BMW has introduced a new base variant of its flagship SUV, the X5, in India. Priced at Rs 64.9 lakh, the X5 Expedition undercuts the X5 xDrive 30d variant by almost Rs 6 lakh but, unlike its twin, the base variant is available only as a five-seater.
Besides the third row of seat, the X5 Expedition also misses out on a few creature comforts like the BMW Apps, handwriting recognition system, navigation system, built-in hard drive and the 16-speaker music system, which has been replaced with a 9-speaker unit. BMW has also skimped on the launch control and electric seats with lumbar support while the wood finish in the interiors has been restricted to the American Oak trim only.
Visually, the absence of LED fog lamps, titanium moulding on the bumpers and the titanium finish on the trademark kidney grille differentiates the X5 Expedition from the X5 xDrive 30d. The adaptive LED headlamps have been ditched in favour of bi-xenon headlamps.
Under the bonnet, the X5 Expedition continues to house the 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder diesel engine which produces 258bhp and 560Nm of torque. The eight-speed Steptronic ‘Sport’ gearbox however, has been replaced with a regular eight-speed Steptronic unit without the paddle shifters.
The X5 was launched in May, this year, and like a majority of BMW’s range, is locally assembled at the company’s facility in Chennai. As the X5 is imported through the completely knocked down (CKD) route, the company and the customer do not have to shell out absurd amount of import taxes like completely-built-unit (CBU) cars. Despite this, the sole variant of the X5 was launched for Rs 70.90 lakh, which is quite more than its rivals - the Audi Q7 and the Mercedes-Benz M-Class. Launching a new base variant at a competitive price tag seems to be BMW’s attempt of increase its volumes by capturing a wider range of audience.