Hamilton News - - DRIVEN.CO.NZ -

cred­its her time in New Zealand with in­spir­ing the X5’s in­te­rior.

“When­ever I am stressed at work, I beam my­self to my men­tal es­cape place, the Coro­man­del,” Guen­ther told at the US launch.

So, thanks to the Coro­man­del, the look of the cabin of the X5 is a new level of re­fine­ment for pre­mium Euro­pean SUVS. The in­te­rior also gets BMW’S live cock­pit pro­fes­sional dis­play and con­trol con­cept, giv­ing a cleaner look and a more hands-free ap­proach.

The X5 is the lat­est ver­sion of its idrive op­er­at­ing sys­tem that has five in­put meth­ods: voice, touch­screen, ges­ture con­trol, steer­ing wheel but­tons or the tra­di­tional idrive ro­tary con­troller. There is also a large 12.3in screen plus great graph­ics.

The head-up dis­play is next level, too, in­clud­ing the nav­i­ga­tion and speed limit on the wind­screen, mak­ing get­ting lost or speed­ing near im­pos­si­ble.

There is soft Ver­nasca leather through­out the cabin, with stitch­ing as an added layer of so­phis­ti­ca­tion. The front seats are heated, ven­ti­lated and have mas­sag­ing, the panoramic glass roof is heated, there are cooled cup-hold­ers, plus Bow­ers and Wilkins sur­round sound sys­tem with 20-speak­ers fin­ish the pack­age.

One op­tion that was in my X5 was that crys­tal gear knob with an ‘X’ in the mid­dle of it that Guen­ther worked “for many, many months get­ting the right pat­tern”. It’s a great ad­di­tion, and one that BMW NZ is con­sid­er­ing when it brings in the X5.

Volvo has crys­tal gear knobs, too, but the X in the mid­dle of the BMW adds an­other lux­ury touch.

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