Know You Can: Norev 1/18 BMW X5 xDrive40i M-Sport (G05)
Twenty-two years, four generations, one feeling.
I know it seems blasphemous to wax lyrical about an SUV as an automotive enthusiast, but they deserve a lot more credit than we give them. They may not be low to the ground, particularly agile, or fun from a performance aspect, but they do the job of moving families and their cargo better than just about anything else. This entire stigma within the enthusiast community has led companies to continue to create more interesting versions of their bread and butter SUVs in the hopes of selling us their cars. BMW debuted the E53 in 1999 as their sporty answer to the W163 Mercedes-Benz M-Class, which is generally considered the first true luxury SUV. It became an instant success, particularly in the United States. Built in Spartanburg, SC, it heralded the arrival of a new era for not only BMW, but for the automotive enthusiast community. You could order it with a manual transmission in 3.0i guise or even order sporty V8 4.6is and 4.8is versions that packed 340 hp and 360 hp, respectively. Although it doesn't sound particularly exciting, it was a huge leap in the right direction. It was significant enough that even Porsche decided to respond with the Cayenne only three years later.
This particular X5 is a Norev 1/18 X5 xDrive40i M-Sport dealer edition that I bought from my local BMW dealership this morning and felt inspired by. BMW partnered with Norev in 2018 to produce a line of gorgeous 1/18s that included the then-new G15 M850i xDrive, G29 Z4 M40i, G20 330i, and F90 M5. Those have all come and gone from my life, but this is the last one I needed to complete the collection. I truly do believe this is not only an excellent car, but an excellent model of one. If you've driven a G05, you'd know that it drives better than some sporty sedans. It's a very capable and relatively fun SUV that's the perfect compromise for any discerning enthusiast with a family, pets, or just a general need or utility. This thing can swallow an entire family, a goldendoodle, and still have enough space for luggage for a weekend getaway.
One thing I will say right off the bat is that BMW's current design language—save for the 4-Series—is actually very attractive. This X5 has the right combination of sportiness and luxury to it with an air of utility.
This M-Sport trim level adds a sportier look to it with different front and rear bumpers, wheels, trim, and side skirts.
This one has the Icon Adaptive LED lights with BMW Laserlight™ as denoted by the blue y-shaped inserts.
These wheels are the 22" M double-spoke bi-color style 742M wheels on this specific one, so you know it's big money.
This model also features Mineral White Metallic paint with the shadowline trim included in the package. Compared to the current GLE and Q7, the X5 is second only to the Cayenne in the looks department.
Much to my displeasure, this model carries over the G20 and G29's lack of a trunk modeled. It's sealed. Where else am I supposed to put my 1/18 goldendoodles?
I know people love to shit on BMW's larger grilles on recent models, but compared to the new G22 4-Series, this looks like an E30 Touring from the front.
Around back, we find beautifully replicated badging with gorgeous taillights. It says X5 xDrive40i in case you confused it with a Nazca C2 or a 502 2.6 Luxus. It also has a Munich license plate because...y'know...it's a BMW. I wish it were a US-spec model with a South Carolina plate, but here we are.
I can't help but think this model would be perfect with an opening trunk.
If we look inside the car, this specific one has a Tartufo interior with beautiful light wood trim with aluminum sport pedals.
This car also has the BMW Live Cockpit Pro as per the fully digital gauge cluster.
For the price, Norev sure knows how to make a well-detailed interior.
The doors show the beautiful speakers for the Harman Kardon sound system.
The diamond quilting on the Tartufo Merino seats are intricately detailed.
The iDrive screen shows BBC radio, a map, and 17° C weather in some particular area.
This particular model also has the rear-seat entertainment screens.
Last but most certainly not least, the B58 in all its glory.
This might not be a 1/18 F90 M5, but it certainly checks all the right boxes. This proves that an SUV can be just as good as an equivalent sedan. This model is impressive, but all credit where it's due to the X5. It shows us just how far SUVs have come, particularly sporty ones. This thing swings in the same leagues as the G30 5-Series, but is far more practical and infinitely better selling. Sure, they might not be truly even, but when compromises have to be made, cars like the X5 are second to none.