2024 BMW X5 Review

2024 BMW X5 - Mid-size BMW SAV undergoes vast 2024 refresh


The popular mid-size crossover segment continues evolving with an assist from emerging electrified technology. Leading the charge from the luxury perspective, BMW’s X5 which features a plug-in hybrid version (PHEV) and worry-free self-charging gas-electric mild hybrid marvel in addition to pure internal combustion offerings.
Within BMW’s nomenclature, an X prefix denotes ‘Sports Activity Vehicle’ the German Automaker’s homegrown terminology for what the rest of the world pictures as a Sports Utility Vehicle.  The numerical suffix references vehicle size utilizing a scale of single digits, the lower the number, the smaller the vehicle.  Our X5 fits middle wise, thus logically slots in the mid-size segment.
In the 2024 model year, X5 offers four trim levels: the sDrive40i, xDrive40i, xDrive50e (the plug-in hybrid) and M60i.  All feature all-wheel drive sans the sDrive40i, the sole rear-wheel drive of the bunch. The folks at BMW utilize ‘xDrive’ to indicate all-wheel drive. All base off a strong fourth-generation platform introduced in the 2019 model year.
The near perfect front/rear weight distribution (50.4/49.6) assists with cornering and confident handling. In general, the five-seat X5 rates as one of the better handling mid-size luxury SUVs (or SAVs) with direct, predictable steering and minimal body roll when tackling sharp corners. Built upon a car-based, uni-body platform, this SAV plays best on roadway pavement rather than deep woods off-road adventures.

Just for clarification’s sake, it’s important to distinguish between our BMW X5 M60i tester and the lower volume 2024 BMW X5 M.  The latter’s stand-alone M suffix denotes “Motorsports,” in effect a track-ready X5 available for purchase born from the German Automaker’s high-octane Motorsports subdivision.
Several BMW ‘Series,’ coupes, sedans and SAVs include an up-performance M twin for those wishing to take the next power step forward, in exchange for an upward price level bump. BMW’s Motorsports subdivision began tinkering at the track in 1972 providing more than a half century of furious fun. The 2024 X5 M’s tweaked twin turbo V-8 pumps up horsepower to 617.
And rifling through the many extras and packages X5 offers, one finds an optional M Sport package (standard in the top-level M60i) that serves as a prerequisite to an additional M Sport Professional option package ($650). Lots of’ Ms’ to keep straight.

The top X5 trim updates its numerical suffix from 2023’s X5 M50i to X5 M60i in part because of a new-for-2024 hybrid boost from a 48-volt electrical system. It’s this week’s tester. All trims underwent a major revision in 2024.  While not classified as a next-generation effort, the volume of improvements and upgrades remains impressive.
Our X5 M60i’s 4.4-liter twin turbocharged V-8 engine now works in tandem with 48-volt mild hybrid technology delivering 523 horsepower and 553 pound/feet of low-end torque. While the 523 horsepower remains unchanged from 2023, the 48-volt starter/generator helps achieve a zero-to 60 time in 4.2 seconds according to BMW.
What’s the difference between a mild and full hybrid? Both self-charge, requiring no nightly wall socket plug-in thanks to regenerative braking. During this process, friction created during the braking process gets captured as kinetic energy for reuse later.
Mild hybrid’s such as the X5 M60i never use the electric motor to power the wheels.  Instead, a smallish battery pack (located in the engine compartment) and low-output electric motor (integrated into the eight-speed automatic transmission) act as an assist to the internal combustion engine providing, among other aspects, improved acceleration from a standing start.

Other benefits include minimizing turbo-lag hesitation within the twin turbo V-8, and less engine wear during coasting situations as the 48-volt system allows the engine to rest during long stretches. The engine rumble felt and heard during prolonged stops during the system’s engine start/stop technology activation is all but eliminated.
Since 2019, BMW accelerated usage of this 48-volt mild hybrid technology (eboost in BMW speak) to dozens of models across its worldwide lineup. While the bump to fuel economy remains minimal when compared to full hybrids, the cost of incorporating a mild hybrid are less and operate in a seamless fashion from a driver’s perspective.
This X5 requires pricier premium unleaded fuel to maximize performance and fill the sizeable 21.9-gallon tank. Expect 17 miles per gallon city and 23 mpg highway, average for a standard V-8 engine.

