2018 BMW X5 M50d SUV Review

BMW X5 AWD SUV M50D Sports

BMW X5 M50d Overview

When you first approach the BMW X5 M50d it really looks like the rest of the X5 range with some modifications. What lurks beneath is a sporty AWD SUV that has awesome performance.

The M Performance accruements are subtle but obvious to aficionados.

The BMW X5 M50d is another rare beast. Here is an AWD SUV that has style, performance and street cred. BMW have done an excellent job with the styling to make the car look smaller than it really is.

BMW X5 M50d Exterior

The exterior of the BMW X5 M50d displays the M Sport package equipment.

This includes:

M Aerodynamics package with front apron, side skirts, wheel arch trims, Double-spoke style 467 M with mixed tyres 20″ M light alloy wheels, Adaptive M suspension, Adaptive suspension package ‘Dynamic’, BMW Individual High-Gloss Shadow Line, BMW Individual Exterior Line Aluminium satinated,  M designation on the sides, exterior mirror caps in body colour, tailpipe trim strip in Chrome high-gloss in M Sport package, specific design Exclusive paintwork in Carbon Black metallic, BMW Individual roof rails, High-Gloss Shadow Line Roof rails Aluminium satinated

BMW X5 M50d Interior

Step inside and you immediately feel comfortable in the BMW leather Sport Seats for driver and front passenger with multiple electric adjustments especially the lumbar support.

In front of the driver is the M leather steering wheel with gearshift paddles and all the controls you need. It is very comfortable.

BMW X5 M50d

In front of the driver is an excellent heads up display that projects speed and arrow directions for navigation, directly into the driver’s field of vision and the dash is typically BMW, which means crisp, clear to read and functional.

There are adequate spots for drinks and ‘junk’ etc in the centre console etc, however the split lid is annoying.

The iDrive controls are easy to use and surprisingly intuitive. It appears that most prestige SUV’s now have some similar system and the BMW’s is amongst the best.

M Sport package interior equipment:

  • M door sill finishers,
  • M driver footrest Sport seats for driver and front passenger
  • Exclusive Alcantara/leather combination with M designation on the seat piping,
  • other upholsteries available
  • M Leather steering wheel with multifunction buttons and gearshift paddles
  • BMW Individual headliner
  • Anthracite Interior trim finishers in Aluminium Hexagon;
  • other trims available Car key with exclusive M designation

Jump in the rear and the seats are more suited for two people but have enough head, shoulder and knee room to be comfortable for most adults. Boot space is great for a family of four. Visibility in the rear is also pretty good. It is comfortable for longer trips for adults or teenagers.

BMW X5 M50d Features/Technology

The BMW X5 M50d is distinguished by a number of features internally such as Door sill finishers with M designation Interior trim, M driver footrest, Aluminium Shadow Brushed and 4-zone Automatic air conditioning and the car key with an exclusive M designation.

The Navigation System has a high-resolution 8.8-inch colour display (one of the best in the market), arrow and map display, favourite buttons, DVD drive, split screen function, 12GB hard drive for storage of audio files, 3D display, electronic owner’s handbook and internet functionality. The On-board computer, displays average speed, fuel consumption, range, temperature, time and date etc.

BMW X5 M50d

BMW X5 M50d Engine and drivetrain

The heart and soul of the BMW X5 M50d is the M Performance TwinPower Turbo inline 3.0L 6-cylinder diesel engine, combining common rail direct injection and triple turbocharging.

Mated to an 8-speed sport automatic transmission with Steptronic, this lusty powerplant pumps out 280 Kw of power @ 4,400 rpm and an awesome 740 Nm of torque @ 2,000 rpm.

This combination grips the road through the intelligent xDrive, permanent all-wheel drive system with fully variable torque split between front and rear axles, M Sport suspension with self-levelling suspension and pneumatic rear suspension. In short it’s a ripper to drive.

BMW X5 M50d

BMW X5 M50d What is it Like to drive

It’s hard to describe the exhilaration of planting your foot deep towards the firewall and feeling the linear acceleration that only a powerful diesel engine can provide. It smooth delivery rests totally on your right foot. The responsiveness allows for spirited yet safe driving.

The combination of silky smooth engine, 8 speed transmission, X Drive surefootedness and dynamic suspension yields an engaging driving experience that still is amongst the best in SUV’s even after all these years.

The BMW M50d will accelerate from 0-100kmh in 5.3 seconds and top out at an electronically governed 250kmh.

Driving around I found the BMW able to handle everything I asked of it. It took all the shoddy roads I threw at it in its stride as well as the good high speed ones.

The eight-speed auto was always in the right gear to keep us moving and the engine was smooth and quiet.

