2023 BMW X5 Facelift Review: A Striking Evolution of Luxury and Performance

The BMW X5, a trailblazer in the realm of road-oriented luxury SUVs, has evolved over the years, shifting roles within the BMW lineup. With the 2023 facelift, it now boasts a higher price tag in its top-spec M Sport guise, but does the experience justify the cost? Let’s explore the revamped 2023 BMW X5 and where it fits in today’s competitive SUV market.

Exterior Design and Colors

The most striking feature of any modern BMW is its grille, and the X5’s grille, though substantial, appears well-proportioned for this large SUV. It can even be illuminated at night, adding to its allure. The Hofmeister Kink framing the D-pillar has been refined into a Hofmeister curve, and the new C-shaped LED Daytime Running Lights pay homage to BMW’s iconic Corona Rings. While the color palette is predominantly monochromatic, a Tanzanite Blue Metallic option provides a touch of adventurous flair.

The M Sport trim enhances the X5’s exterior with aggressive bumpers, three-dimensional tail-lamps, and impressive 21-inch wheels. While these larger wheels may affect the ride quality, they undeniably contribute to the X5’s aesthetic appeal.

Interior, Space, and Practicality

The 2023 BMW X5 presents a significant interior redesign, notably featuring a curved dual-display unit comprising a 12.3-inch gauge cluster and a 14.9-inch touchscreen. The central AC vents are discreetly concealed behind crystal-effect trim with illuminated ‘X5’ branding on the passenger side. However, the controls for these vents may be somewhat counterintuitive, as they lack tactile feedback.

The cabin’s build quality is generally top-notch, with open-pore wood, metallic accents, and soft leather seamlessly integrated. The introduction of modern technology and screens does, however, create a mild contrast with traditional luxury elements.

The X5 offers ample cabin space, and while it lacks third-row seats in India, it boasts a cavernous 650-liter split-tailgate boot. The rear seats, positioned higher than the front seats, offer generous width but lack backrest adjustment.

Features and Safety

The 2023 X5 comes loaded with features, including seat heating and cooling, memory functions for the front seats, a 360-degree camera, and parking assist. Notably, it features BMW’s Drive Recorder, allowing the car to autonomously reverse down a predetermined route. The M Sport version includes a heads-up display, air suspension with multiple settings, a premium 16-speaker Harman/Kardon sound system, adaptive LED headlamps, a panoramic sunroof, and convenient powered tailgate operation.

On the safety front, the X5 offers eight airbags and various electronic safety aids, such as ESC, TCS, hill descent control, cornering brake control, and tire pressure monitoring. While it doesn’t offer a complete ADAS suite, it provides active safety features like lane-keep assist, auto emergency braking, and driver drowsiness detection.

Mileage, Engine, Gearbox, and Performance

The 2023 X5 features a 286hp, 650Nm 3.0-liter straight-six diesel engine, a rarity among luxury brands. This engine is remarkably responsive, with both high-revving capability and sufficient low-end and mid-range power. It offers an ideal balance between spirited performance and efficient driving. When set to Eco Pro mode, it provides a more subdued experience, while Comfort and Sport modes cater to spirited driving. The engine pairs seamlessly with the 8-speed automatic transmission, delivering impressive fuel economy and a long driving range.

Ride and Handling

The X5’s handling prowess rivals that of more expensive performance SUVs. In Sport mode, the steering and body movements exhibit a surprising level of agility for a vehicle of its size, solidifying its position as a luxury SUV suitable for self-driving. The air suspension plays a pivotal role in delivering dynamic performance in Sport mode and a cloud-like comfort in Comfort mode. However, the large wheels and tires contribute to a slightly lumpy ride at lower speeds, affecting overall comfort, particularly on uneven road surfaces.

Price and Verdict

The updated 2023 BMW X5 starts at Rs 94 lakh for the X Line petrol variant and Rs 96 lakh for the diesel variant, with M Sport variants priced at Rs 1.05 crore and Rs 1.07 crore, respectively. This represents a significant price increase compared to the pre-facelift version launched just four years ago. However, the X5 justifies its cost with its seamless blend of luxury and driving dynamics, enriched with new technology. Choosing the X7 over the X5 now primarily comes down to aesthetic preference and the need for a third row of seats. The 2023 BMW X5 can be considered one of the most well-rounded offerings in the BMW lineup.

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