The X5 can accommodate up to 7 passengers, but only front- and second-row passengers will be comfortable.
The front seats offer power and heating and lots of space and adjustment. BMW sells upgraded sport and multi-contour seat, and we'd take either; the basic seats have flat bottom cushions, and it's very noticeable on models with seat ventilation. Driver and passenger space divides with a wide center-split console that's deep enough for smartphone and small-tablet storage. The console has two lined bins for change and keyfobs.
In the second row, BMW fits a split bench seat that folds along 40/20/40 sections. Five adults will fit, but four will be more pleasant after a crosstown trip. Headroom is compromised by the standard glass sunroof; 6-footers will need to recline the seatbacks. Optional comfort second-row seats can slide on a 3.1-inch track to expand leg room.
A 23-cubic-foot cargo space sits behind the second-row seat. It's where the optional third-row seat goes when it's ordered, but we'd throw caution at that idea. The extra row of seats are only good for people that regularly wear Garanimals. The third-row seat can fold in portions, or fold down along with the second-row seat for 66 cubic feet of cargo space. The power tailgate still has its split operation: the glass flips up, while the tailgate folds down.
Quality issues have been minor in the X5s we've driven. The standard seat coverings are synthetic leather and some switches feel inexpensive. BMW spends the money on a big, high-resolution screen and ambient lighting, and lets drivers pay into nicer degrees of leather and wood.