The X5 offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The XT5 doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.
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 XT5 doesn’t offer a night vision system.
The X5’s optional 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 XT5 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the X5 and the XT5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rear parking sensors, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.
The X5’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the XT5’s (12 vs. 6 years).
To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the X5 has a standard 210-amp alternator. The XT5’s standard 155-amp alternator and largest (optional) 170-amp alternator aren’t as powerful.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 23 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 21st, below the industry average.
The X5 s/xDrive35i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 30 lbs.-ft. more torque (300 vs. 270) than the XT5’s 3.6 DOHC V6. The X5 xDrive50i’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 135 more horsepower (445 vs. 310) and 210 lbs.-ft. more torque (480 vs. 270) than the XT5’s 3.6 DOHC V6.
The X5’s 3.0 turbo diesel produces 143 lbs.-ft. more torque (413 vs. 270) than the XT5’s 3.6 DOHC V6.
On the EPA test cycle the X5 xDrive35d gets better fuel mileage than the XT5 4WD (24 city/31 hwy vs. 18 city/26 hwy).
Regenerative brakes improve the X5’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The XT5 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
The X5 has 3.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the XT5 FWD’s standard fuel tank (22.4 vs. 19 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
For better traction, the X5 has larger standard tires than the XT5 (255/50R19 vs. 235/65R18). The X5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the XT5 (F:275/40R20 & R:315/35R20 vs. 235/65R18).
The X5’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the XT5’s standard 65 series tires. The X5’s optional 275/40R20 front and 315/35R20 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile than the XT5’s optional 55 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X5 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the XT5.
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 XT5 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
The X5 offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Cadillac doesn’t offer an active suspension on the XT5.
The X5 has a standard automatic rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The XT5 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X5’s wheelbase is 3 inches longer than on the XT5 (115.5 inches vs. 112.5 inches).
The X5 offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the XT5 can only carry 5.
The X5 has 2.1 inches more front headroom, 3.2 inches more front shoulder room, 2.8 inches more rear headroom and 3.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the XT5.
The X5’s cargo area provides more volume than the XT5.
Second Seat Folded
66 cubic feet
63 cubic feet
The X5’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the tailgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The XT5’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.
The X5’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The XT5’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.
The X5’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The XT5’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the X5 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The XT5 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The X5 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The XT5 doesn’t offer headlight washers.
The XT5’s optional cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The X5’s standard adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.
The BMW X5 won the Check it Out award in Kiplinger’s 2015 car issue.
The X5 is ranked first in its class and received the 2015 “Total Quality Award.” The XT5 is not ranked.