BMW X5 review - how does it compare to the Porsche Cayenne? - Design

BMW’s original SUV is still its best, still handling like a big 5-series. It’s just a shame it means so much less today…

Evo rating
Price
from £57,495
  • Exceptional drivetrains, build quality and refinement. M50d stonking, yet more sensible than most fast SUVs
  • Overall handling is capable, but benign. Anything but subtle, but then an X5 never really was

With some reservation about falling too sharply into the ‘design is subjective’ argument, it’s definitely clear that BMW is not playing coy with numerous design cues that have formed the backbone of BMW design for the past 80 years.

You might argue the same elements were messed with back in the Bangle days, but this new wave of design is not based on an intellectual, avant garde aesthetic, rather a more offensive one (in both senses). The sheer size doesn’t help, but it’s only really in comparison to the even bigger X7 that the X5 looks appropriate. In reality, very few large SUVs could be considered attractive, but the oversized kidney grille, fussy lower surfaces and wobbly surfacing do not help the new X5’s case. Its bold, dramatic and not entirely original adaptation of contemporary design trends without much sensitivity to its own history is a real shame in our eyes.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

In its defence, the X5’s design will likely attract as many new buyers as turn them away, such is the SUV world we live in, but that still doesn’t make the grille any smaller.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/saloons/202421/supersaloon-face-off-old-vs-new
Saloons

BMW M5 F90 vs E28 M5, RS6, E500 and Lotus Carlton: supersaloons old vs new

From the first to the very latest, we take a dive into the history of the supersaloon with the 1985 BMW M5 E28 and other classics taking on today's mo…
4 Apr 2020
Visit/honda/nsx/202424/honda-nsx-review-enough-to-take-on-its-european-rivals
Honda NSX

Honda NSX review - enough to take on its European rivals?

Honda’s supercar is immensely capable and startlingly fast, but it’s easier to respect than it is to love
6 Apr 2020
Visit/lamborghini/huracan/202426/lamborghini-huracan-performante-gains-twin-turbochargers
Lamborghini Huracan

Lamborghini Huracán Performante gains twin turbochargers

US-based AMS Performance has fitted a pair of snails to the Lamborghini Huracán Performante
6 Apr 2020
Visit/hyundai/i30-n-hatchback/201775/hyundai-i30-n-versus-hyundai-i30-tcr
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N versus Hyundai i30 TCR

Can Dickie Meaden beat Steve Sutcliffe in a straight(ish) race? We sent them to the Circuit Nuvolari with a pair of Hyundai i30 Ns to find out.
20 Sep 2019