On the occasion of the introduction of the new 2014 BMW X5, we are reminded of the genesis of its predecessor. When it was introduced back in 1999, the X5 represented a number of firsts for BMW. It was the company’s first foray into the SUV segment, it was the first BMW to be built in North America, and it became the world’s first “Sports Activity Vehicle”.
Reluctant to file a formal admission the BMW X5 was an SUV, and reflective of the company’s decision to make it more capable on pavement than as an off road device, the BMW X5 marketing team coined the acronym SAV, so it didn’t have to go with SUV.
Thing is, that first BMW X5 was truly reflective of the chosen nomenclature. It went like stink on pavement, handling with adroitness previously unknown to the class. Further, it rode comfortably, its drivetrains were eerily smooth in operation, and it offered enough luxury to be taken seriously by wealthier suburban moms who felt they needed an all-wheel drive two-ton parkway panzer to get the ever-precocious Ashley and the always-rambunctious young Cody to soccer practice. Some fourteen years later, we have the third generation of what has become a venerable member of the Sport Utility Sports Activity Vehicle segment.
Truth be told, one of the leaders actually.
The 2014 BMW X5 has a slimmed down exterior appearance, harboring a more luxe oriented interior, albeit covering a lot of the same mechanicals. This is not so much of a big deal though—the company had that part very right anyway. What we have here now is a handsome, reasonably sized, terrific handling vehicle, capable of seating seven (in a pinch), with an exceptionally luxurious interior, and a strong European pedigree.