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The 2023 BMW X5 is not only the top-selling BMW model in America, but it’s also one of the best luxury SUVs. It has an upscale and roomy cabin, a potent engine lineup, excellent handling, and many standard features. However, on the safety front, there’s a disappointing element for the X5 in 2023. After earning an IIHS Top Safety Pick last year, the luxury SUV was downgraded in 2023.

2023 BMW X5 lost its IIHS Top Safety Pick award in 2023

Front view of white 2023 BMW X3, one of best luxury SUVs that’s no longer safe in crashes, says IIHS
2023 BMW X5 | BMW

Both automotive consumers and critics pay close attention to the annual awards from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). As one of the most trusted authorities for automotive safety analysis, the honors from IIHS carry a great deal of weight.

The organization puts vehicles through a rigorous series of crash tests and other evaluations. And for vehicles that perform the best in these evaluations, IIHS honors them with a safety award.

In 2022, the BMW X5 received an IIHS Top Safety Pick award. However, this year, it was left empty-handed. The midsize SUV didn’t receive any safety award from IIHS in 2023 — due to stricter safety criteria.

Joe Young, the Director of Media Relations at IIHS, emailed MotorBiscuit with an explanation:

The 2023 X5 earns identical safety ratings for the 2023 model compared with the 2022, with the exception of a seat belt reminder rating not carrying forward to the later model. The 2023 model is as safe as the 2022 model. What has changed is the award criteria. IIHS updates our award criteria most years to encourage gradual improvement in crashworthiness and active safety. The only published rating that prevents the X5 from earning a 2023 safety award is a poor headlight rating for its base headlights. Both the 2023 TOP SAFETY PICK and TOP SAFETY PICK+ awards require good or acceptable rated headlights as standard equipment.

The X5 has also not been rated in several new tests that factor into the 2023 awards – the updated side crash test and nighttime pedestrian AEB tests. It’s possible that the vehicle will perform well in these tests once completed.

The 2023 X5 did qualify for a TOP SAFETY PICK under the 2022 criteria and has not gotten less safe since then. The X5 is still a very good choice for someone seeking a safe SUV. We would just encourage consumers to opt for the good-rated headlights to ensure they get the best headlight performance.

BMW X5 is one the best luxury SUVs

Dashboard in 2023 BMW X3, one of best luxury SUVs that’s no longer safe in crashes, says IIHS
2023 BMW X5 | BMW

The safety downgrade by IIHS is surprising news for the 2023 BMW X5. Along with having won an IIHS Top Safety Pick award last year, it’s one of the best luxury SUVs. Multiple experts have the X5 near the top of their rankings for midsize luxury SUVs. This includes U.S. News & World Report, which rates it as the second-best model in the segment. Only the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class ranks higher.

There are multiple reasons why the BMW X5 is one of the best luxury SUVs. This includes its potent engine options. The base-level turbo 3.0-liter inline-six delivers 335 horsepower and 331 lb-ft of torque. Also, there’s a plug-in hybrid model, which pairs an electric motor with the turbo 3.0-liter inline-six engine. It doles out 389 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque. And for the pinnacle of X5 performance, the twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 engine in the M model churns out 600 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque.

Also, the BMW luxury SUV has good driving dynamics. It corners well for an SUV of its size, and its sophisticated suspension provides a comfortable ride. 

Furthermore, the cabin of the X5 is an oasis of comfort and luxury, with high-quality craftsmanship and premium features. Also, it’s spacious, with a generous amount of legroom and headroom for each passenger. 

What are the changes for the 2023 X5?

The 2023 X5 doesn’t have any significant changes. There are only minor adjustments. This includes the addition of a wireless smartphone charging pad for the Premium and Executive packages. Also, there’s Sensafin, which is a new vegan faux-leather option for the seats. 

While the 2023 BMW X5 is one of the best luxury SUVs, it missed out on an important safety honor in 2023. IIHS didn’t rate the X5 as high in 2023, so it lost its Top Safety Pick award.


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