What Is BMW’s Best Midsize SUV?

BMW has three midsize SUVs: the X5, the X6, and the brand-new all-electric iX. Click here to find out which one we think is best!
Written by Pat Roache
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
BMW has three midsize SUVs: the X5, the X6, and the brand-new all-electric iX. The X6 turns eyes with its coupe-inspired design, and the iX is lined up to rival the likes of Tesla, but the X5 offers the most versatility and function for the best value. 
The small SUV may be taking the market by storm, but midsize options still hold their place for families who want a little extra kick for their trips. Throw in BMW’s reputation for style and drivability and you are looking at some competitive premium midsize SUVs: the versatile X5, the striking X6, and the electrified iX.
Check out this guide to the best midsize SUVs from BMW—and some of the best competition—from
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Does BMW have a midsize SUV?

BMW offers three SUVs in their 2022 lineup: the
two- to three-row BMW X5
, the
BMW X6 Sports Activity Coupe
, and the brand-new all-electric BMW iX
Smaller SUV options from the German automaker include the subcompact
and the compact
. The three-row
is the largest SUV and the only full-size option in the BMW lineup.

What makes a midsize SUV?

While midsize has a precise definition in the world of sedans, size classifications are a bit more up in the air for SUVs. A midsize SUV is essentially bigger than a compact SUV and smaller than a full-size SUV. 
The similarly sized X5 and iX sit nicely in midsize SUV territory, falling squarely between the compact X3 and full-size X7. The X6 may look a little odd as an SUV, given its sloped coupe-like rear roof, to begin with, but it’s larger than the similarly designed compact X4 and fits nicely alongside the other midsize BMWs on the lot. 

Is the BMW X3 a midsize SUV? 

The BMW X3 is considered the
best BMW SUV
, but it is not a midsize SUV.Instead, the BMW X3 is classified as a compact crossover SUV, although it’s only about eight inches shorter than the midsize X5. This goes to show you how minuscule the difference between these classifications can be.

X5 vs. X6 vs. iX: which is the best midsize BMW SUV?

The three BMW midsize SUVs may be similarly sized, but the X5, X6, and iX each have unique offerings. From performance to luxury and design to powertrain, there are a lot of specs and features to set these three vehicles apart. We think there’s a clear winner, but you may find any one of them to be best suited for you.

2022 BMW X5

MSRP range: $61,595-$83,795
MPG: 16-20 city/22-26 hwy; 50 MPGe (xDrive45e PHEV only)
Seating for: 5 to 7 passengers
The BMW X5 is practically the poster child for a premium midsize SUV. BMW doesn’t skimp on the niceties here—from a luxuriously fitted interior to a generous supply of standard features. Best of all, each of the X5’s three powertrain options successfully delivers the compelling performance we’ve come to expect from the fine engineers at Bayerische Motoren Werke.
The entry-level X5 sDrive40i is fitted with a 335-horsepower turbocharged inline-six for an already impressive 4.8-second zero-to-60 time. The plug-in hybrid X5 xDrive45e pairs this engine with an electric motor for 389 horsepower and a 4.7-second dash to 60 mph. You can also expect 30 miles of all-electric driving from this powerful PHEV.
The top-tier
BMW X5 M50i
offers the most impressive powertrain—a 523-hp twin-turbo V8 stacked on sport-tuned suspension—but it comes at a price jump of $20,000+ from the standard trim. The
X5 towing capacity
is rated for up to 7,200 pounds no matter what trim or powertrain you buy. All-wheel drive is standard on all trims except for the rear-wheel drive sDrive40i.
Highlights include: 
  • Power-adjustable steering column 
  • Power-adjustable heated front seats with memory settings on all trims
  • Standard panoramic sunroof
  • Customizable ambient lighting
  • Two 12.3-inch displays for the gauge cluster and BMW’s iDrive infotainment software, complete with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and optional gesture controls
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • Standard driver assistance features include automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert
  • Limited edition Black Vermilion Package ($83,295 MSRP) adds matte black exterior, Merino black leather upholstery and dash, a glass shift knob, Harman/Kardon audio system
Weaknesses include: 
  • Handling on sharp turns could be more precise
  • Optional third row is cramped
  • Most desirable luxury features come at a major price gap

