September 26, 2023

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BMW X5 (2014 – 2018) | Expert Rating

8 min read


The third-generation BMW X5 was a large SUV that arrived in the UK in early 2014 and was updated in 2016, before being replaced by the current iteration of the X5 in 2018.

Late in its lifespan, Carbuyer said it was the motoring equivalent of Sean Connery – “getting on a bit, but still impressively handsome”.

In truth, the motoring media remained divided over the X5’s exterior looks while it was on sale, though journalists did generally agree that the X5’s upmarket cabin makeover and its range of refined engine choices were definite improvements over the model it replaced.

“It’s still a sharp drive”, Car explained, “but it couples more maturity and refinement with a much more premium-feeling cabin.” What Car? called the X5 as a “formidable machine”, describing its driving dynamics as “saloon-like”, as the X5 handles more like a raised BMW 5 Series saloon than your typical bulky SUV.

Available initially as a petrol or diesel SUV, a plug-in hybrid model joined the range for the first time in 2015, which Motoring Research called “technically brilliant”, due to how smooth the hybrid system was on the road. That said, Driving Electric pointed out that the plug-in hybrid’s all-electric range is nothing special by current standards.

The most widespread criticism of the third-generation BMW X5 refers to its steep price tag, even as a used model, thanks to the car’s strong residual values. And while the X5’s price has remained high, its upmarket rivals have only been improving.

As Carbuyer concluded, “the Audi Q7 is slightly nicer inside, the Porsche Cayenne is better to drive, while the Mercedes-Benz GLE is arguably smoother and more relaxing.”

No longer on sale, the third-generation BMW X5 holds an Expert rating of 67% based on 38 reviews published by UK media sources. This is a markedly lower score than the current X5 model.

X5 highlights

  • Upmarket interior trim
  • Well-equipped
  • Spacious cabin and boot
  • Range includes plug-in hybrid model
  • Strong residual values

X5 lowlights

  • Expensive price tag
  • So-so fuel economy
  • Polarising exterior styling
  • Rougher ride with sports suspension

Key specifications

Body style: Large SUV
petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid
Price when new:
From £47,895 on-road

Launched: Winter 2013/14
Last updated: Spring 2015
Replaced: Autumn 2018

Reviews, road test and comparisons from across the UK automotive media. Click any of the boxes to view.

Safety rating

No safety rating

The third-generation BMW X5 has not been crash tested by Euro NCAP. As it is no longer on sale, it is unlikely to be tested in the future.

Eco rating

The third-generation BMW X5 has not been lab tested by Green NCAP.

Reliability rating

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The BMW X5 has a slightly below-average reliability score of 49%, according to exclusive extended warranty data provided by our partner MotorEasy. This score covers both the third-generation X5, as well as its predecessor (2007 – 2013) and the current iteration of the X5.

Although its overall reliability is on par with ost other vehicles, the bills for repairs have proved to be expensive. More than two thirds of all reported problems with the X5 relate to its gearbox, with an average repair bill of nearly £1,800. Although they’re not common problems, engine repair costs are very high, at more than £4,000.

Given the below-average reliability score and potentially expensive bills, make sure any extended warranty cover you purchase for an BMW X5 covers all of these potential problem areas.


Trophies, prizes and awards that the BMW X5 has received


  • Business Car Awards – Best Large 4×4


  • Business Car Awards – Best Large 4×4


  • Golden Steering Wheel Awards – Best SUV

Similar cars

If you’re looking at the BMW X5, you might also be interested in these alternatives

Audi Q7 | BMW X6 | Genesis GV80 | Land Rover Discovery | Lexus RX L | Maserati Levante | Mercedes-Benz GLE | Porsche Cayenne | Range Rover Sport | Volkswagen Touareg | Volvo XC90

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