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Photos by Shubham Khade

Remember the roaring nineties? 
A time when grunge ruled the airwaves and flip phones were the height of technology. It was also the era that witnessed the birth of a segment that now dominates the automotive landscape: the luxury SUV. At the forefront of this revolution stood the iconic BMW X5.

Back then, BMW and Land Rover were intertwined, sharing development costs for the Range Rover and the X5. This unique collaboration instilled in the X5 a potent blend of on-road refinement and off-road abilities, qualities that resonated deeply with buyers, forever altering the automotive landscape.


Inspired by this rich heritage, we’re excited to delve into the latest iteration of the X5: the xDrive30d variant available in India. Over the past 25 years, the X5 has grown in size and sophistication, mirroring the evolution of the segment it pioneered. But as we explore this refined beast, a nostalgic memory surfaces — the mighty one–off concept BWM X5 with a 700-bhp V12 engine that powered the legendary McLaren BMW F1 hypercar. A testament to BMW’s engineering talent, it serves as a reminder of the brand’s relentless pursuit of performance and innovation.

With that throwback dose of nostalgia as our starting point, let’s come back to reality back home to present–day India where we have the 2024 BMW X5 xDrive30d on the test, so let’s start with the engine and powertrain units.

Straight-six diesel unit makes 282 bhp

The heart of the BMW X5 xDrive30d lies in its potent 3.0–litre, straight–six diesel engine. But this isn’t your average oil burner. This refined powerhouse churns out an impressive 282 bhp and a staggering 66.28 kgm of torque, leaving little doubt about its performance credentials. But BMW doesn’t stop there. They’ve cleverly integrated a 10 bhp and 20.39 kgm electric motor, adding a touch of hybrid efficiency without compromising 
on grunt.

Mated to a smooth–shifting eight–speed automatic gearbox, the X5 xDrive30d catapults from 0–100 kph in a claimed 6.1 seconds, a figure that belies its substantial size. But the impressive numbers don’t tell the whole story. This engine is a masterpiece of refinement. Forget the stereotypical diesel clatter; the X5 starts with an almost eerie silence, thanks to the seamless integration of the electric motor. As you press the pedal, the power delivery is immediate and effortless, surging forward with an eagerness that belies its 2.4–tonne weight. Cruising at highway speeds is a breeze, with the engine maintaining composure even 
under load.

Bold taillights give the X5 a sharp look

This newfound smoothness doesn’t translate to a muted driving experience. The X5 xDrive30d retains that trademark BMW responsiveness, eager to respond to your inputs with agility and precision. Overtaking manoeuvres are executed with confidence, leaving you glued to your seat with a satisfying grin. Yet, despite its spirited personality, the engine remains remarkably hushed, allowing you to enjoy the serene cabin environment or engage in spirited conversation without raising your voice.

Interiors feel sporty and premium at the same time

The BMW X5 xDrive30d is more than just a powerful SUV; You have to tip your hat to the engineers in Munich for constantly delivering an SUV which performs so well and is quite close to the brand’s statement of the ultimate driving machine. So, whether you’re carving through winding roads or cruising down the highway, the X5 xDrive30d promises a driving experience that’s both thrilling and refined.

Speaking of ride and handling, even with its massive size, the BMW X5 xDrive30d has an incredibly agile personality. The air suspension combines comfort and agility, allowing for outstanding body control while absorbing bumps and potholes with ease. This leads to a calm ride that prevents tiredness, particularly on lengthy trips. But when you push it into a corner, the X5 starts to move. The steering is direct and well–weighted, providing accurate input that gives confidence. With the all–wheel–drive system’s assurance of grip and stability on rough terrain, you can confidently explore the vehicle’s dynamic possibilities. The X5 xDrive30d, although not a sports vehicle, offers an unexpectedly captivating driving experience, demonstrating that elegance and dynamic handling can coexist together.

Some chunky 255/50 section R19 tyres

Let’s get into the BMW X5 cabin and check out all the new tech, A new single–piece curved display within the cabin of the X5 facelift houses a 14.9–inch touchscreen entertainment unit and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, giving the dashboard a fresh appearance. The iDrive 8 operating system from BMW powers the former. BMW models now come with a new drive selector featuring a glass toggle button on the centre console. The redesigned X5 comes packed with goodies including a Harmon Kardon audio system which hits all the right notes, cruise control, automated climate control, a panoramic sunroof, wireless smartphone charging, and a head–up display. On our test car, we did get the M Sport package which receives comfort seats with ventilation, while the xLine trim gets Sport seats with a heating feature. Also to add Gesture control in cars – I was definitely in the “gimmicky” camp too! But after using it in the X5, I have to admit – there’s something strangely satisfying about turning up the volume like a modern-day Harry Potter (minus the wand, of course!). It adds a touch of magic to everyday commutes, and hey, if it keeps my eyes off the road less, even for a brief second, I’m all for it!

Split folding tailgate ideal for outdoors

Translating a brand’s DNA into an SUV form factor can be tricky, but Frank Stephenson masterfully achieved this with the X5. He integrated BMW’s classic design language – the iconic kidney grille, the Hofmeister kink – into a muscular yet elegant SUV silhouette. The result? A timeless design that stands out even in the crowded luxury SUV segment. If you’re curious about the magic behind its creation, I highly recommend checking out Frank Stephenson’s YouTube channel! He offers fascinating insights into car design trends and the thought process behind iconic vehicles like the X5. It’s a must–watch for any design enthusiast or car lover! Now coming to the current generation X5, The 2024 BMW X5 exterior only gets minor changes, giving the SUV a bold yet minimalistic look. It shows off the same kidney–shaped BMW grille with an optional lighting kit (available only on the X5 40i petrol version). A redesigned adaptive Matrix LED headlamp cluster with blue highlights and new LED DRLs sits in front of the grille.


Its aggressive stance is enhanced by the reprofiled front bumper, which also has a massive air dam and L–shaped inserts. The back also receives a change for the bumper and taillights, but the new 21-inch alloy wheels are the most noticeable visual improvement. Additionally, the new X5 comes equipped with roof rails as standard equipment.

The BMW X5 xDrive30d offers a compelling blend of exhilarating performance, luxurious comfort, and innovative technology. Its potent diesel engine, complemented by an electric motor, delivers seamless power and refinement, while the air suspension ensures a comfortable ride. Despite its size, the X5 exhibits agile handling, making it surprisingly enjoyable to drive. Features like gesture control add an extra touch of magic to the driving experience.


However, with a price tag of 
₹ 1.07 crore (ex–showroom), careful consideration is warranted. Competitors like the Mercedes-Benz GLE and Audi Q7 offer comparable performance and features at similar price points, while the Volvo XC90 presents another option.

Ultimately, your choice depends on your priorities. If you value spirited driving, refined engineering, and innovative features, the X5 xDrive30d is worth serious consideration. The X5 xDrive30d showcases BMW’s engineering prowess and design excellence, solidifying its position in the luxury SUV segment.


BMW X5 xDrive30d



Max Power:

Max Torque:


2993 cc, Inline-six

282 bhp@4000 rpm

66.28 kgm@1500–2500 rpm

8-Speed Automatic


F/R: 250/50 R19


L/W/H (mm):


Kerb Weight:

Fuel Capacity:


2975 mm

2170 kg

80 litres


₹1.09 Crore (ex-showroom)