BMW X5 interior
The BMW X5 isn’t cheap, but then it feels anything-but inside. You’re also getting one of the best infotainment systems money can buy, so you certainly won’t feel hard-done.
Inside, the X5’s overall design is slightly more conservative than in a Mercedes GLE, but for some, that’ll be a good thing. It’s more interesting to look at than an Audi Q7’s interior, though, and the two-tone colour schemes on offer are particularly pleasant.
Everywhere you prod there’s leather or soft-touch plastic, from the top of the dashboard, to the door tops, centre console and even lower down on the dash and doors. Naturally, the X5’s switches are also nicely damped and there’s not a squeak or rattle to be heard when driving.
There are only a couple of areas that are less appealing. It’s a shame about the air vent quality, as they stick out as feeling quite cheap alongside the rest of the cabin, while the climate control buttons are a little scratchy too.
Still, it’s a very good effort all-in-all. Good enough to rival Audi’s Q7 for quality, and slightly better in some areas than a Mercedes GLE.
Audi has been leading the way with its interior quality, but with this new BMW X5 isn’t far off at all. However, BMW continues to lead the pack with its brilliant infotainment system
In the centre of the dashboard sits one of the best infotainment systems available in any car: BMW’s newly named Operating System 7.0.
It’s actually the most technologically advanced iteration of the system yet, but continues to be a doddle to navigate and is still comprises a rotary controller with menu shortcut buttons between the front seats and a 12.3-inch screen, which can be controlled using the controller, via touch or by voice.
It’s better to use the rotary dial and menu shortcut buttons or voice on the move but when parked up it’s nice to have the option of touch screen, which is super sharp and responsive to touch. The system is really customisable too – you can have tiles (or widgets as BMW calls them) in any order to want which display all manner of info from news, weather, to radio and music. The system will also update itself over the air like a smartphone.
But BMW isn’t done there – also standard is another 12.3-inch screen behind the steering wheel acting at the driver’s instruments. It’s clear, crisp and configurable, so you can have the information displayed that you want, including things like speed, fuel consumption, navigation info and your radio or media selection.
It’s also very easy to stick in an address or waypoint into the built-in sat-nav and get going. Of course, it’s even easier when using smartphone apps such as Waze of Google Maps, but BMW continues to charge extra for Apple CarPlay beyond the first year of ownership and Android Auto isn’t even an option.