Pricing for a 2024 X5 M60i starts at $89,300 prior to a substantial list of available packages and single-unit options. A specialty Ruby Red Metallic exterior paint donning our tester added a touch of elegance, but for a prohibitively pricey $5,000 hit.  Generally, rivals keep upscale paints under $1,000 barrier closer to the $595 neighborhood.
Other extras included Ivory White Merino leather seating ($1,950), an Executive Package adding gesture controls assisting stereo operation and jewel-like control knobs ($1,650); Climate Comfort package with dual temper zones/heated seats front/back ($1,000) and attractive, black-and-gray carbon fiber interior trim ($300). A $2,100 Driving Assist Pro Package eases high-speed highway rides, but should not be mistaken for autonomous travel; drivers need always remain in command. A $900 Parking Assist package includes audible beeps working in tandem with radar to better judge forward and rearward distances.
All this and a $995 destination charge brought the bottom line to $105,745. By comparison, the lowest priced 2024 X5, a sDrive40i starts at $66,195.

As the top tier of the X5 squad, just what does M60i bring to the fore others don’t? Adaptive M Suspension includes electronic dampers and comes standard (and optional in the lower three X5s) contributing to a smooth highway experience.  Integral Active Steering turns all four wheels rather than just two assisting in tighter, low-speed turns. Four-wheel vented brakes featuring dynamic brake control and ‘cornering brake control’ for quicker stops. Expect quad exhausts outback rather than the two found in other trims.

Visually, BMW’s omnipresent, twin port, kidney-like front grille fades to matte black within the X5M60i confines with the optional M Sport Professional Package featuring five pairs of vertical interior slats. Not only iconic, it’s functional as an open-air design welcomes a continuous wind flow cooling the engine and hybrid parts. A wide, black lower air dam continues in black with the open-air concept.
The flat, circular, blue-and-while BMW medallion adheres to the hood between ports. Narrow headlight housing with white LED headlights artfully flank the grille. The outlines of the new headlight design measure 35 millimeters larger than last model year with dual outward-pointing arrowhead-shaped daytime running lights doubling as turn signal indicators. Strap-like, body-colored pull-style door handles adorn all four side doors.
The power hatch, hinged at the top, opens bottom up with ample head clearance for those six-feet four-inches and shorter. A wide, power-operated lower lip also powers down, creating a flat entry if stowing items or a place to sit for a short respite. A better-than-average 33.9 cubic feet awaits behind prone second row seats. A welcome temporary spare tire stows under the cargo area’s flat floor (some competitors just offer inflation kits).
Between comfortable, adjustable multi-contoured front buckets, X5 situates many often-requested functions, including the electronic start/stop push button. Also nearby, a diminutive electronic gear shifter operated via a bejeweled, vertical track, finger knob taking X5 from reverse to neutral to drive with a gentle nudge forward or back. Park engages from a push of a black vertical bar close by. Three push-button drive mode selectors include Sport, Eco Pro and Comfort. An electronic parking brake calls this region home, too.
Also nearby, BMW’s push-sensitive, iDrive chrome dial summoning commands within a wide multifunction screen. Three quick-key push buttons (media, home, map) provide short cuts to often-requested commands. To the rear a soft-touch storage bin with a split vertical top opening up in wing-like fashion.
The new-for-2024 wide, flat, curved panoramic command center screen combines an animated instrument cluster information within the far-left region (12.3 inches) and audio screen, temperature controls and other machinations to the right (14.9 inches) working with the latest version of BMW’s Operating System 8. The screens house together behind a curved glass surface.
The gentle concave screen curve situated above the dashboards mid-section contrasts with the shelf below coming to a point just left of the lower glove box, before retreating back to manually adjustable pyramid-shaped air ventilation end caps. The entire front dash presents an upscale appearance combining a black top side, brushed aluminum framing and carbon fiber inserts. At night pen lighting adorns all four doors with 15 different color selections.
Always present along the screen’s bottom region: dual-front-zone touch-sensitive temperature settings with digital readouts.   In between, the words: “climate settings.” Push this word pair and a nested screen appears in the fore to set fan speed, direction and other niceties. The X5 remains compatible with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity and wireless charging standard.

