The BMW X5 is the first four-byfour with the BMW marque. Introduced in 1999, it was a based on existing BMW technologies but riding on a four-wheel-drive transmission. Initially, it was marketed as a Sport Activity Vehicle (SAV) to emphasize its on-road capabilities, rather than the off-road features. It also fits the Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV) category mainly because its on-road handling feels more like a car than a truck. It shares a niche market with the Mercedes Benz M-class and the Lexus RX in the luxury CUV category.
The first models came in a manual or automatic transmission, with a gasoline (petrol) inline-6 or V8, or a diesel engine. The X5 was originally based on the BMW 5-series, as well as the Range Rover HSE from Land Rover. The entertainment system is identical to the BMW 5-series.
The first generation models were manufactured from 1999 to 2006. The second generation was introduced to the market in 2006. Unlike its predecessor, it uses BMW's iDrive system and it had a third row of seats which increased passenger capacity to 7. In 2011, the series had an engine upgrade with turbocharged engines.
The BMW X5 M (sport variant) was released to the market in 2009. It used the same power and transmission as the X6 M and comes with the M Dynamic Performance Control.