Most significant changes: The X5 gets a new automatic transmission and a backup camera is now standard.
Price change: Prices rise between $150 and $350 while the destination charge remains $995.
On sale: Fall
Which should you buy, 2017 or 2018? 2018. While there will likely be discounts on remaining 2017 models, the improvements for the 2018 model year are worth the modest price increase.
New automatic transmissions for all versions of the X5 luxury SUV are the biggest news for 2018; BMW says they will deliver quicker shifts. A backup camera is finally standard, and those with an eye for detail will note new trapezoidal tailpipes for six-cylinder versions. Buyers of the xDrive35i, xDrive35d and xDrive50i versions can opt for new 21-inch M wheels with run-flat performance tires. Meanwhile, BMW’s ConnectedDrive Services (previously known as BMW Online and BMW Apps) is now standard.
With the 2018 X5, BMW continues to offer luxury SUV buyers plenty of choices. Six-cylinder models are offered with rear- (sDrive35i) or all-wheel drive (xDrive35i), with prices, including destination, starting at $57,945 and $60,245, respectively. The diesel-powered six-cylinder xDrive35d delivers plenty of torque and increased fuel economy, and starts at $61,745. The xDrive40e iPerformance uses a plug-in hybrid drivetrain to save fuel, and it starts at $64,495. The xDrive50i, meanwhile, starts at $74,795 and is powered by a turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 engine rated at 445 horsepower.
Seating for five is standard, and an available third row increases capacity to seven. The xDrive40e isn’t available with the third row; it uses the space for its battery pack and hardware, which enable it to travel up to 14 miles on electric power alone before switching to conventional hybrid operation.
The X5 comes with a long list of luxury features, but the option list is just as impressive and includes some surprises you might expect to be standard in this category, like leather seating. That said, it remains a comfortable, quiet and somewhat sportier choice among mid-size luxury SUVs.