Crash-test ratings for the 2015 BMW X5 are mostly in; and those results, plus a long list of standard and optional safety features leave us believing that this remains of the safest vehicles on the road today.
In New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) testing, the 2015 X5 earned five-star results for frontal and side crash, as well as all subcategories, including frontal testing with a smaller female-size test dummy in the passenger seat and the rigorous side pole test, which simulates a side collision with a utility pole, tree or building corner.
And the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which is the other major U.S. agency that conducts crash tests, hasn’t yet fully tested the new X5, but it has earned top ‘good’ results in the moderate overlap frontal and side categories—as well as ‘Superior’ front crash prevention.
BMW's Parking Assistant takes the wheel when it's ordered; it can steer the vehicle into parallel spots or perpendicular ones, at the touch of a button. The same underlying technology couples with adaptive cruise control to bring you Traffic Jam Assistant, which maintains following distance all on its own in heavy traffic, and keeps the vehicle at the center of its lane by providing steering input.
Visibility is excellent from behind the wheel of the X5, and with standard parking sensors, it's simple to move very close to garage walls or cars parked in connecting spaces. In addition to those sensors, we'd opt for the rearview camera and for BMW's surround-view cameras, which produce a 360-degree view of surroundings from cameras mounted in the nose and tail and under the side mirror housings. Drivers can toggle between views from the cameras, and place the vehicle perfectly in a tight space--or check for obstacles that can't be seen behind the car's rather high tail. That system is bundled in a package with blind-spot monitors, speed-limit information (rendered on the iDrive screen), lane-departure warning and collision-alert systems; adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability can be added for $1,200 on top of those features.
All X5 utes get their fair share of safety gear, including curtain airbags, stability control, and Bluetooth. A rearview camera is a $400, stand-alone option on all but the V-8 version, however.
Night vision and a head-up display remain on offer; the X5 can be fitted with full LED lighting.
Finally, BMW's assistance plans include basic coverage that heightens its automatic-collision alerts to emergency services, based on the vehicle's position, airbag state and speed before impact. It also provides real-time traffic information.