BMW’s competitors for the Mercedes-Benz GLE twins have been revamped with a new look, the latest technology and upgraded petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid powertrain options.
The Facelift 2024 BMW X5 and X6 were unveiled with a number of mid-life upgrades ahead of first Australian arrivals expected mid-year.
BMW’s facelifted X5 “wagon” and X6 “coupe” SUVs – unveiled a week after updating their closest competitors, the Mercedes-Benz GLE twins – introduce a slight makeover of the exterior and an upgraded interior with a new digital display.
There’s also a range of modified engines in a range of rebranded models, including a 360kW flat-six plug-in hybrid system in a new X5 xDrive50e model, offering up to 110km electric range in European WLTP tests.
The Australian launch date is yet to be confirmed, but overseas reports suggest production is set to begin in April 2023 – which would equate to first local arrivals in June or July, based on typical shipping schedules.
Externally, the facelift introduces new, flatter headlight units with revised graphics featuring arrow-shaped daytime running light elements that also serve as turn signal units.
There’s also a redesigned grille with optional “Iconic Glow” lighting – new for the X5 but previously available on the X6 – in a reprofiled front bumper. There are also new taillight graphics at the rear.
In Europe, the updated X5 adopts “xLine” design cues as standard, while the X6 comes standard with the M Sport package. In Australia, all models are expected to come with the M Sport package.
Inside, the facelifted X5 and X6 adopt similar changes to the recently updated X7, alongside which they are produced at BMW’s Spartanburg plant in the US.
At the forefront of the changes is a new dual-screen curved panel that includes a 12.3-inch digital instrument display and a 14.9-inch infotainment touchscreen running the latest (8.0) version of BMW’s iDrive operating system cloud-based BMW Maps navigation is running.
The dashboard was slightly redesigned, the climate controls in the center console received additional touch controls.
On the dashboard in front of the passenger there is also an illuminated panel with a plaque identifying the model (X5, X6 or M) and new Sensafin eco-leather upholstery for the seats.
As an alternative to the standard sports seats, comfort seats can now also be ordered in Europe.
Options include a head-up display with augmented reality functionality and streaming services, a panoramic glass sunroof with LED lighting, polished glass accents for various controls, and a premium Bowers and Wilkins sound system.
BMW also says it has improved smartphone integration with the infotainment system, with 5G connectivity available for the vehicle’s embedded eSIM data connection for the first time.
Power in the revised X5 and X6 comes from a revised range of petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid plug-in powertrains that claim improved efficiency and economy when combined with a standard eight-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive.
Details on the updated X5 M and X6 M will follow at a later date.
The engine range for Australia is yet to be confirmed, but the current X5 is available in a choice of four models – xDrive30d diesel, xDrive45e plug-in hybrid, and xDrive40i and M50i petrol – while the X6 is currently sold in xDrive30d, xDrive40i and xDrive40i M50i -Forms.
In the updated models, the standard six-cylinder and V8 petrol engines all get 48-volt mild hybrid systems with an additional 9kW and 200Nm of torque provided by a gearbox-mounted integrated starter-generator (a small electric motor unit).
The xDrive40i models receive changes to their turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six petrol engines, boosting power and torque to 280 kW and 540 Nm – up to 35 kW/90 Nm.
This brings a 0.3 second reduction in the 0-100 km/h time to now 5.4 seconds, along with a claimed WLTP fuel economy of between 8.5 and 9.9 l/100km for the X5 xDrive40i and between 8.5 and 9.6 l/100 km for the X5 xDrive40i X6 xDrive40i.
The turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six diesel engine in the X5 xDrive30d and X6 xDrive30d now features steel pistons instead of aluminum, along with changes to the common rail injection system and a new oil scavenging process.
However, power and torque remain unchanged at 210 kW and 650 Nm. BMW claims a 0-100km/h time of 6.1 seconds, along with a declared fuel consumption of 7.1-8.2l/100km for the X5 xDrive30d and 7.1-7.9l/100km for the X6 xDrive30d.
The X5 M50i xDrive and X6 M50i xDrive have been replaced in the facelift range by the new X5 M60i xDrive and X6 M60i xDrive models.
They run the same turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 petrol engine as before – apart from the added mild hybrid system – delivering 390kW and 750Nm of power and shared claimed 0-100km/h times of 4.3 seconds .
BMW states that the WLTP fuel consumption for the X5 M60i is between 11.5 and 12.5 l/100km, while the X6 M60i claims 11.4 to 12.3 l/100km.
The petrol-electric plug-in hybrid system in the current X5 xDrive45e has been upgraded to the X5 xDrive50e.
It gets an updated 3.0 liter six-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine with 230 kW (plus 20 kW), combined with a more powerful, gearbox-mounted electric motor with 145 kW (plus 62 kW) for system outputs of 360 kW and 700 Nm ( plus 70 kW and 100 Nm).
The power increase is said to give the plug-in hybrid a claimed 0-100 km/h time of 4.8 seconds and a claimed WLTP fuel consumption in laboratory tests of between 0.8 and 1.1 l/100 km.
The X5 xDrive50e also has a slightly larger battery than its predecessor, the X5 xDrive45e, whose capacity has been increased by 3.4 kWh to 25.7 kWh.
It is said to offer an electric range of 94 km to 110 km in the European WLTP test cycle. A new AC charging system doubles the previous charging capacity to 7.4 kW.
The 2024 BMW X5 and X6 expected to arrive in Australian showrooms later this year. More details are expected to be confirmed shortly before launch.
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