A single, diminutive, brushed aluminum twist dial rests lower in the center dash within its own elongated oval framed command center controlling volume and on/off audio functions. In the same region, two  forward/reverse buttons assist the audio with welcome front/defroster buttons. It’s below a pair of extra slim horizontal black vents. Volume may also adjust through hand/finger gestures as a motion sensor resides onboard. Moving the pointer finger in a clockwise fashion ups the audio level while a counterclockwise motion reduces the volume. It worked for me.
Row two includes their own dual temperature zone set up with controls found on the backside of the front center counsel. Expansive interior dimensions allow three adults to easily situate in row two with ample headroom and floor space.  No third-row option is offered in 2024; a good decision as mid-size vehicles don’t usually mix well with an extra, often smallish bench. The 8.7 inches of ground space checks in as average.  Entering all four side doors does not require a step-up motion, but rather a simple sideways slide.

Most of BMW’s SAV (i.e. SUV or crossover) production takes place in South Carolina at a massive eight million square foot complex in upstate Spartanburg which opened in 1994. During the past three decades, more than six million vehicles have been churned out. More than 70 percent of the vehicles assembled in upstate South Carolina get exported to 120 markets worldwide.
It’s BWW’s largest production plant worldwide. Construction begun last year regarding a nearby high-voltage battery assembly plant better positioning BMW for increased EV assembly opportunities here in the States.
The X5 M60i easily qualifies for BMW’s extensive Ultimate Care maintenance program covering all dealer-performed scheduled maintenance for three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first.  This includes oil changes, air filter changes, spark plugs and in-cabin micro-filter changes. Four years of complimentary roadside assistance gets added, too.
2024 BMW X5 M60i SAV

Price as tested:  $105,745
Gas Engine: 4.4-liter V-8
Total Horsepower:   523
Overall length: 194.2 inches
Overall width:   78.9 inches
Overall height:  69.5 inches
Wheelbase: 117.1 inches
Curb weight: 5,355 pounds
Fuel Economy:   17 mpg city/ 22 mpg highway
Assembly: Spartanburg, South Carolina

Dave Boe

Dave Boe, a lifetime Chicago area resident, worked at the Daily Herald, Illinois' third-largest daily newspaper, for 24 years. In 1989, the Daily Herald began a weekly Saturday Auto Section and he was shortly appointed editor. The product quickly grew into one of the largest weekend sections in the paper thanks to his locally-written auto reviews, the introduction of a local automotive question-and-answer column, a new colorful format and news happenings from Chicago area new-car dealerships.

Five years later, a second weekly auto section debuted on Mondays with Boe adding an industry insight column and introducing a "Love Affair with Your Car" column where readers sent in their own automotive memories for publication. During the next 10 years, the number of weekly auto sections Boe edited and coordinated grew to five and featured expanded NASCAR racing coverage, a dealer spotlight/profile feature and a Car Club Calendar where grass-roots automobile clubs could publish upcoming events for free. Boe also introduced more local automotive columnists into the pages of the sections, all of whom were seasoned members of the well respected Midwest Automotive Media Association. In 1997, Boe earned the Employee of the Year award from the Daily Herald.

Boe is a founding member and current president of the Midwest Automotive Media Association. He has degrees in Journalism and Business Administration from Northern Illinois University.