BMW updates its popular X5 for 2014

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
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No one will mistake the 2014 BMW X5 for anything else, as the changes are purely evolutionary. The grille is a bigger and bolder version of BMW's classic twin-kidney design, headlight treatment now inspired by the new 3 Series, and new taillights larger iterations of other LED-enhanced lenses already available in the ever-expanding BMW lineup. Those who like the current X5 and BMW's new design direction should really like what they see in the 2014 model.

Interestingly, BMW is taking an altogether different tact with the new base X5 in that it will come standard in two-wheel drive for the first time ever. And unlike some of its competitors that are based on front-wheel drive platforms and therefore don't offer the same cachet within the luxury sector, let alone the high level of handling a rear-drive architecture can provide, the new X5 sDrive35i's powertrain sends its torque to the axle in back. The move will both lower the X5's cost of entry and deliver a more fuel-efficient alternative than its all-wheel drive counterpart, while BMW's suite of standard traction and stability enhancing electronic driving aids will allow for light-duty off-road duty.

The base X5 sDrive35i and all-wheel drive X5 xDrive35i will be powered by BMW's turbocharged 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder engine that puts out 300-horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque and is joined up to an eight-speed automatic transmission. So equipped the X5 should accelerate from zero to 100km/h in about 6.4 seconds.

If you want to reduce that sprint time then you'll need to opt for the X5 xDrive50i that manages the feat in just over five seconds. The model's twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 makes an additional 45-horsepower over the engine it replaces, for a total of 445-horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque.

Power is actually reduced in the 2014 xDrive35d turbo-diesel, down 10-horsepower to 255, while torque is rated at 413 lb-ft. According to BMW, however, performance is as good or better than the outgoing model.

All-round, the 2014 X5 looks like it has what it takes to maintain its popularity in the seven-passenger luxury crossover segment. More details will be available closer to launch.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Crossover, BMW, 2014, X5, Midsize,

Organizations: BMW

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