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2020 BMW X5 M50i review: Stuck in the middle

The X5 looks sharp in M50i guise.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

The M50i is the center little one of the BMW X5 range. Underneath it are the xDrive40i and xDrive50i, and over it you will discover the greater-functionality X5 M and X5 M Opposition. Does that make this M-tuned, V8-driven X5 the sweet spot of the range? Yes and no.


  • Strong twin-turbo V8 electricity
  • Heaps of space for passengers and cargo
  • Top-notch interior trimmings
  • Robust iDrive infotainment tech

Do not Like

  • Heft has an effect on handling
  • The less expensive X5 styles are just as lavish

As a full, the new X5 is a large enhancement around its predecessor. It is really lengthier, wider and taller than its forebear, that means there is certainly a great deal more space inside. The kidney grille is not obnoxiously large like it is on some of BMW’s other merchandise, and total, the X5 looks muscular and rugged.

The M50i adds larger entrance air intakes for much better cooling, unique rocker panels, new bumpers and a rear spoiler. The common wheels are twenty inches, but you can opt for 21s or even the 22s viewed in this article, wrapped in staggered 275/35 entrance and 315/30 rear tires.

The sporty concept proceeds inside, with a thick-rimmed M steering wheel and specific pedals. The brown-on-black color scheme of this exam automobile is not really my preferred, but the leather is smooth, the fit and finish is excellent and the silver accent trim looks pretty interesting.

Due to the fact of the new X5’s wider stance, there is certainly a great deal of space for passengers in the very first and 2nd rows. BMW does supply the X5 with a little third row of seats, but you are not able to get that on the M50i — it is really only readily available on the I6-driven styles. Devoid of the third row, the X5 is a great deal spacious, with 33.nine cubic toes of space powering the 2nd row or 72.three when all the seats are folded. Those people figures are competitive with the X5’s key rival, the Mercedes-Benz GLE. That mentioned, I want the X5 had much better storage answers for smaller sized objects inside the cabin — even the middle armrest bin is pretty little.

The interior is cozy and lavish, and there is certainly a ton of infotainment tech on supply.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

The star of the interior is BMW’s infotainment program. A 12.three-inch reconfigurable gauge cluster is appropriate in entrance of the driver, with a 2nd 12.three-inch display in the center of the dash. The iDrive seven program can be managed by touch, but I discover myself using the dial and buttons on the middle console more. I imagine iDrive has as well a lot of menus and submenus, resulting in way as well a great deal driver distraction, but luckily there are eight programmable tricky buttons appropriate down below the display, which can be established to your preferred or most-employed capabilities.

This M50i tester has the optional $four,550 Government Package deal, which will come with both equally useful and frivolous tech. On the upside, the sweet surround-view camera give me a crisp, clear, 360-degree view of the automobile, and the Parking Assistant Plus tech allows for pressure-free parallel parking. The draw back to this deal is BMW’s gesture regulate tech, which is way more trouble than it is really well worth. Why spin my finger in entrance of the display to change up the volume when I could, you know, just change up the volume?

Apple CarPlay
is incorporated, and it is really wi-fi, which I like, even if it is really a minor tough to established up at very first. Android Auto is coming, but not for a few more months.

A Wi-Fi hotspot and wi-fi charging are both equally common on the M50i. Other charging approaches consist of 1 USB-A port and a 12-volt outlet up entrance, a USB-C link in the middle console, and two more USB-C ports on the back again of each entrance seat. Rear-seat passengers get a different 12-volt outlet, and there is certainly a third 1 in the cargo region, as well.

There are a great deal of common driver-guidance aids, like blind-spot checking, lane-departure warning, entrance and rear collision warning and cross-targeted visitors notify. Nonetheless, if you want the large guns, you will have to shell out an added $1,700 for the Driving Assistant Professional deal, which adds Targeted visitors Jam Assist tech that usually takes care of the braking, acceleration and most of the steering when you happen to be on the highway. The program delivers me to a comprehensive quit and can wait for 30 seconds just before the resume button demands a tap. This tech can also detect speed zone variations and maintain the automobile in the authorized limit. Automated lane changing tends to make guaranteed I’m not cutting any one off and the X5 even applies a bit of steering drive if the coast is clear.

A large rationale to get the X5 M50i is its included electricity. A four.four-liter twin-turbo V8 places out 523 horsepower and 553 pound-toes of torque, and the M50i will come with M Activity brakes and an M Activity differential to get electricity to the appropriate wheels for optimum functionality. The Adaptive M suspension usually means this SUV can go from super rigid to totally comfortable with the touch of a button.

The fast steering is exact and has a pleasant, hefty really feel, and the eight-speed automatic transmission is a dream. The brakes are excellent, as well, scrubbing off speed with ease and composure. And when there is not a ton of entire body roll, this matter feels each 1 of its five,260 kilos from powering the wheel. Yes, BMW says the X5 M50i will sprint to 60 mph in four.1 seconds, but on winding roads, it is really not all that pleasurable to travel aggressively. 

The X5 M50i is pretty great… but so are the xDrive40i and xDrive50i styles.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

It is really costly, as well — the M50i tested in this article costs about $97,000. Thinking about the M50i would not really shift the functionality needle all that a great deal, you could help save $6,000 and go with the xDrive50i, which has the same four.four-liter V8, detuned to a however-respectable 456 hp and 479 lb-ft. But really, I however keep the greatest X5 is the xDrive40i with its three.-liter turbo I6. It is really more successful, just as lavish and would not consider so tricky to be the athletics automobile it is not.

The X5 M50i is a neat choice for individuals who might like a minor more pep in their action. But given that the X5’s greatest attributes are truly its exceptional luxury and tech, it would not really subject what’s less than the hood to get a amazing BMW SUV.