DRIVING ME CRAZY: 2020 BMW X5 xDrive 40i
By JOHN and LAURIE WILES

John and Laurie Wiles Automotive, History, International, National, New York City, New York State, People, Pinehurst, NC, Port Chester, NY, Radio, Westchester County, NY, White Plains, NY Leave a Comment

Driving Me Crazy automotive review Columnists Laurie and John Wiles.

PINEHURST, NC and YONKERS, NY — Every now and then, we get a vehicle I really don’t necessarily want to part with. Maybe it’s the style, or the name, or comfort, or maybe it’s all three and more. Such was the case with our car of last week, the 2020 BMW X5 xDrive 40i. BMW’s trademark phrase is “the ultimate driving machine”. And if you are going to say that, you need some pretty strong evidence to back it up, especially if you are going from sedan to utility vehicle. The BMW X5 midsize crossover SUV seats up to seven when equipped with an optional third row.

Ours looked just like the one pictured here, and if you are into style, and grace, and everything related to a ‘sweet ride’, you, like me, probably could enamored with the BMW X5 pretty easily.

It’s interesting to me how almost all, if not all, car manufacturers are offering more and more five to seven passenger Crossovers and SUV’s. Laurie and I have talked about it before as we get more and more of these kinds of vehicles to evaluate and see more and more of them on the road.

I thought, from a visual perspective, I would include a picture of the BMW x5 from the back too, because personally, I think the whole car looks good. No, that’s certainly one of the lowest points to use in buying a car, but if you have looks, and comfort, and safety, and panache – well, what the heck?

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I thought, from a visual perspective, I would include a picture of the BMW x5 from the back too, because personally, I think the whole car looks good. No, that’s certainly one of the lowest points to use in buying a car, but if you have looks, and comfort, and safety, and panache – well, what the heck?

Our X5 came with All Wheel Drive, a 3.0-Liter TwinPower Turbo inline 6-cylinder, 335 hp engine, which also combined a twin-scroll turbocharger with variable valve control and high-precision injection. Want to get up and go? You can. Want good mileage at standard highway and around town speeds? You got it.

Oh, before I get too carried away, BMW offers various configurations of the ‘crossover’ idea in models X1 to X7, so if you want to know more about bigger or smaller or anything else, go to https://www.bmwusa.com/vehicles/x-models/x5/sports-activity-vehicle/pricing-features.html and check them all out.

Back to the X5 – The X5 in rear wheel drive starts at $58,900 and our all wheel drive model starts at $61,200, so these are not what we would call ‘bargain’ machines. BMW’s have always been more expensive, and people who own them can justify the expense pretty easily it seems. Just ask a current owner. It costs more to have the “ultimate driving machine”. Go figure. BMW describes it by saying, “A natural leader in every way, the BMW X5 sDrive40i, X5 xDrive40i, and X5 xDrive50i span convenience, utility, and luxury.” There you have it from the horse’s, … I mean car manufacturer’s mouth.

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Our X5 came with All Wheel Drive, a 3.0-Liter TwinPower Turbo inline 6-cylinder, 335 hp engine, which also combined a twin-scroll turbocharger with variable valve control and high-precision injection. Want to get up and go? You can. Want good mileage at standard highway and around town speeds? You got it.

Oh, before I get too carried away, BMW offers various configurations of the ‘crossover’ idea in models X1 to X7, so if you want to know more about bigger or smaller or anything else, go to https://www.bmwusa.com/vehicles/x-models/x5/sports-activity-vehicle/pricing-features.html and check them all out.

Back to the X5 – The X5 in rear wheel drive starts at $58,900 and our all wheel drive model starts at $61,200, so these are not what we would call ‘bargain’ machines. BMW’s have always been more expensive, and people who own them can justify the expense pretty easily it seems. Just ask a current owner. It costs more to have the “ultimate driving machine”. Go figure. BMW describes it by saying, “A natural leader in every way, the BMW X5 sDrive40i, X5 xDrive40i, and X5 xDrive50i span convenience, utility, and luxury.” There you have it from the horse’s, … I mean car manufacturer’s mouth.

Since you now know the BMW X5 comes in a 40i series and a 50i series, you may be interested in knowing the 50i version has 456hp (varoom, varoom) and starts at $76,500.

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Our X5 was also equipped to tow that small yacht of yours, up to 7200 pounds with the factory installed trailer hitch.

The X5 boasts seating for 7 and that’s true, but I think seats six and seven should be reserved for very small people, if you get my drift. Since that third-row seat folds flush into the floor, I propose we put it there and leave it there, no matter what Laurie says about 12 grandchildren. There was nice room in the X5 before the seat was put down, and lots of room after.

 

What else does this ‘ultimate driving machine’ offer as ‘standard’? Let’s see. First there is the Auto Start-Stop function. I suppose people can get used to this, but not me. I always feel like my car has died, and if I take my foot off the gas, it’s going to roll into the car in front of me, or leave me looking stupid while I try to restart it. Fortunately, the X5 has a push button right below the starter so you can turn this function off. For me, it was start the car, turn off the auto start stop and away we go.

Next, the X5 comes with three driving modes – Eco Pro, Comfort and Sport. I thought Comfort was perfect for all our driving needs, and certainly sporty enough for me – with rapid response to acceleration pressure, shall we say.  It also has an 8-speed Sport Automatic transmission with Sport and Manual shift modes using steering wheel mounted paddle shifters and Launch Control. To get to manual shift, you need some time and practice, but if you are into that, the X5 has it and you can use it.

