It’s been a glorious and vigorous summer for the staff and families of Automotive Rhythms (AR) and Fit Fathers (FF). Days prior to each fun-filled weekend there was always a debate on who would get the honors of escorting our long-term 2014 BMW X5 xDrive35i Sport Activity Vehicle (SAV) around or out of town for either soccer practices, bike rides and races, family road trips, afternoon Washington Nationals games (1st in NL Eastern Division) or wife and kiddy lunch dates. But who could blame them? Our Carbon Black Metallic M Sport is not only stunning, it is as dynamic as X-Men and as utilitarian as Navy Seals. Starting at $55,100, BMW instilled the AR/FF X5 with optional, electrifying equipment bringing the tally to $68,675.
The most appealing feature of the X5 in my opinion is its all-terrain capabilities. Including BMW’s prodigious xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system and beautiful 20” double rose petal M Sport rims tucked in Dunlop Sp Sport Maxx tires the Bimmer had no problems traversing wet roads, muddy trails or rocky grounds. Simultaneously it cleverly maneuvers on top of pavement like go-carts. This factor can be attributed to our $3,600 Dynamic Handling Package which enhances the truck by way of Dynamic Damper Control, a rear-axle air suspension, Dynamic Performance Control and Active Roll Stabilization (ARS). Sounds like the X5 should be taken to the track every weekend opposed to off-roading. Without a doubt the corning capabilities of this German powerhouse are absolutely phenomenal.
Oftentimes when AR receives an extended loan we swap out the rims and lightly customize the ride using appropriate accessories for its art form. However, the 3rd generation X5 needed no extra jewels to spice up its aesthetics. The muscular and toned X5 features short front overhangs, a long wheelbase, tall fascia and stronger kidney grilles that reach to the quad corona ringed headlights which are outlined with LED accent rings. As we all know, sensibility, design and function are altered either positively or negatively by the amount and heft of overhangs. Intakes are embedded within the front fenders to help release inbound air directed around the wheel arches from the Drag-reducing Air Curtains which debuted on the new X5. As stated, our model was styled by the $4,600 M Sport package that augments the SAV in every respect as seen fit to the human eye. If you want the look of an X5 M yet have no need for the added power and price point then the M Sport package will suit you perfect. Though I will say, an X5 M’s grip from four tires and turbocharged feral horses will have you begging for more like the Kingda Ka rollercoaster at Six Flags Great Adventure. Nevertheless M Sport enriches the BMW with the aforementioned 20” M-double spoke rims, M-aerodynamic body kit, high-gloss roof rails, multi-contour sport seats, Aluminum Hexagonal interior trim, M steering wheel, Shadowline exterior trim, M dead peddle, M door sills, an anthracite headliner and an 8-speed sport automatic transmission inclusive of steering wheel mounted shift paddles. How could you not upgrade to M Sport? It’s a no-brainer.
When the team opted for BMW’s multi-award winning 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline-six (one turbocharger not two!) aka N55 engine over the 4.4-liter TwinPower Turbo V8 we knew efficiency was our top priority. Yet, we also thought overall performance would be sacrificed. But that is the furthest assumption from the truth. Even when weighted down with four passengers and four cycles stacked on the Thule bike rack the xDrive35 moved fluently. N55 provides 300 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque anywhere from 1,200 to 5,000 rpm. BMW says, “The N55 engine was the first BMW inline-6 to combine turbocharging, High Precision direct fuel injection and Valvetronic variable intake technology.” Valvetronic is to engines what “training masks” are to athletes. Both help their subjects breath better, ultimately offering simultaneous performance and efficiency.
Well, off we go for a Sunday family bike ride and picnic. The X5 is a well-defined SAV to accomplish all of our adventures employing grace, style and technological convenience. For example, we love 2-piece tailgates. You can open and close them minus dismounting the bikes from the rack. And supplies won’t fall out when the top portion is raised. This weekend’s highlights are the trails on Fit Fathers’ newfangled 2015 Performance Exclusive Diamondback Apex Elite hardtail 29er Mountain Bike. It’s the ideal companion for the X5 since they both share similar adventure stories and both are perfect for hitting fire roads, dirt tracks or just bombing-down your local park trail!
Stayed tuned for more detailed X5 xDrive35 updates as we next particularize BMW iDrive, the freestanding 10.2” screen, BMW Apps, BMW Online, BMW Assist eCall, BMW TeleServices, Remote Services and the on-board computer and touchpad controller.
Words by Kimatni D. Rawlins, Photos by Henri Fisher
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