel variants.
For now, the range kicks off at $112,990 plus on-road costs for the 30d, up to $115,990 for the 40i and topping out at $149,900 for the M50d.
The new X5 has grown in all dimensions over its predecessor, standing 19mm taller, 66mm wider and 36mm longer, with a 42mm increase in wheelbase and 39mm in rear track. The extra width helps the X5 remain more stable on the road, while the wheelbase and length increase has meant more room in the passenger sections of the interior.
Boot space remains the same at 650 litres – 1870L with the 40:20:40 split-fold rear seats down – but a new electrically operated split tailgate increases practicality and versatility.
New technology has been a major focus of the X5 update, with modern features included throughout the inside and outside of the vehicle.
Driver assistance tech has been improved with the addition of the new three-camera KAFAS system that features a wider, longer lens that can see further than before, differentiate between pedestrians and cyclists and is better at keeping the vehicle centred when lane keep assist is activated.
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Making use of the new cameras is the reversing assistant feature, which can autonomously backtrack up to 50m in reverse at speeds under 35kmh, retracing the path the vehicle has just taken.
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Each of the three initial variants use a different powertrain, starting with the 30d which employs a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel inline six-cylinder engine capable of outputting 195kw/620nm, helping achieve a zero to 100kmh sprint time of 6.5 seconds.
All variants drive all four wheels via an eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission.
Standard equipment on the 30d includes parking assistant plus with surURXQG YLHZ FDPHUD UHDO WLPH WUDI¿F information, Apple Carplay, DAB+ digital radio, automatic climate control, 10-speaker sound system, adaptive LED headlights, foglights and tail-lights, automatic wipers and headlights, and the xline trim package.
TOP OF THE CLASS: BMW believes the new fourth-generation X5 large SUV will continue to hold its place as the segment leader, against competition from the likes of Mercedes-benz GLE, Range Rover Sport and Audi Q7.