2020 BMW X5 M50i review: Stuck in the middle

The X5 seems to be sharp in M50i guise.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

The M50i is the center boy or girl of the BMW X5 array. Underneath it are the xDrive40i and xDrive50i, and above it you can expect to come across the higher-overall performance X5 M and X5 M Level of competition. Does that make this M-tuned, V8-driven X5 the sweet spot of the array? Of course and no.


  • Potent twin-turbo V8 electricity
  • Heaps of area for passengers and cargo
  • Leading-notch inside trimmings
  • Sturdy iDrive infotainment tech

Never Like

  • Heft affects handling
  • The much less expensive X5 designs are just as magnificent

As a whole, the new X5 is a huge enhancement around its predecessor. It is really more time, broader and taller than its forebear, meaning there is a lot far more area inside of. The kidney grille is not obnoxiously huge like it is on some of BMW’s other products and solutions, and overall, the X5 seems to be muscular and rugged.

The M50i provides greater entrance air intakes for much better cooling, diverse rocker panels, new bumpers and a rear spoiler. The normal wheels are 20 inches, but you can opt for 21s or even the 22s found in this article, wrapped in staggered 275/35 entrance and 315/30 rear tires.

The sporty theme continues inside of, with a thick-rimmed M steering wheel and special pedals. The brown-on-black coloration scheme of this test automobile is not genuinely my beloved, but the leather is soft, the match and finish is fantastic and the silver accent trim seems to be pretty neat.

For the reason that of the new X5’s broader stance, there is lots of area for passengers in the very first and next rows. BMW does offer you the X5 with a compact third row of seats, but you are not able to get that on the M50i — it can be only out there on the I6-driven designs. Without having the third row, the X5 is lots spacious, with 33.9 cubic feet of area powering the next row or 72.3 when all the seats are folded. All those numbers are aggressive with the X5’s important rival, the Mercedes-Benz GLE. That claimed, I would like the X5 experienced much better storage answers for more compact merchandise inside of the cabin — even the heart armrest bin is pretty small.

The inside is comfy and magnificent, and there is a ton of infotainment tech on offer you.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

The star of the inside is BMW’s infotainment technique. A twelve.3-inch reconfigurable gauge cluster is suitable in entrance of the driver, with a next twelve.3-inch screen in the center of the sprint. The iDrive seven software can be controlled by touch, but I come across myself employing the dial and buttons on the heart console far more. I consider iDrive has way too quite a few menus and submenus, ensuing in way way too considerably driver distraction, but fortunately there are eight programmable hard buttons suitable down below the screen, which can be established to your beloved or most-applied capabilities.

This M50i tester has the optional $four,550 Executive Deal, which arrives with both of those useful and frivolous tech. On the upside, the sweet encompass-perspective camera give me a crisp, clear, 360-diploma perspective of the automobile, and the Parking Assistant In addition tech will allow for tension-no cost parallel parking. The downside to this package deal is BMW’s gesture handle tech, which is way far more issues than it can be worthy of. Why spin my finger in entrance of the screen to transform up the quantity when I could, you know, just transform up the quantity?

Apple CarPlay
is incorporated, and it can be wireless, which I like, even if it can be a very little tricky to established up at very first. Android Vehicle is coming, but not for a few far more months.

A Wi-Fi hotspot and wireless charging are both of those normal on the M50i. Other charging procedures include one USB-A port and a twelve-volt outlet up entrance, a USB-C relationship in the heart console, and two far more USB-C ports on the back again of each entrance seat. Rear-seat passengers get one more twelve-volt outlet, and there is a third one in the cargo space, way too.

There are lots of normal driver-aid aids, such as blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, entrance and rear collision warning and cross-site visitors alert. Having said that, if you want the huge guns, you can expect to have to shell out an excess $one,seven hundred for the Driving Assistant Skilled package deal, which provides Targeted visitors Jam Support tech that usually takes care of the braking, acceleration and most of the steering though you are on the highway. The technique brings me to a entire stop and can wait for 30 seconds before the resume button requirements a tap. This tech can also detect velocity zone changes and retain the automobile in just the lawful restrict. Computerized lane shifting makes sure I’m not slicing everyone off and the X5 even applies a bit of steering drive if the coastline is clear.

A huge reason to get the X5 M50i is its included electricity. A four.four-liter twin-turbo V8 places out 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, and the M50i arrives with M Sport brakes and an M Sport differential to get electricity to the suitable wheels for highest overall performance. The Adaptive M suspension means this SUV can go from tremendous rigid to fully soft with the touch of a button.

The swift steering is exact and has a pleasant, hefty feel, and the eight-velocity computerized transmission is a dream. The brakes are fantastic, way too, scrubbing off velocity with ease and composure. And though there is not a ton of body roll, this matter feels each individual one of its five,260 pounds from powering the wheel. Of course, BMW says the X5 M50i will dash to 60 mph in four.one seconds, but on winding streets, it can be not all that pleasurable to generate aggressively. 

The X5 M50i is pretty superior… but so are the xDrive40i and xDrive50i designs.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

It is really high-priced, way too — the M50i analyzed in this article fees roughly $97,000. Looking at the M50i isn’t going to genuinely shift the overall performance needle all that considerably, you could conserve $6,000 and go with the xDrive50i, which has the exact four.four-liter V8, detuned to a nevertheless-respectable 456 hp and 479 lb-ft. But genuinely, I nevertheless keep the very best X5 is the xDrive40i with its 3.-liter turbo I6. It is really far more successful, just as magnificent and isn’t going to check out so hard to be the sports activities automobile it is not.

The X5 M50i is a neat alternative for people who may well like a very little far more pep in their stage. But since the X5’s very best characteristics are really its excellent luxurious and tech, it isn’t going to genuinely make a difference what is actually beneath the hood to get a amazing BMW SUV.