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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?

The 2020 BMW X’s predicted reliability raises questions

The BMW X5 nameplate has traditionally struggled in the reliability category, earning negative results between 2011-2014. Things were trending up from 2015 to 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 terms of reliability. The 2020 GX earned the top spot in the segment, but it couldn’t hold a candle to the BMW X5 in the road test or owner satisfaction. Furthermore, the X5 doesn’t have the greatest recall history.

The BMW X5’s recall history

The front of a gray BMW X5 midsize SUV.
The BMW X5 | BMW

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 backup camera display. The starter assembly was recalled as it could cause the engine to stall.

Additionally, 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

Despite its predictability issues, few vehicles can match the otherwise stellar reviews and ratings the BMW X5 earned. There’s a multitude of positive X5 attributes. 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 miles per gallon 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 horsepower and 600 horsepower, respectively.

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 its predicted reliability score revealed an ugly truth about the midsize SUV or if the concerns ended up being overstated.


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