2019 Ford Flex vs. 2019 BMW X5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Ford Flex are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW X5 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The middle row seatbelts optional on the Flex inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The X5 doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

Both the Flex and the X5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available collision warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

Ford’s powertrain warranty covers the Flex 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW covers the X5. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the X5 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 9 times as many Ford dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Flex’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 11th.

Engine

The Flex Limited’s optional 3.5 turbo V6 produces 30 more horsepower (365 vs. 335) and 20 lbs.-ft. more torque (350 vs. 330) than the X5 xDrive40i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Ford Flex uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended on Flex Limited for maximum performance). The X5 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Flex has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The X5 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Suspension and Handling

The Flex’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The X5 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better maneuverability, the Flex’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the X5’s (40.7 feet vs. 41.4 feet).

Chassis

The Ford Flex may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 pounds less than the BMW X5.

The design of the Ford Flex amounts to more than styling. The Flex has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .36 Cd. That is lower than the X5 (.36 to .38). A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Flex get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The Flex has 1 inch more front headroom, 2.8 inches more front legroom, 1.8 inches more rear headroom and 6.9 inches more rear legroom than the X5.

Cargo Capacity

The Flex’s cargo area provides more volume than the X5.

 

Flex

X5

Third Seat Folded

43.2 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

33.9 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

83.2 cubic feet

72.3 cubic feet

The Flex’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The X5’s tailgate’s top part raises up, but the bottom part lowers, getting in the way of loading and making an uneven surface for sliding cargo.

Ergonomics

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Flex’s exterior PIN entry system. The X5 doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its BMW Assist can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

Model Availability

The Flex is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The X5 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

The Flex was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 2 of the last 11 years. The X5 has never been an “All Star.”

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

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