The new BMW X5 and X6 have just been released, boasting some compelling improvements. Most notably, they feature iDrive 8, a completely new iDrive system and display, as well as some refinements to their interior and exterior. These changes make the BMW X5 almost as advanced and refined as the would-be flagship BMW X7. And the two couldn’t possibly look less similar – not necessarily a bad thing. Deciding between the 2024 BMW X5 and the 2024 BMW X7 is a great problem to have – luckily, we are here to help.
Cargo and Towing Capacity
Both vehicles retain their towing capacity ratings. The 2024 BMW X5 can tow up to 7,200 pounds, which is pretty impressive. It’s more than the Mercedes-Benz GLC SUV and a smidge less than the Audi Q7, but plenty for a weekend camper or even a boat and trailer. The BMW X7 steps it up to 7,500 pounds. It’s a negligible difference, but I’d venture to say that the X7 isn’t worth the significant step up in price to justify a less than 10% increase in towing capacity.
Regarding in-cabin storage, the 2024 BMW X5 offers 66 cubic feet of storage capacity, less than half behind the second row of seats. Unfortunately, no third row means you’re stuck at a maximum capacity of five passengers, and the middle seat in the back is less than ideal for adults.
For those seeking the roomiest back seat, the BMW X7 is a clear winner. Its increased size allows it to store more, seat more people comfortably, and haul more stuff when called upon. Maximum cargo capacity is a formidable 90.4 cubic feet, with an available 48.6 cubic feet behind the second row. The 2024 BMW X7 comes standard with a third-row seat, which is unavailable on the 2024 BMW X5. It comfortably seats six when equipped with optional captain’s chairs or seven with a bench seat.
Performance and Handling
Both the 2024 BMW X5 and 2024 BMW X7 get similar engine choices. Both xDrive40i variants receive the same B58 inline-six under the hood. This turbocharged goodness delivers 375 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque. The X5 is available in rear-wheel drive configuration, but power remains the same as its xDrive brethren. It’s probably worth pursuing as the best value of the bunch if you absolutely do not need all-wheel drive. Similarly, V8 versions (M60i) provide the same twin-turbo V8 under the hood producing 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque.
The BMW X5’s trump card may well be the 2024 BMW X5 xDrive50e, providing over 500 pound-feet of torque and 483 horsepower. The X7 doesn’t get a plug-in hybrid variant at all. What’s more, the X7 xDrive40i and X5 xDrive50e weigh within around 150 pounds of one another, so handling won’t suffer too badly.
Speaking of handling – neither will be the sports car you wish it was. But they both do a good job of impersonating the one they saw on TV. In the M60i guise, both do a compelling impression of a true-blue M vehicle, thanks to the S68 engine under the hood. Even wearing regular clothes (i.e., 40i variants), they’re pretty good to drive – but the M Sport design definitely adds a little bit of drama thanks to the Adaptive M Suspension and beefier M Steering Wheel.
The X5 also gets an X5 M variant, boasting more power, revised suspension and handling components, and other additions that make it the most engaging option here by a country mile. Between its available hybrid powertrain and overall lighter weight and smaller dimensions, the 2024 BMW X5 is more agile and, thus, more rewarding to drive – no matter what trim you choose.
Appearance, Interior, and Technology
Standing outside of both vehicles, the BMW X5 will win over fans of the brand’s iconic and classic looks. Revolutionaries and disrupters will favor the BMW X7 with its drastically revised, split-headlight design. 20- or 21-inch wheels come standard on the X5 and X7, respectively, and both offer a refined look with a little bit of edge overall.
Step inside the X5 or the X7, and you’re seeing double. The LCI for the 2024 model year X5 means you get standard iDrive 8 and the fancy curved display that first graced the dashboard of the BMW iX a few years ago. With Sensafin upholstery standard and leather a (minimum) $1,950 premium, there isn’t much difference between the two here until you get to the available amenities.
Though the X5 moves upmarket with options like soft-close doors and an illuminated kidney grille, the X7 is still the mac-daddy of luxury SUVs with options like Crystal Headlights and a Bowers & Wilkins sound system. For those seeking the most opulent options, the X7 is the obvious victor. For everyone else, the 2024 BMW X5 does just as well.
Pricing and Conclusion
The 2024 BMW X5 starts at $65,200 – and it’s $2,500 more for an xDrive version. The BMW X7 starts at $81,900, $14,200 more than its all-wheel drive little brother. Unless you’re in love with how the 2024 BMW X7 looks or require a third-row seat, there isn’t much reason to go all-in on it. The 2024 BMW X5 is more agile, looks better, and offers the same technological prowess. But that’s your choice to make. Happy car shopping.