BMW equips the X5 with its latest cabin tech, meaning a built-in data connection and integrated smartphone data, at the same time performing excellently on the roads.
BMW updates its X5 for the third generation, seen here in its 2014 model year and xDrive35i trim. External changes to BMW's largest SUV are minor.
In xDrive35i trim, the X5 gets a 3-liter inline six-cylinder engine with a twin scroll turbocharger and direct injection, making 300 horsepower.
Optional adaptive dampers and an air suspension system at the rear axle make for a comfortable ride that gets formidable on a winding road.
Having xDrive means this X5 comes with all-wheel drive, a performance-oriented system that shifts torque back to front as needed.
These HID headlights come standard, but LED headlights are available.
Front fender vents seen on the new X5 are a design cue spreading to other BMW models, such as the 4 Series.
The clamshell tailgate makes for a convenient bench.
The panoramic sunroof has become de rigueur on modern cars.
BMW's multi-contour seats offer 20-way power adjustment, but no massage function.
The rear bench folds down to expand the cargo area.
Navigation and iDrive come standard on the X5.
The X5 comes with an electric power steering system that tightens up in Sport mode.
The eight-speed automatic transmission includes a phenomenal sport program.
The iDrive's main menu is a simple list of available functions.
The touch surface on the iDrive controller lets you trace letters for alphanumeric entry.
The navigation system includes intensely rendered maps.
The X5 offers two data connections, a built-in 3G connection for BMW Online functions, and integration with smartphones for BMW ConnectedDrive functions.
BMW Online offers Google destination search, a news feed, weather, and apps such as Yelp.
BMW ConnectedDrive is heavy on music apps, including Pandora and Amazon Cloud Music.
Smartphone integration lets you see calendar appointments on the X5's LCD.
With ConnectedDrive running on a connected smartphone, broadcast audio sources show Web radio, which lets you listen to Internet-based radio stations from around the world.
The audio interface is rich, showing album art and song information.
The xDrive Status shows the car's roll and pitch angles.
Performance gauges show real-time horsepower and torque.
The Eco Pro Analyzer runs on a connected smartphone, and works as an efficiency driving coach.
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