Here are some standard features that need little explanation – Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Start Off Assist, Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), and Dynamic Brake Control, Hill Descent Control (HDC), Anti-lock braking system (ABS), brake-pad wear indicators, and Cornering Brake Control (CBC). Yes, the computer on board is helping you the whole time.

Got a cell phone, you can charge it in the very handy area in front of the shift, a large flat area where you lay your phone and it charges away. Have trouble remembering your phone? I do. So, BMW alerts you when you turn off the engine with “Your phone is in the charging device” displayed in front of you. I almost always hook up my phone to the vehicle I am driving to see how easy it is to do. It was wonderfully easy on the BMW. You push “Add a Phone” on the display screen, follow the directions, and bingo bango, you’re hands free talking to clients or home as needed. Oh, here’s another feature I learned on the BMX X5 – you can talk to it. Press the “Speak” button on the steering wheel and say and address. It programs that address into GPS and away you go. Press speak and say “Call home” and without taking my eyes off the road, I was talking to Laurie about what to pick up at the store. Handy, handy, handy.

If the vehicle comes with SiriusXM, we listen to it – not together as Laurie likes Radio Classics and I like The Bridge, but if we are by ourselves the radio is humming and with a HiFi Sound System with 10 speaker and a 205-watt digital amplifier, we could rock the sound if we wanted. (That means play it louder than normal for those of you not from the 60’s or 70’s.)

You know we don’t think about it much until you drive a lot of vehicles, but getting comfortable in the driver’s seat is important. Most of the time, we get in make a few adjustments and then drive on. What if you took the time to really feel comfortable? Are your legs stretched? Knees bent? Is the steering wheel at the right length, right height? Do your legs hang over the front of the seat? Do you need back support? Someone at BMW took all this into consideration. There’s the 3-spoke power tilt/telescopic leather-wrapped multi-function sport steering wheel with controls for audio system cruise control and Bluetooth wireless communication for hand-free mobile phone. The front seats have 16-way power adjustments, including 2-way power side bolsters (those must be for slim people). And there is a lever under the front of the seat to extend the leg support to just behind your knees, so no more tired legs while driving. Get in, get it all set and press the “Set” and “Driver one” just to the driver’s left on the door, and it remembers what you want things to be like when you get ready to drive. Driver two can have their own set up as well. Oh, and the front seats are heated for those cold winter mornings. Thank you, BMW.

Take a look at the interior and you will see what I mean. There are controls on the steering wheel, Or you can use your voice, OR you can touch the 12.3” screen display, OR you can press the iDrive touchpad controller (I drive, get it). The GPS updates four times annually, on its own. There’s the rear window defroster, the tire pressure monitor, and more. How about a panoramic moonroof with fully automatic, 2-piece glass panel, power slide and lift control wind deflector and power interior sunshade? There is automatic climate control with separate left/right temperature and air distribution controls, active charcoal micro-filter ventilation, and one touch opening and closing of all door windows and an anti-trapping feature.  How about a couple of simple but nice things – Rain sensing windshield wipers with adjustable speed and automatic headlight control. The X5 comes with a power tailgate – on a mid-sized crossover. I could keep going, literally, but I have to say some words about Safety and Security before I close.

More and more I see the things that not only protect us in an accident, but the things that help keep us out of accidents. BMW has them all – airbags galore, front safety belts with automatic pretensioners, fog lights, LED headlights with automatic high beams, automatic locking retractors (ALR) on all passenger seats safety belts (all), front and real Head Protection System (HPS), Rollover Sensors, Running Lights, Fatigue and Focus Alert, and Anti-theft System, and BMW Assist eCall (SOS button) and Enhanced Automatic Collision Notification.

Of course, it has Active Driving Assistant which includes Daytime Pedestrian Protection, Frontal Collision Warning with City Collision Mitigation (stopping), Lane Departure Warning, Active Blind Spot Detection, and rear Cross Traffic Alert. And there’s so much more. Yes, you pay more for a BMW.

Absolutely, but you get an awful lot for your money with one of the premier car manufacturers in the world. BMW, I want one.

The BMW dealerships in the vicinity to Pinehurst, NC area are:

Valley Auto World, Inc. 3822 Sycamore Dairy Rd, Fayetteville, NC 28303

BMW of Southpoint 225 Kentington Drive, Durham, NC 27713

Crown BMW 3902 W Wendover Ave., Greensboro, NC 27407

Leith BMW 5603 Capital Blvd., Raleigh, NC 27616

BMW of Florence 2199 David H McLeod Blvd., Florence, SC 29501

Hendrick BMW 6950 E Independence Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28227 

Flow BMW 2565 Peters Creek Pkwy., Winston Salem, NC 27127

The BMW dealerships in the New York Metropolitan vicinity to the Yonkers, NY area are:

BMW of Mamaroneck 236 West Boston Post Road, Mamaroneck, NY 10543

BMW OF MANHATTAN 555 W 57th St., New York, NY 10019 

BMW MT. KISCO 250 Kisco Avenue, Mt. Kisco, NY 10549

DCH Midland BMW 110 Midland Avenue, Port Chester, NY 10573

Ray Catena Westchester BMW 543 Tarrytown Road, White Plains, NY 10607

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John and Laurie Wiles review the 2020 BMW X5 40i on the Westchester On the Level broadcast this Thursday, October 3, 2019th from 10-10:30am EST. The code to access the broadcast “live” or “on demand” is the same … http://tobtr.com/s/11517673, and the call-in number is 347-205-9201.

John and Laurie WilesDRIVING ME CRAZY: 2020 BMW X5 xDrive 40i
By JOHN and LAURIE WILES

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