Given its mandate as a people hauler, the redesigned BMW X5 hits the right notes -- it's bigger and brawnier.
The vehicle has grown in every dimension -- it's wider, longer and higher. The engines are new and have higher horsepower.
The fourth-generation X5 is also smarter. BMW is introducing a semi-autonomous driving system that allows for hands-free and pedal-free driving on limited-access highways and at speeds below 37 mph.
BMW, for the first time in any of its vehicles, will use an in-cabin camera to address a critical challenge with semi-autonomous driving systems -- ensuring the driver is paying attention to the road. Level 2 systems require the driver to take control of the vehicle in case of an emergency.
The X5, built in Spartanburg, S.C., has been BMW's best-selling crossover. More than 2.2 million X5s have been sold worldwide, one-third of those being in the U.S.
The 2019 X5 launches with a choice of two new gasoline engines. A plug-in hybrid is expected in 2020 for the 2021 model year.
The xDrive40i is powered by a 3-liter inline six-cylinder engine capable of delivering 335 hp and 0 to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. The xDrive50i variant has a beefier 4-liter V-8 engine that delivers 456 hp and can do 0 to 60 in 4.6 seconds.