BMW X5 and X6 SUVs Handed a Nip and Tuck
In 1999, BMW created its first-ever SUV, the X5, which ushered buyers to a niche segment where Mercedes-Benz has been a leader with its ML-Class SUV that was introduced two years earlier in 1997.
All that happened about ten years before BMW introduced the X6, simply a coupe version of the X5, thanks to its sloping roofline and blistered haunches. Both models have been on sale since then, and the current generation vehicles launched in 2019 are getting mid-cycle updates for the 2024 model year to keep them relevant in their respective segments.
Off the bat, the refreshed BMW X5 gets tweaked headlights that boast a 35 mm slimmer outline with arrow-shaped daytime running lights as well as a reworked larger kidney grille with an optional Iconi Glow function depending on the variant.
The X5 also gets newly-designed air breathers in the front side panels and exterior line satin aluminium trim and roof rails in satin aluminium. The M Sport trim can be fitted as an option.
Matrix LED headlights with adaptive control, BMW Selective Beam non-dazzling high beam, and M Shadowline lights are included on the options list. The rear lights come with sculptural fibre-optic light guide elements with an L shape that is reflected horizontally.
The X6 benefits from the same enhancements, yet it gets an M Sport package as standard for the first time. The package adds M-specific side skirts, M High-gloss Shadowline trims and a rear apron insert finished in a Dark Shadow hue.
For added appeal, buyers can choose the M Sport Package Pro. BMW has reserved the new M Marina Bay Blue metallic and M Isle of Man Green shades strictly for the range-topping X5 M60i and X6 M60i models. BMW has also added new colour options in the form of the Blue Ridge Mountain metallic, Brooklyn Grey metallic, Skyscraper Grey metallic, Frozen Pure Grey metallic and around 40 BMW Individual special paint finishes.
A set of 20” light alloys for both models are fitted as standard, while 21” is reserved for the range-topping variants. Light-alloy wheels up to 22” can be had as options.
Stepping inside, digitalisation has taken its course in both cars, thanks to the integration of the BMW Operation System 8 and the latest generation of the iDrive operating system, which also sees the arrival of the BMW Curved Display as seen in the facelifted 3 Series.
The display is made up of a 12.3” information display behind the steering wheel as well as a 14.9” infotainment system.
Both models come standard with an instrument panel with surfacing in leather-like Sensafin, an elegantly curving trim element in fine wood, and a new ambient light bar with the relevant model lettering – X5 or X6. There is also a new gear selector in the centre console.
Standard sports seats with Sensafin surfaces can be had alongside the optional Comfort seats for the driver and front passenger. Buyers also can select to have the BMW Individual Merino extended leather upholstery, BMW Individual full Merino leather upholstery, active seat ventilation, a massage function, Comfort Package with panel heating and a ‘thermo’ function, the Sky Lounge panoramic glass sunroof and the Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System as options.
Three engine options are available for both body configurations; xDrive40i, xDrive30d, xDrive50e and M60i xDrive. The xDrive 40i employs a 3.0-litre 6-cylinder petrol engine with 280 kW and 520 Nm or 540 on overboost. An increase of 35 kW over the outgoing model. It blisters from 0-100 km/h in 5.4 seconds.
The sole diesel powerplant in the form of the xDrive30d makes use of a 3.0-litre 6-cylinder in-line diesel engine that pumps out 219 kW and 670 Nm, enough to send both SUVs from 0-100 km/h in 6.1 seconds.
As for the xDrive50e, the plug-in hybrid model uses a 6-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine plus a new electric motor to develop a total system output of 360 kW and 700 Nm. It can travel up to 110 km on battery power alone, thanks to the 25.7 kWh battery pack that can be recharged using a 7.4 kW AC charger. This particular model sprints from 0-100 km in 4.8 seconds.
Sitting at the top of the range before the full-blown M variants join the scrabble is the M60i xDrive which wields a 4.4-litre V8 petrol engine with 390 kW and 750 Nm good for a 4.3-second sprint to 100 km/h.
The entire range features an 8-speed Steptronic Sport transmission plus a 48-volt mild hybrid technology for enhanced efficiency.
The BMW X5 and X6 remain essential models in the Munich-based product portfolio. With the refresh, the duo now has a refined highway demeanour and approachable in-car technology to help it stand out among fussier rivals.
The two models will be built at the BMW Group Plant Spartanburg in the USA, and we expect them to arrive on local dealership floors in the third quarter of 2023.