When I picked up the BMW X5, it was like stepping foot inside Crown Casino! With brown, quilted seating upholstery, glowing purple lights from under and around every surface, twinkling night lights in the enormous sunroof glass and a huge crystal gear knob! I had NO idea the interior would be so decadent. I was a little nervous and overwhelmed but keen to see how it would ultimately stack up as a BabyDrive.
My daughter thought it was AMAZING! “Why has it got sprinkle stars Mummy?” Was my favourite comment about the sunroof!!
Decandence aside, the BMW X5 does actually make a good BabyDrive in terms of child seats and boot space. The model I tested was a five-seater but it is available as a seven-seater option.
I could fit all sizes of stroller in the boot from compact to twin and tandem with plenty of shopping.
The boot was enormous, so big in fact that I could not reach across it to the top tether anchorages. It also has a barn style tailgate, the lower part can be raised and lowered with a button on top of it.
The top tether anchorages are on the seat backs, and as you can see they are a little confusing, there is one central top tether anchorage on the back of each of the outer seats that are clearly labelled but then another five anchorage bars that are not labelled?! I could not find these mentioned in the glove box manual to get clarification. My educated guess is that it is the three across the middle that are top tether anchorages.
Three forward-facing child seats fitted really nicely across the second-row seats. The ISOFix pin the two outer seats are easy to connect to and the seat base is really deep and wide so easy to install three seats. The only problem I had was connecting the top tether straps because I could not reach across the boot so had to kneel on the child seats and reach over the seat backs. I could easily sit between two child seats.
The model I tested was a five-seater and the second-row seats are fixed, so I couldn't test the third-row seats or give an idea on legroom in the third-row unfortunately. Legroom in the second-row was good and we could get a 182cm passenger in front of a rear facing child seat.
There are a lot of USB-C points in both rows of the X5 and a single USB port in the phone well in the front central console. There is a USB-C in the back of both front seats and a little cavity with a sliding door over the front of it that I presume if for connecting a device mount. Both I'm sure would be very useful with slightly older children, mine, however, wanted to just stick her finger in them both!! Luckily I didn't find any sultanas squirrelled away!!!
Storage was very good in the X5, in the back there was ample with a storage compartment in the central seat fold down and two good size cup holders and the door bins were generous too.
In the front storage was generous as well with a very large central console box, phone charging and cup holders and the door bins held large refillable water bottles and more.
The BMW X5 felt very robust on the road to the point it almost felt like it was resisting any steering I gave it. Its lane keep assist is excellent and I felt the car could really drive itself!
The media system in the X5is full of gizmos! One of my favourites is the ability to control the volume by turning your finger to the left for down and right for up! This also worked for the parking sensor volume which is a fantastic feature. The media system does have Apple CarPlay but can otherwise be a little confusing to navigate. The camera image quality is fantastic and there are a few angles you can look from which is helpful for parking.
The cruise control was outstanding in the X5, it was a little confusing for the first few days to work out the button controls and then it was so accurate and in traffic or motorway driving it was extremely accurate and it was almost driving the car for you.
Visibility was very good in the BMW X5, it has a very large sunroof and big windows, which help to make it feel really bright inside.
Overall I found the BMW X5 to be a great BabyDrive for a three-child family, it is spacious inside the cabin and the boot is really generous in the five-seater model. I felt the media system was over complicated and the dash, central console and steering wheel were quite cluttered with buttons and controls.
The BMW X5 scored a five-star ANCAP safety rating in 2018 and has seven airbags as standard. Although the airbags do not extend to the third-row passengers in the seven-seater models which is disappointing.