2014 BMW X5 ‘SAV’ gets more power and tech, but not more style

The BMW X5 was one of the first luxury SUVs (or “Sports Activity Vehicles,” in Bimmer-speak), and its maker is looking to keep it at the head of the segment in its third generation. Despite its conservative styling, BMW says the 2014 X5 will be significantly sportier to drive.

At first glance, it’s apparent that while BMW has redesigned the X5, it hasn’t revolutionized it. The new SUV is still recognizable as an X5, although the lines have softened a bit to help it fit in with today’s post-truck sport-utes. BMW’s trademark twin kidney grille is hard to miss.

Like the 3 Series, the X5 will be available with a choice of three exterior trim packages (xLine, Luxury Line, and M Sport) that offer buyers a bit of customization.

The evolutionary approach continues under the hood, where the two gasoline engines carry over. Base X5 xDrive35i and new-for-2014 sDrive35i (rear-wheel drive) models get BMW’s N55 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six, which produces 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque.

Also carrying over is the 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 in X5 xDrive50i, which also gets a power boost for 2014. Thanks to the addition of Valvetronic variable valve timing, the V8 now makes 445 hp and 480 lb-ft, increases of 45 hp and 30 lb-ft.

BMW says the X5 xDrive35i will do 0 to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds, while the xDrive50i will do the same in 4.9 seconds, improvements of 0.2 and 0.4 second, respectively.

All-new for 2014 is the xDrive35d’s 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six. It produces 255 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque and while BMW says it will best last year’s model in efficiency, it won’t release EPA mileage estimates this far from the X5’s on sale date.

All X5 models get BMW’s eight-speed automatic transmission. An optional sport transmission adds launch control, which seems of little utility in this sport-utility.

Also standard is the EfficientDynamics suite of fuel-saving tech. An “Eco Pro” mode tames throttle response and programs electrical accessories like the climate control for energy efficiency. There’s also an engine start/stop function, regenerative braking and, according to BMW, best-in-class aerodynamics.

There’s also plenty of tech to keep drivers from crashing their X5s. The Active Driving Assistant package includes Lane Departure Warning, and a pedestrian and collision warning system that can automatically slow the car from speeds of up to 37 mph.

Other tech features include standard Adaptive Xenon Headlights (LEDs are optional), an optional Night Vision system, Head-Up Display, and Parking Assistant, which can autonomously parallel park the X5.

Also standard is BMW Apps, which allows drivers to download compatible apps that bridge the gap between smartphone and infotainment system, as long as they’re using an iPhone.

BMW promises a full slate of apps that will allow X5 drivers to access Facebook and Twitter, listen to Pandora, and get directions, all with the car’s iDrive controller taking the place of an iPhone touch screen.

The 2014 BMW X5 will make its auto show debut at Frankfurt in September, and will go on sale in the United States shortly after that with inline-six or V8 gasoline power.

The diesel X5 xDrive35d will follow those models to the showrooms in early 2014.


The deaf gamers making gaming more accessible

Using social media, personal blogs and Twitch, a small group of deaf and hard-of-hearing players have been working to make their voices heard and improve accessibility in the gaming industry.

Room to roam: The supersized X7 is unlike any BMW you’ve ever seen

The first-ever BMW X7 is the 7 Series of the SUV world in terms of size, price, and image. Its supersized body has enough room for seven adult passengers and enough tech to impress even the most cutting-edge buyers.

Hold on to your butts: These are the fastest cars in the world

Think your car is unbelievably fast? Think again. From wind-cheating bodywork to powerful engines, these cars were designed for the singular pursuit of speed (and it shows).

Vanderhall Carmel adds creature comforts to the basic three-wheeler formula

The Vanderhall Carmel is the fifth three-wheeler from Utah-based Vanderhall Motor Works. It takes the basic design of the Vanderhall Venice and adds a handful of creature comforts, as well as a more powerful engine.

At 503 mph, Turbinator II is the world’s fastest wheel-driven vehicle

The Turbinator II is a four-wheel drive streamliner powered by a 5,000-horsepower helicopter engine, and it just achieved 503.332 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats. That's an unofficial record for a wheel-driven car.

Lyft has a new fixed-price subscription plan for frequent passengers

Lyft wants you to save money by using rideshare services instead of owning a car. The new Lyft All-Access Plan monthly rideshare trip subscription includes 30 rides a month with a small discount for additional trips.
Product Review

Audi's new A8 is so sophisticated and serene, it practically deletes potholes

The 2019 Audi A8’s outline looks promising: Level 3 autonomous driving capability, haptic-feedback infotainment screens, rear-wheel steering, Matrix LED headlights and OLED taillights, plus a predictive suspension.

Could the next Mazda3 boast a fuel-saving breakthrough in engine tech?

Mazda released a teaser video that likely previews the next Mazda3. Expected to make its global debut at the L.A. auto show, the next 3 will wear a more curvaceous design and offer one of the most advanced engines in the automotive…

Workhorse takes on diesel with lighter, cheaper NGEN-1000 electric delivery van

Ohio-based Workhorse Group claims its new NGEN-1000 electric delivery van costs the same as a conventional diesel van and can haul a similar amount of cargo. A lower curb weight makes this possible.

Forget transponders with Peasy’s nationwide pay-as-you-go toll service

Verra Mobility launched Peasy, a consumer highway and bridge toll payment service. Designed to be less hassle than managing traditional transponder or toll tag accounts, Peasy pays tolls as they are levied across most of the U.S.

Just 10 people will get to put this limited-edition Audi R8 in their garages

The 2018 Audi R8 V10 Plus Competition makes use of Audi's motor sports experience to turn up the performance dial. Decreased weight and increased aerodynamic downforce make this R8 a track monster.

Porsche’s all-electric Taycan sedan will cost less than a Panamera

Porsche's Mission E concept won't change much as it transitions to a production model named Taycan that's scheduled to arrive in 2019. That means the sedan will keep the sleek design and its 800-volt charging system.

Bored with stock? The best tuner cars are begging to be modified

Modification has been around almost as long as the automobile itself. Here are 25 of the best tuner cars you can find, ranging from American muscle standouts to Japanese drift cars.

Tesla keeps promise with more affordable Model 3 with midrange battery pack

Tesla is keeping its promise of making the Model 3 gradually more affordable. The company released a new variant of the car with a mid-range, 260-mile battery option that's priced under the $50,000 mark.