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BMW Release Their New Prestigious SAV: The Fourth Generation X5

A quick look at the fourth generation X5 and how it has grown since the first model.

That’s right, a brand new BMW X5 is on the way and entering the market when competition is at its most fierce. The market-leading ‘Sports Activity Vehicle’ is entering its fourth generation just as the total number of models BMW have ever produced exceeds 2.2 million.

Before we look at the latest model, let's see how it got to this point.

The first X5 was released back in 1999 when BMW owned Land Rover and this model actually shares a lot of the technology, such as hill descent control and off-road engine management, as the Range Rover HSE. As was the norm back in these days, only V8 and straight 6 engines were available. The First generation enjoyed a relatively successful inning before being replaced in 2006.

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In November 2006 came the second generation model. With the new model came the BMW iDrive system and, interestingly, this X5 was the first BMW to ever come with an optional 3rd row of seats which raised the capacity to 7 passengers. This model was also the first X5 to be given the ‘M-treatment’. The X5 was loaded with a massive turbocharged V8 engine with 555 horsepower. Fuel efficiency was absolutely horrendous, as you would expect. Incredibly, following a mid-life update in 2011, this X5 was actually BMWs 3rd best selling model, ahead of the 1 Series hatchback and behind the 3 Series and 5 Series.

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Production of the second generation ended in 2013 when the third model was introduced for 2014. This third model shared the same chassis and wheelbase as the previous generation but beneath the bonnet were a range of new, more economical and more sustainable engines. The third generation did have styling and interior updates to keep it on-par with the competition, but this model endured the shortest lifespan of any of the X5 generations, as it was only in production for 4 years. Which brings us up to date…

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For 2018 we’ve been gifted a brand new X5 from the ground up. The 3rd generation model was using underpinnings from 2006, which just won’t cut it any more. This latest model is built on an incredibly adjustable ‘Active’ chassis which can be tweaked for ride height and dynamics, providing supreme levels of comfort. BMW also claims that the new interior is like none other on the market with superior refinement and technology, although we’ve come to expect a pretty high standard of fit and finish now from BMW anyway.

BMW has also stated that this new X5 will be loaded with the highest level of autonomy fitted to any BMW so far.

The X5 is now on sale as of June 2018 and the prices £56,710 with the range-topping M50d coming in at £70,690. Do expect an X5M to come along at some point in the future to compete with the likes of the Range Rover SVR, Mercedes GLE 63 and Audi SQ5.