What do the Lexus GX, RX and RX L all have in common? Consumer Reports ranks them lower than the BMW X5 SUV. The BMW X5 is Consumer Reports’ most-beloved SUV in the luxury midsized SUV category. Its not that the Lexus SUVs are bad, it’s just that the BMW X5 in all of its assorted SDrive, xDrive, e, and other versions are that good. It’s a seven-seat SUV that starts at $60,600 and can go beyond $100,000 in the M version. Why is the BMW X5 good?
The BMW X5 is all about the motors
The X5 has the driving dynamics and most of the technology you’d expect from an SUV in this class, and that helped it score high for Consumer Reports. The BMW X5 aced the road test and gets high reliability and satisfaction ratings from Consumer Reports. BMW SUVs are good fun to drive SUVs around, on-road at least. And they are known for offering compelling M, or sport, packages.
But even then the xDrive40i version of the X5 is plenty quick and will hit 60 miles per hour in less than five seconds. Sure, it’s no Audi Q7 in a straight line, but step up to 423-horsepower twin-turbo V8 and you can knock a half-second off the time and give the Audi hotrod and other SUVs a run for the money. Considering that the X5 has a large six-cylinder engine, it gets gas mileage than many four-cylinder SUVs would envy at 19 in the city and 22 on the highway. They start at about $60,600 but with options like the big engine, you can quickly see $100K or more.
The BMW X5 also comes in a plug-in hybrid
The plug-in xDrive45e is the plug-in version of the X5. Like Mercedes and Lexus, BMW is prioritizing PHUVs to boost power and fuel economy. It comes with a 3-liter incline six-cylinder and then adds a for a combined 289 horsepower. That’s more than M3 gets.
One of the better benefits of the PHEV is the smoothness of the B58 engine. Incline-six engines spin very smoothly, and BMWs are legendary for that. In EV mode, it can travel up to 31 miles before the gas engine kicks it. But this being BMW, sport mode uses all of the power available from the gas engine and the electric mode and prioritizes performance over fuel savings.
The 2022 BMW X5 xDrive45e starts at $63,700. For that, however, you get all of the luxury features of the “regular” X5, which includes the all-wheel drive system, and the My BMW App that lets you see your X5’s charging status from your phone.
What about those Lexuses?
Lexus is attacking the midsized luxury SUV segment hard. However, the three models that the BMW beat, the GX, RX, and RX L are all targeted at a slightly different audience than the X5. The GX is really a Toyota Land Cruiser Prado with a luxury kit. It’s more off-road biased than the X5, and that likely hurt its scores on Consumer Reports’ road test. The Lexus RX is likely the first SUV you think of when you think Lexus RX. The fifth generation of the RX is new for 2022 and it would like to compete head-to-head with the X5, especially in the 500h F Sport