2019 BMW X5 vs. 2019 Tesla Model X

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The X5’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Model X doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The X5 has standard Active Protection, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Model X doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the X5’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Model X doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the X5 helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The Model X doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The X5 offers an optional Surround View to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Model X only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

To help make backing safer, the X5’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Model X doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The X5’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Model X doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The X5 has standard BMW Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Model X doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the X5 and the Model X have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rearview cameras.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the X5 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 47 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Model X has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The X5’s corrosion warranty is 8 years and unlimited miles longer than the Model X’s (12/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X5 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Tesla doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Model X.

There are over 5 times as many BMW dealers as there are Tesla dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the X5’s warranty.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the X5’s reliability 37 points higher than the Model X.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Tesla vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 19 places higher in reliability than Tesla.

Fuel Economy and Range

The X5 xDrive40i’s maximum EPA estimated driving range on a full tank of fuel is 569.4 miles, after which it can be refueled at any gas station in minutes. The Model X’s range is only 238 to 295 miles, after which the minimum recharge time is 30 minutes for only a 54% charge at a specially configured quick charge station not available in most areas. A full recharge at a conventional charging station can take up to 82 hours and 53 minutes.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the X5 M Sport’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Model X:

X5 M Sport

Model X

Front Rotors

15.6 inches

14 inches

Rear Rotors

14.6 inches

14.4 inches

The X5 stops much shorter than the Model X:

X5

Model X

70 to 0 MPH

158 feet

172 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the X5 has larger standard tires than the Model X (265/50R19 vs. 255/45R20). The X5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Model X (F:275/40R21 & R:315/35R21 vs. F:265/35R22 & R:285/35R22).

The X5’s optional 315/30R22 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 30 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Model X’s optional 35 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the X5 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Model X doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

The X5 offers an optional space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Model X; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

The X5 offers active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The Model X doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The X5 offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Tesla doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Model X.

The X5 xDrive40i handles at .89 G’s, while the Model X pulls only .86 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For greater off-road capability the X5 has a 2.5 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Model X (8.7 vs. 6.2 inches), allowing the X5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The BMW X5 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 450 pounds less than the Tesla Model X.

The X5 is 4 inches shorter than the Model X, making the X5 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the X5’s available third row seats recline. The Model X’s optional third row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The X5’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Model X 6-Passenger doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the X5’s optional second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Model X doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

The X5’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the tailgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The Model X’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the X5’s available tailgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Model X doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Towing

The X5’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Model X’s (6603 vs. 5000 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Tesla Model X is only 5000 pounds. The X5 offers up to a 7209 lbs. towing capacity.

While the Model X w/22” wheels can only tow 3500, any X5 can tow a minimum of 6603 pounds.

Servicing Ease

A maintenance reminder system is standard on the X5 to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes and vehicle inspection based on odometer mileage. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Tesla doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the Model X.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Model X, the X5 xDrive50i has a passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The X5’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Model X doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The X5 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Model X doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the windows are left open on the X5 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Model X can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the X5 has a standard rear wiper. The Model X doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

The X5’s standard side window demisters help clear frost or condensation from the side windows in the winter. The Model X doesn’t even offer side window demisters, so the driver may have to wipe the windows from the outside to gain side vision.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the X5 has standard extendable sun visors. The Model X doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the X5 keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Model X doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The X5 has standard a center folding armrest for the middle row passengers. A center armrest helps make middle row passengers more comfortable. The Model X doesn’t offer a middle row seat center armrest.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the BMW X5, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the X5 third among midsize premium SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Model X isn’t in the top three.

The BMW X5 outsold the Tesla Model X by over two to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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