Johannesburg - The ‘founding father’ of BMW’s modern X range, the X5 has been given a complete redesign and this fourth generation of the generously sized crossover is now on sale in South Africa.

The new X5 is a good 36mm longer as well as 66mm wider and 19mm taller than its predecessor, and packs an almost insane amount of technology while also bringing a more premium look and feel both inside and out.

BMW has kept the local range simple by offering it in just two turbodiesel guises:

The xDrive30d kicks things off at R1 194 296 and it's powered by a single-turbo version of BMW’s 3-litre straight six diesel, producing 195kW and 620Nm in this guise.

Your only other option is the M50d, yours for R1 502 581, and featuring BMW’s monstrous quad-turbo 3-litre diesel, pushing 294kW and 760Nm and allegedly capable of sprinting from 0-100km/h in just 5.2 seconds.

Both engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and xDrive all-wheel-drive system, and adaptive damping is standard, while two-axle air suspension can be ordered for between R18 100 and R25 000 depending on your package selection and a rear-wheel steering system can be optioned for R23 600. 

X5 buyers can also opt for an off-road package for the first time (R30 500), albeit only on the 30d model, this pack offering Sand, Rock, Gravel and Snow driving modes and various off-road interior displays linked to the vehicle’s camera system.

While the M50d gets a boisterous body kit from the get-go, complete with M Sport appointments and standard 21-inch alloy wheels, 30d buyers get to choose between xLine and M Sport packages, the former featuring matt aluminium exterior trim and the latter getting more extensive body colour coding. Stick with the xLine trim and you get 18-inch alloys as standard, while opting for the M Sport bags you 20” rims.

Fourth-gen X5 is a whole new ballgame inside with high-end materials and textures and BMW's latest Live Cockpit Professional 31.2cm touchscreen infotainment system, which comes as standard, and features BMW’s newly designed digital instrument cluster and a range of clever cloud-based ‘Connected’ services.

Also standard is Gesture Control, electric front seat adjustment, cruise control with braking function as well as Collision Warning and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking function.

The M50d adds a redesigned head-up display, ambient lighting, panoramic roof and four-zone climate control to the standard features list.

The X5's options list stretches to the other side of the galaxy, and some of the cool-to-have highlights include the Sky Lounge panoramic glass roof with over 15 000 LED lit patterns, BMW’s Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function (plus steering and lane assistance), the 20-speaker 1500-watt Bowers & Wilkens Diamond Surround Sound System and the new Reverse Assistant with steering movement memory.

The X5 can also be ordered with third-row seating, but if you want to do the people-hauling thing in true style, it might be best to wait for the X7, which arrives next year.

IOL Motoring