Styling Showdown: 2013 vs. 2014 BMW X5
An Edgier Look for the Two-Box Bimmer
Since the bold and controversial styling change on the 2002 BMW 7 Series, changes to Munich's new models have been characterized more by evolutionary changes than radical stylistic reboots. Other than growing considerably larger in its second-generation E70 model in 2007, BMW's anchor SUV, or SAV in Bimmer-speak, has always been immediately recognizable for what it is, and has been a logical stylistic successor to its forebear.
Such is the case with the all-new 2014 F15 X5. While it picks up some styling cues from other BMW models, you're unlikely to mistake it for anything other than what it is. We took a deep dive into the mechanical and equipment details on the 2014 X5, so we won't bore you to death with the boundless minutiae here. We're here to dissect the styling of the new X5, and whether it's a faithful embodiment of the Ultimate Driving Machine spirit BMW has been banking on for all these decades.
Up front, the most visible change is the adoption of the new "borderless" twin-kidney grille design, in which the headlight housings stretch to the edge of the grille bezel. We first saw this on the F30 3 Series. Frankly, we think the treatment works better on the X5 than on the 3, with a clear vertical edge to the housing, instead of the contrived, pinched strip on the 3 Series. The grille openings themselves are also more upright than the swept-back nose on the E70 X5, giving it a more assertive look than its predecessor's.
From the side, there are no dramatic changes save for front fender vents. We weren't told if they're functional or not. Otherwise, it's the same familiar two-box silhouette, and of course the vestigial "Hofmeister kink" on the rear cargo-area window. Around back, the new X5 adopts the more tapered horizontal taillight design from the X1. A metallic lower rear bumper insert separates the characteristic dual exhaust outlets at each corner.
Inside, the X5 takes on a more contemporary style, showing influence from the consumer electronics world, with a freestanding flat-screen display that looks like an iPad partially impaled into the dash top. Although you may be tempted to pull it from its perch, it is not removable. Other familiar X5 interior cues, such as the stacked HVAC vents on the outer edges of the dashboard and console-mounted electronic shifter, remain.
We like the new X5's looks. It's a stylish update for what's become an important model to BMW's lineup, its third best-seller, behind only the 3 and 5 Series. Are you a fan of the X5's redesign? Let us know in the poll and your comments below!