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      02-11-2020, 01:04 PM   #1
Mr. Maboomba

Drives: 2019 X5 50i, 2014 320i
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: San Francisco, CA

iTrader: (1)

Car and Driver Calls the X5 M50i a Beast in Instrumented Test and Review

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BMW X5 M50i Is a Beast without Bragging Rights


BMW's twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 comes in several states of tune in the X5. The M50i's version has 523 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque, which is slightly more than in the lesser xDrive50i but well short of the X5 M, which for 2020 flexes up to 617 horses in Competition trim. We can't really say the M50i left us wanting more power. Its scant 3.9-second zero-to-60-mph run and a quarter-mile pass in 12.4 seconds at 112 mph are impressive numbers for any 5336-pound behemoth. And they're just a touch slower than those of the outgoing X5 M. (We've yet to test the new 2020 X5 M.)

The sensory experience of this V-8, however, is even better than its prodigious output. Throttle tip-in is progressive, and the ZF eight-speed automatic transmission executes smooth and perfectly timed upshifts as you dip into the seemingly endless supply of power. A throaty exhaust note provides just enough auditory excitement without going overboard with extraneous crackling and popping. Just don't expect it to be that thrifty at the pump. The M50i averaged a mere 15 mpg while in our care and posted 20 mpg in our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test—2 mpg less than its EPA estimate.

A tall, upright seating position has been one of the X5's traits since its first generation. That setup initially makes it a little disconcerting to hustle the M50i through a set of corners. But once you get used to the feeling of sitting on a barstool, the X5's handling inspires confidence. There's little body roll, and the steering is direct and precise—if a little heavy in its sportier drive settings. This Bimmer's ride-and-handling balance is commendable in any of its available driving modes, which is a testament to its supple damper tuning and inherently good body control.

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C/D test results:

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Bimmerography: 2019 BMW X5 50i M Sport, 2012 BMW X5 50i, 2014 BMW 320i, 2009 BMW DINAN3, 2008 BMW 335xi, 1998 BMW 328is