Jan 3, 2020

What we're driving: The 2020 BMW X5 M50i

BMW X5 M50i. Photo courtesy of BMW

BMW X5 M50i. Photo courtesy of BMW

Over the holiday break, we drove the 2020 BMW X5 M50i to Michigan's snowy Upper Peninsula for a brief family getaway.

The big picture: The M50i is a souped-up version of BMW's midsize luxury SUV, delivering a faster, sportier ride than the standard X5.

  • Its 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 delivers 523 horsepower, and dashes from 0 to 60 in just 4.1 seconds.
  • Unfortunately for us, we encountered heavy fog and a driving rain on the trip, so testing that claim seemed unwise.

With BMW's iDrive cockpit infotainment system, you can control features with the large iDrive controller knob mounted on the center console, or through the large touchscreen center display, cloud-based voice controls or simple hand gestures.

  • While BMW's hand gesture controls are novel, I think it's easier just to reach for a knob to turn up the volume.

Driver assistance: The M50i comes with a full list of assisted-driving features, all with fancy names under BMW's "Driving Assistance Professional" package.

  • But I'm trying to stick to my New Year's resolution, so I'll describe the nuances between a few.
  • Extended Traffic Jam Assistance helps with vehicle acceleration, braking and steering in slow-moving highway traffic.
  • Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go will brake and accelerate to maintain a prescribed distance behind a vehicle in front, even if it comes to a complete stop.

The bottom line: The BMW X5 M50i starts at $83,145, which is what you'd expect for a high-performance luxury SUV.

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