Find the Luxury You Deserve in a BMW SUV
Enjoy the high life and make the neighbors jealous with a BMW SUV
Published November 27, 2017
BMW makes some of the more luxurious, well-crafted vehicles in the marketplace and their SUV offerings are no exception. The X line of SUVs and crossovers offers something for everyone, from a seriously luxurious off-roader to a sleek and sexy crossover, and everything in-between. If you are in the market for a BMW SUV the number of choices can be daunting, so we are here to help make your choice a bit easier.
There are currently five (soon to be six) BMW SUV models available and one of them is bound to be the right choice for you. We have compiled some facts and figures on the various BMW SUV models to help you determine which one will be your next ride.
Here is everything you need to know about BMW’s SUV lineup:
The X1 first hit the market in 2009 and has earned its reputation as a nimble and well-built ride. It is capable of hauling plenty of cargo while still giving you a sports car thrill in the corners. It is now in its second generation and offered in five specific trim levels for the 2018 model year.
The X1 is popular with younger families that are looking for an upscale SUV but can’t quite afford the pricier X5. It’s an excellent starter BMW SUV, is impressive out on the road, and will certainly turn the neighbors’ heads as you pull into your driveway.
The current X1 has a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine that cranks out 228 horsepower. This peppy engine is paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. This is the only engine choice for the 2016-2018 X1, while previous years were offered with an optional six-cylinder engine.
The X1 is offered as a front wheel drive or all wheel version and five trim levels. The base model starts at $33,900 and goes up to $43,850 for the M Sport Premium.
While always luxurious with leather seats, wood trim and a 6.5-inch iDrive infotainment system being the standard, the X1 does incorporate some flimsy materials you wouldn’t expect at this price point. Technology is fairly impressive with navigation, stereo and telephone all being controlled by a rotary knob.
Upgrading to the optional technology package adds $2,550 to the price and includes an 8.8-inch screen as well as a heads-up display and a touchpad.
The X1 is an extremely safe vehicle and was awarded an IIHS Top Safety Pick, but while a backup camera is now standard, a blind spot monitoring system is not available at all, even as an option.
You can up the safety factor with the Driver Assistance Plus package, which is a bargain at $700. It includes forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and pedestrian detection.
When it comes to the X1, we recommend the M Sport trim. It has the cargo space you need combined with a sport-tuned suspension that makes driving it a blast.
The X2 is brand new for the 2018 model year and is not currently for sale but will hit the market in early 2018. While full details are not available, we have gleaned a bit of information about this new BMW SUV.
The X2 has a low-slung look that is sleek and sexy but may not be the most practical SUV with a low roofline and limited cargo space. Look for the 2.0-liter TwinPower turbo four-cylinder that can produce 228 horsepower.
All-wheel drive is standard, as is an eight-speed automatic transmission.
As with all X-series vehicles, there will likely be a variety of different optional equipment that can jack up the starting price which comes in at around $35,000.
The X3 is one of the most popular of the X series and has been racking up sales for BMW since 2003. It enters its third generation for the 2018 model year. The latest version is a bit larger and roomier on the inside as well as quieter out on the road.
Two versions are available now with a turbo-diesel slated to hit the lineup in 2018. The X3 xDrive 30i has a 2.0-liter BMW TwinPower Turbo inline 4-cylinder engine that produces 248 horsepower. It can hit 60 mph in 6 seconds and its all-wheel-drive drivetrain will power through even the stickiest situations. The X3 M40i is the big boy in the lineup with a 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline 6-cylinder that cranks the horsepower up to 355 and can go zero to 60 in a surprisingly quick 4.6 seconds.
The interior of the new X3 is rumored to be a massive upgrade and includes materials that have made their way down from the 5 and 7 series. Sport seats with adjustable side bolsters, tri-zone automatic climate control and a huge 10.3-inch display controls the stereo, navigation and other vehicle entertainment functions.
Not everything comes standard though, and a variety of packages are available to juice up the tech and safety features. A Driving Assistance package adds blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, and automatic emergency braking. Moving up to the Driving Assistance Plus suite adds adaptive cruise control, lane departure mitigation, automated steering at low speeds and front cross-traffic alert.
The X3 handles like a sports sedan and is a barrel of fun out on the road. Jamming it into Sport + mode ups the thrill factor and can up the speed limiter to 155 mph.
While we like the M40i, its $55,295 starting price can be a little steep. If you lack the scratch to put the M40i in your garage, a well-outfitted X3 30i, which starts at a more affordable $43,445 will do the trick.
The X4 joined the BMW SUV lineup in 2014 and is still in its first generation. Unless you absolutely love its look there are probably better options in the BMW SUV lineup.
