The BMW X5 is a midsize luxury SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle) produced by BMW.
The first generation of the X5, with the chassis code E53, made its debut in 1999. It was BMW's first SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle), also known as "Four-by-Four" (4x4) in the UK, which featured 4WDall-wheel drive and was available with either manual or automatic transmission.
In 2006 the second generation X5 was launched, known internally as the E70, featuring the torque-split capable xDrive all-wheel drive system mated to an automatic transmission, and in 2009 the X5 M performance variant was released as a 2010 model.
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All engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Its behavior—as well as that of the chassis—is governed by a number of settings bracketed by the efficiency-loving "Eco Pro" and aggressive “Sport+” modes. The former can decouple the driveline when the driver lifts off the accelerator without hitting the brakes, as well as tailor the climate control and heated seats for maximum energy savings. Sport+ heightens shift and throttle response, firms up the optional adjustable suspension, and remaps the steering. There are also Normal and Sport modes.
The new X5, which BMW insists on calling a "Sports Activity Vehicle," hits U.S. showrooms in the fourth quarter of 2013. The diesel version follows in early 2014, and there will be M Performance and M versions down the road. Pricing has not yet been announced, but we suspect it won't stray far from the current X5’s. Competition includes the Audi Q7, the Cadillac SRX, the Lexus RX, and the Mercedes-Benz M-class.