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New engines, tech, and kit for refreshed BMW X5 & X6

 Published 2nd February 2023
General Guides  New Launches 

BMW has announced a comprehensive mid-life facelift for the X5 SUV and X6 coupe-SUV. The hugely popular X5 and sleeker X6 will get new styling details, including a significant change to the front end design, as well as many other surface details.

The X5 is a cornerstone of the BMW range, helping kick-start the current and long-running trend of premium SUVs. The latest set of updates are intended to keep the X5 and associated X6 towards the top of their classes.

The new grille and lower bumper are the most noticeable changes outside, with more aggressive air intakes up front, plus a new bumper at the rear.

Inside, the interior design has been tweaked too, which sees the addition of BMW's latest iDrive infotainment system. This uses a 12.3-inch digital driver's instrument panel and 14.9-inch curved touchscreen display, with the latter designed to significantly reduce the number of buttons and touch controls to access key functions.

Changes mean the dashboard is practically minimalist in design, with very few physical controls left on the centre console - only the volume dial and demister buttons remain.

Wood trim details are now fitted as standard, with a strip on the passenger-side dashboard featuring X5 or X6 depending on the model. Re-shaped air vents and a small, crystal gear selector feature too.

Engine changes for X5

Powertrain changes are significant, as BMW rolls out mild hybrid technology across all “conventional” engines. That starts with a 3.0-litre straight-six diesel with 298hp found in the xDrive30d, followed by the M60i 530hp petrol for the X5. The X6 sees an xDrive40i 380hp petrol added to that list, while the X5 instead offers customers an xDrive50e plug-in hybrid (PHEV) with a combined 490hp.

Performance figures are as low as 4.3 seconds for the petrol models, 6.1 seconds for the diesels, and 5.4 seconds or 4.8 seconds for the X6 xDrive40i and X5xDrive50e respectively.

Clearly, the PHEV is the economy champion, thanks to a 25.7 kWh (net) battery fitted - a 25% increase over the outgoing model - for an electric range as good as 68 miles on a charge. With this range and emissions as low as 18g/km CO2, the X5 xDrive50e remains a popular choice for company car drivers, rated in the 8% BIK band for both this financial year and 2023/24.

To top the battery up, BMW has now fitted a CCS charging system, which allows for a faster charge on DC points, while AC charging has been doubled to 7.4 kW cutting recharging times. All powertrains send power to all four wheels, through an eight-speed transmission.

Despite the addition of mild hybrid technology to all non-plug-in models, boot space has remained the same. If you are leasing the BMW X5, it can even be specified with seven seats for the petrol and diesel versions. Equipment levels now see 19-inch alloys fitted as standard to entry-level models, as well as aluminium roof rails, sport seats, heated and electrically adjustable front seats, adaptive LED headlights, wireless phone charger, and parking assist.

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