Please note that all this performance isn’t quite as expensive at the fuel pump as you might expect. The M50d consumes fuel at the ADR rate of 6.6l/100k. With an 85L tank that is a theoretical 1200km out of a tank.

You won’t ever see that but with judicious use of the right foot you could regularly see 1000km from a tank full of fuel. That is pretty special given the performance capability.

BMW X5 M50d Dimensions

At no time do you feel you are driving a large SUV. The BMJW X5 weighs in at around 2200 kg. It measures an overall length of 4886 mm, width of 1985 mm, height of 1762 mm and a wheelbase of 2933 mm.

To keep this bulk firmly planted to the road the X5 M50d runs 255/50 R 19 W front and 285/45 R 19 W rear tyres.

That’s a lot of SUV to throw around. Given these dimensions and weight, the performance is more amazing.

BMW X5 M50d Safety

Safety is provided by

  • driver and front passenger airbags,
  • seat occupancy detector for front passenger airbag;
  • head airbags in the front and rear;
  • side airbags for driver and front passenger,
  • Dynamic Braking Lights,
  • Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) ABS,
  • Brake Assist,
  • Cornering Brake Control,
  • Dynamic Traction Control and
  • Hill Descent Control.

The Driving Assistant combines the Lane Departure Warning and Approach Warning systems. The Approach control and Person warning with light city braking function issues a warning if there is a risk of collision with vehicles or pedestrians and brakes the vehicle in the event of an emergency.

From a speed of approx. 70 km/h, the Lane Departure Warning draws the driver’s attention to an unintentional lane change by means of slight vibrations in the steering wheel

Other features include run flat tyres, rear view camera, Bi-Xenon headlights, Adaptive headlights with variable light distribution, cornering lights and High-Beam Assist.

Like all BMW’s there is an extensive options list and packages. Some are worthwhile, some are hideously expensive. However the desire to individualise your car drives these packages.

BMW X5 M50d Conclusion

Even though the X5 is all wheel drive I wouldn’t venture past maintained dirt roads, as there is little ground clearance. It could get ugly pretty damn quick.

It is however ideally suited to weekend pastimes, towing boats, horse floats and regular trips to the snow.

Towing is impressive at 3500kgs but from personal experience the fitment of electric brakes is expensive and can only be done through a BMW dealer

The BMW X5 M50d is a gem. Don’t mistake it for an AWD SUV that you can take far off road, rather it is a sports SUV that provides fun in abundance with its awe inspiring engine and handling and towing capacity.

At almost $159,000 it is expensive but could be considered a bargain.

BMW X5 M50d

What is good:

  • Diesel’s awesome power/economy
  • Practical family car
  • Lots of standard features

What’s not so good:

  • Not suited to off road
  • Expensive to buy and service
  • We had to give it back to BMW

Model BMW X5 M50d

  • Model Price $159,225 RDAP
  • Drivetrain AWD 3.0L TDi 8 speed Auto
  • Power 280 Kw @ 4,000 rpm
  • Torque 740 Nm @ 2,000 rpm
  • Safety 5 Star ANCAP
  • CO2 Emissions 199 g/km
  • Economy (ADR comb) 7.5 L/100km
  • Tow Capacity – Max 3500 kg
  • Tow Ball Rating 350 kg
  • Servicing TBC
  • Warranty 5yr/ 130,000 km with full roadside assist

Overall PrestigeCarGuide Rating     81/100

  • Behind the Wheel   8
  • Comfort             9
  • Equipment         8
  • Performance            9
  • Ride & Handling              9
  • Practicality         8
  • Fit for Purpose         9
  • Towing Ability          7
  • Off Road Ability        5
  • Value for Money     9
BMW X5 M50d
  • Rating


Even though the X5 is all wheel drive I wouldn’t venture past maintained dirt roads, as there is little ground clearance. It could get ugly pretty damn quick. It is however ideally suited to weekend pastimes, towing boats, horse floats and regular trips to the snow.

About Rob Fraser 2504 Articles
Rob Fraser – General dogsbody & Director Rob is the founder of the business. He constantly mutters something about way too many red wines one evening being to blame. Often known for taking the 4WD in the driveway over the sports car, he has travelled pretty much everywhere in Australia and when he is bored goes for a drive. He first learned to drive on the farm in a left hand drive WW11 Jeep when he was 11, and was hooked on 4WDriving way back then. In addition to 4WD he is an avid motoring enthusiast and has maintained a strong interest in the industry ever since his teens. He has owned way too many cars in his time as well. Having previously lived at the top of corporate life he retired in 2000 and hasn’t put a suit and tie on since. Cars are his passion so why not have a business doing what you love he figures. He has towed either a caravan or camper trailer to most parts of Australia, has run guided tours for camper trailers’ and instructed drivers in off road towing.