Trucks & SUVs

How Reliable Is the 2020 BMW X5?

Luxurious, spacious, and fun to drive – the 2020 BMW X5 checks all the boxes drivers want in a luxury SUV. 

So, does it hold up over time? That’s the question prospective buyers are asking after test-driving the 2020 BMW X5.

The entry-level 2020 X5 sDrive40i has a starting MSRP of $59,400, and it provides plenty of bang for your buck. However, the luxury midsize SUV segment is extremely competitive, and its clientele is immensely discerning.

Should you take a chance on the BMW X5 while there’s an abundance of reliable luxury SUVs on the market?

Predicted reliability raises questions

A blue BMW X5 M on display
BMW X5 M on display | Photo by Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

A Consumer Report’s review sheds light on the uncertainty of the 2020 X5, which received a predicted reliability rating of just 20%. 

The BMW X5 nameplate has traditionally struggled in the category, earning negative results between 2011-2014. Things were trending up from 2015-2018 with either neutral or positive ratings. However, the luxury midsize SUV hasn’t performed well in this category since its redesign for the 2019 model year.

Two competing models, the Lexus GX and Porsche Cayenne, perform much more admirably in reliability. The 2020 GX earned the top spot in the segment with a 91% score, but it couldn’t hold a candle to the BMW X5 in the road test or owner satisfaction. However, the 2020 Cayenne earned an 81% predicted reliability score while still maintaining impressive road test and owner satisfaction scores. 

The BMW X5’s recall history

Owner confidence may have dwindled as the 2020 BMW X5 already received five recalls – all of which may increase the risk of a crash. 

The rack and pinion steering system was the first to receive a recall, as it could cause a loss of steering control. Later, the NHTSA issued a recall for the steering column after finding that a loose bearing plate could also affect vehicle control and handling.

The sensing system camera was recalled, which affected the back-up camera display. The starter assembly was recalled as it could cause the engine to stall.

Recalls were also issued for the starter assembly, which had potential engine stall concerns, and the headlights, which emitted a blue light that could confuse or distract oncoming drivers.

Why you should still consider the BMW X5

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Despite its predictability issues, few vehicles can match the otherwise stellar reviews and ratings the BMW X5 earned.

U.S. News & World Report notes a multitude of positive aspects of the 2020 X5. These include an exciting engine lineup, agile handling, a spacious cargo area, and an easy-to-use infotainment system.

This midsize luxury SUV also gives you the ability to customize it to your needs. It comes standard as a two-row model, but a third row is optional. 

Meanwhile, it offers engine options that appeal to a wide variety of drivers. Its standard turbocharged six-cylinder has enough get-up-and-go for most motorists while maintaining an EPA-estimated 23 MPG city/highway combined. 

The available twin-turbo V8 delivers 456 hp in the xDrive50i, and it is tuned for even better performance in the M50i and the X5 M with 523 hp and 600 hp, respectively.

The final call

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The 2020 BMW X5’s overwhelming advantages will likely help it remain a popular entry in the luxury market. However, only time will tell if Consumer Report’s predictable reliability score revealed an ugly truth about the midsize SUV or if the concerns ended up being overstated.