2023 BMW X5 debuts fresh design and powertrain tech
BMW’s popular SUV goes further upmarket with new plug-in powertrains and fresh design inside and out
The BMW X5 SUV has been given a substantial update for 2023, debuting a new look, fresh collection of powertrains and an all-new interior. The popular SUV was one of the first high-riding models to successfully bridge the gap between premium and sports in 1999 when the original was revealed, a standard it’s continued to set over its subsequent four generations.
Changes to the new X5 begin under the skin, with a realignment of the available powertrains made up from a six-cylinder petrol or diesel, petrol plug-in hybrid and an M60i twin-turbocharged petrol V8. The latter is shared with the recently updated X7 M60i, and utilises the newly-christened S68 twin-power V8 that now incorporates a mild-hybrid system. Peak power is rated at the same 523bhp as the previous S63 at 5500rpm, with a slog of 553lb ft of torque produced between 1800 and 4600rpm.
While both engine and model type might both feature new monikers, only substantive changes to the M60i’s oily bits refer to the engine’s adaptability to a 48V mild-hybrid addition, and detail changes to the oil cooling and manifold. With similar figures comes similar performance with 0-62mph coming in at 4.3sec as it did before.
The new xDrive50e plug-in hybrid includes a more substantial update to a previously available powertrain option, packing a 483bhp combined output from an electric motor and the turbocharged 3-litre in-line six-cylinder engine; total system torque is 516lb ft. This represents a 94bhp rise over the previous car, and torque’s up 73lb ft too. Acceleration times are much improved as a result, with a 0-62mph time going down from 5.6sec to 4.8sec.
The increased power and torque are made from small bumps to both electric motor (+84bhp) and petrol six (+26bhp), the former driven by a larger 25.7kWh battery pack that can provide up to 25 per cent more all-electric range of 58 to 62 miles. The mild-hybrid in-line sixes in both petrol and diesel forms have their own power upgrades, with the petrol rated at 374bhp (+42bhp) and the diesel now rated at 293bhp (+7bhp), but only the diesel will be offered in the UK.
The interior’s also seen a comprehensive upgrade, integrating BMW’s latest curved, free-standing touchscreen interface into an all-new dash design. The eagle-eyed amongst you might spot its prior application on the latest X7, but that’s no bad thing as there’s been useful upgrades in terms of both material and build quality over the top of an already impressively built cabin.
The exterior design’s updates are more subtle combining fresh LED lighting front and rear with new bumper and wheel designs. As before, there are xLine and M Sport trims to choose between, each with their own individual specifications, plus a typically extensive range of options and option packages. Only the entry-level 30d variant will be available in xLine trim, with M Sport models standard from there.
Prices for the new X5 begin at £66,230 for the xLine 30d, rising to £78,360 for the plug-in hybrid and topping out at £87,210 for the M60i. An updated X5 M Competition is also on its way, but details for that are still yet to be confirmed.