The X4 is fairly unpopular with automotive critics with many complaining that they ride rough, lack quality interior materials and are simply not fun to drive. The fastback profile definitely gives them a cool look, but unless looks are your only criteria, consider an X3 or move up to the X5.
The X4 is available in a couple of different trims. The xDrive28i has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque and is paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Move up to the M40i trim and the engine gets changed out to a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder and the horsepower goes up to 355 hp.
The X4 is fairly spacious for a compact SUV with 17.7 cubic feet of space when the rear seats are up and 49.4 cubic feet when they are folded down. While the interior is fairly luxurious, complaints about the quality of materials are common.
The X4 comes standard with a moonroof and iDrive infotainment system as well as Mobile Office, which lets you check emails, texts, and voice messages while out on the road. There are numerous packages available that let you upgrade the interior of the X4. As an example, the Harman Kardon package adds a surround sound system, which includes a powerful 600-watt amplifier.
Like all BMWs, the X4 is an extremely safe vehicle with a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, and adaptive cruise control coming as standard equipment. Advanced safety features such as a surround-view camera system, collision-warning system, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and a heads-up display are available as optional equipment.
While we recommend avoiding the X4, if you are dead set on buying one, the M40i is probably the best choice. The 2018 X4 xDrive28i starts at $47,600 while the 2018 X4 M40i is priced at $59,250.
The X5 was the first of the BMW SUV lineup and hit the market in 1999. It is now in its third generation and is considered one of the best options in the luxury SUV category.
The X5 is a thrill seeker out on the road, handling like a sports car but with enough room and cargo space to get your family and gear to where you need to go, regardless of the weather or road conditions. Engine choices range from a turbocharged six-cylinder that cranks out 300 horsepower to a 255 horsepower diesel six-cylinder. A V8 that produces 445 horsepower sits at the top of the heap and a plug-in hybrid is also an option.
The X5 comes in a variety of trims and an abundance of optional packages that makes outfitting your X5 fairly easy. In some cases though, the wide range of choices can be a bit overwhelming.
The 35i, 35d, 40e and 50i trim levels all come standard with all-wheel drive except for the base model 35i, which is a rear wheel drive vehicle. A very high-end M version is also available but may be out of most peoples reach with a starting price of over $100,000.
Standard features for the 35i and 35d trims include adaptive xenon headlights, LED foglights, auto-dimming mirrors, heated mirrors, a panoramic sunroof, power liftgate and front and rear parking sensors.
The interior is just as luxurious with dual-zone automatic climate control, power and heated seats, a 10.2-inch central display, BMW’s iDrive infotainment system, a navigation system, voice control as well as a nine-speaker stereo system all coming as standard equipment.
The 40e is the hybrid and once you move into the 50i standard features include keyless ignition, leather upholstery, four-zone climate control and a mind-blowing 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound system.
The main complaint about the X5 is interior space, which is slightly more cramped than some of its direct competitors. The X5 is designed to seat five with plenty of cargo space but a third row is optional, upping the seating capacity to seven but this optional seating is fairly cramped according to reports.
The starting price of the X5 is $56,600 but can quickly climb depending on the options you end up choosing. We recommend the 50i if you can swing it, but the 35i is an excellent choice as well. If your pockets are truly deep, the M version is one of the best BMW SUV options out there.
The BMW X6 is marketed as a Sports Activity Coupé which means that it has the high ground clearance and all-wheel drive of an SUV combined with the lower stance of a coupé. The X6 hit the market in 2009 and is in its second generation.
The X6 is a beautiful vehicle and fits into a certain niche but it’s not going to be the most highly recommended of the of the X lineup.
The X6 35i has a 3.0-liter BMW TwinPower Turbo inline 6-cylinder engine which puts out 300 horsepower. The 35i is available as a rear wheel drive or an all-wheel drive. The X6 xDrive 50i drops a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 under the hood that puts out 445 horsepower and can sprint up to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds. If that isn’t fast enough, the M version of the X6 has a 567- horsepower V-8 under the hood.
Rear headroom is limited due to the sloping roof and, in general, the interior is luxurious but not as high end as you might expect at this price point. Cargo space also suffers from only 27 cubic feet of room for your gear.
The base model is outfitted with leather, power and heated seats and 19-inch alloy wheels while bumping up to the Premium package adds in keyless ignition, satellite radio, and wireless charging.
The X6 starts at $62,700 and runs up to $104,000 for the M version. We recommend staying with the X6 35i but going with the all-wheel-drive version unless you live somewhere with perfect weather every day.
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