2022 BMW X6

MSRP range: $68,345 to $87,245
MPG: 16-21 city/22-25 hwy
Seating for: 5 passengers
The BMW X6 puts itself into a very niche category for U.S. cars—the sports activity coupe
The X6 mimics the X5 in many ways, offering the same 335-hp inline-six and 523-hp V8 engines as its sole powertrain options. However, the X6 cuts the PHEV powertrain, nicks the optional third row, and sculpts the rear roof in a dramatic slope to give it that uniquely BMW sports activity coupe design.
If anything, the BMW X6’s striking style is its best leg up over the comparable X5—especially if you’re the type of person who likes to make an entrance. You may lose out on cargo space, but you still get to enjoy all the same luxurious features as the X5, and you’ll look much cooler while you do it.
Highlights include:
  • A racy refitting of the more-traditional X5
  • Industry-leading powertrain options
Optional features include: 
  • Ventilated leather front seats with massage functions
  • Four-zone climate control
  • Adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go technology
  • Harman/Kardon and Bowers & Wilkins premium sound systems
  • Built-in navigation, wireless charging, and Wi-Fi hotspot
Weaknesses include:
  • The X5 is more practical
  • Less cargo space than the X5
  • Intimidates introverts

2022 BMW iX

MSRP range: $84,195
MPG:  86 MPGe combined
Range: Up to 324 miles
Seating for: 5 passengers
If you’re in the luxury SUV market for an
eco-friendly vehicle
in particular, then I ex-pect you will love the 2022 BMW iX—the first all-electric SUV from BMW!
There’s only one powertrain configuration available for the 2022 iX, but it holds up to the expectations set by its impressive X5 and X6 predecessors. Two electric motors power all-wheel drive and combine to make 516 horsepower. It may not be rated for towing yet, but the iX knows how to race from zero to 60 mph in only 4.0 seconds.
The interior of the iX is decidedly streamlined compared to the near-excessively lush X5 and X6 models. The iX utilizes the same 12.3-inch screen for your gauge cluster, but BMW’s iDrive 8 software gets a nice size upgrade with a 14.9-inch infotainment display. An 18-speaker Harman/Kardon sound system comes standard with integrated front-seat speakers. 
Other extra-luxurious optional features in the 2022 BMW iX include:
  • Panoramic sunroof with electrochromic shading
  • 5G Wi-Fi hotspot
  • BMW “Loft” microfiber textile upholstery
  • 30-speaker Bowers & Wilkins sound system
  • Adaptive cruise control with semi-autonomous driving mode
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2022 BMW X5 vs. 2022 BMW X6 vs. 2022 BMW iX comparison

2022 BMW X5
2022 BMW X6
2022 BMW iX
Starting MSRP
Seating capacity
Five or seven
Fuel economy
21 combined mpg
22 combined mpg
86 MPGe
Base engine
3.0-liter I6 (335 hp, 330 lb-ft of torque)
3.0-liter I6 (335 hp, 330 lb-ft of torque)
Dual electric motors (516 hp, 564 lb-ft of torque)
Total cargo volume
72.3 cubic feet
59.6 cubic feet
77.9 cubic feet
Maximum towing capacity
7,200 lbs
7,200 lbs
NHTSA safety rating
Four stars
Expert Ratings
9.5/10, Editor’s Choice Award (Car and Driver), 7.9/10 (Edmunds)
9/10 (Car and Driver)
9/10, Editor’s Choice Award (Car and Driver), 8.4/10 (Edmunds)
Reliability scores
77/100 (J.D. Power), 2.0/5.0 (RepairPal)
81/100 (J.D. Power), 2.0/5.0 (RepairPal)
N/A (Model is still too new for testing)

The bottom line

The X5 offers the best value out of BMW’s three midsize SUVs. The X6 streamlines many of the same options as the X5 and even ups the luxury a little bit, but you’ll be paying more money for a less practical SUV—just check the cargo space. The iX takes the luxury and performance to the max, but not everyone is ready to commit to an EV—especially with an $80,000+ price tag.
Where the X6 and iX are tailored to more exclusive audiences, the X5 offers versatility and functionality at the most affordable starting price. 

Best midsize SUV competitors

BMW isn’t the only manufacturer of premier midsize SUVs. If you’ve got your eye on the showstopping X5, make sure to check out some of its most notable competitors:
  • 2022
    GV80 ($51,295 starting MSRP): This newcomer on the scene takes luxury to the max with a lusciously equipped cabin and adaptive cruise control with semi-autonomous driving mode on all models. The base engine lacks power compared to the X5.
  • 2022
    Porsche Cayenne
    ($70,350 starting MSRP): The Cayenne offers verve with four competitive powertrain options (including a 455-hp PHEV configuration) and a towing max of 7,700 pounds, but trim customization quickly ballons the price tag.
  • 2022
    Mercedes GLE-Class
    ($57,200 starting MSRP): A classic that knows how to keep up, the GLE-Class is perfectly fitted to compete in a modern luxury segment without breaking the bank, though you may notice it lacks the X5’s punch.

How to save on BMW insurance

Any luxury ride from BMW is going to garner some expensive insurance costs, but some models fare better than others.
On average,
BMW X5 sDrive40i insurance costs
are about $600 less per year than for the entry-level BMW X6, and you can always expect insurance rates to be more expensive for an electric SUV like the iX. Luckily,
can help you lower your premium no matter which BMW midsize SUV you want to drive.
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