In a world where BMW’s range takes in every X-number from 1 to 7, the X5 barely raises a remark. Why wouldn’t Munich (well, Spartanburg) build a new version of its big smart crossover? Yet in its day the X5 was a revolution. Just before the last century ended, the original X5 became the first ever ‘off-roader’ that behaved like a car on the road.

We’re here to review the fourth generation. Where that primordial X5 went, the Range Rover Sport, Porsche Cayenne, Audi Q7, et al have followed.* This is busy territory.

It’s worth remembering that the X5 is now a big car, with optional third-row seats. The real replacement for the early X5 is today’s X3.

Enough history. What’s new news? Pretty well everything. Only the engines and transmissions are old friends, though they’ve had a going-over. The X5, like the X3 and X4, has switched onto BMW’s modular longitudinal platform.

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BMW's 2019 X5 Proves It Is Just As Good Off Road As It Is On, But Will It Matter?

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