The driver of a BMW X5 will now also be able to select the Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) function of DSC+. DTC allows for a greater degree of wheel slip for more spirited driving without the main traction control system safety net intervening. This option can be selected via a button on the centre console.
Additional seating practicality comes with new designIn a first for a BMW, the new X5 can be specified with an optional third row of seats allowing up to seven occupants to be transported in comfort. An increase of 19cms in overall body length and an increase in body width of 6cms, combined with innovative design, has made it possible to introduce a brace of seats in the rear, while still retaining luggage space. However, unlike many competitors even with all seven seats in place there is still 200 litres of boot space. The two extra seats, complete with three-point seatbelts and head restraints, are stowed under the boot floor when not in use. BMW X5 owners who do not specify the third row of seats benefit instead from an additional 90-litre storage compartment situated below the boot floor.
Whatever seating combination an owner chooses, the new BMW X5 is capable of taking most payloads. In a standard five-seat configuration the boot measures 620 litres - up 155 litres compared to the outgoing X5. For those looking to move sizeable objects, luggage capacity increases to 1,750 litres with all the rear seats stowed - a figure greater than that of any other BMW.
While being one of the most practical cars BMW has ever made, the new X5 still has a luxurious interior feel and a dynamic and sporty exterior shape. A drag coefficient as low as 0.33 places the BMW X5 at the top of its segment as the most aerodynamically efficient large SAV or SUV. This low figure is partly achieved by a rear tailgate that incorporates a roof spoiler and a near flat underbody to aid airflow. Nine exterior colours are offered initially alongside four levels of trim and seven upholstery colours to allow owners to personalise their X5s.
BMW’s innovative iDrive control system also comes to the X5 for the first time. A new ‘wave’ style of dashboard houses the colour display while the iDrive controller sits on the centre console adjacent to the new style of gear selector. The controller is complemented by eight buttons integrated as system short cuts for ease of use.
Supplementing the standard fit front and rear Park Distance Control, X5 customers have the option to specify a rear camera for added parking convenience. Automatically activated when the reverse gear is selected, the driver is presented with a wide-angle colour image on the iDrive display in the centre console.
The BMW X5 has proved to be a huge global hit since it was launched in 1999 with more than 580,000 sold. In the UK its sales reached record levels each year. In 2001, the car’s first full year, BMW UK sold 5,650. In 2005 a record 10,808 X5s found customers in the UK. Prices for the new BMW X5 and details of the Dynamic Package will be revealed nearer to the spring 2007 UK market launch date.Published 9 August 2006