BMW is currently working on a refreshed version of the X5 for the international markets and it will likely arrive towards the second half of the year. For China, however, there’s already a new X5 and it takes the form of a long-wheelbase model that will be built and sold exclusively in the People’s Republic.
Visually, the difference between the X5 Li and the standard X5 is not that big. This is the same luxury SUV BMW has been selling for years but it is now 130 millimetres (5.11 inches) longer than the model you’ll find at the brand’s European dealerships. All of the extra length goes to enhance the rear passenger legroom and seating comfort. This is also reflected in the longer rear doors, which now provide easier access to the second row of seats.
Gallery: 2022 BMW X5 Li
BMW explains it has tailored the new X5 Li with the needs of the local customers in mind. The standard equipment includes goodies such as specially-designed comfort seats and four degrees of extra backrest tilt for the rear seats and a panoramic glass sunroof. On the outside, the M Aerodynamics package is standard and there’s a wide choice of available wheel designs.
Even more importantly, depending on the specification, a two-axle air suspension comes as part of the standard equipment or as an optional extra. The Bavarian manufacturer promises the automatic self-levelling suspension delivers “the perfect balance between sportiness and comfort.”
The X5 Li will be offered in X5 xDrive30Li and X5 xDrive40Li trims, powered by four-cylinder and six-cylinder twin-turbo petrol engines, respectively. An eight-speed automatic gearbox is standard, and so is BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive.
The long-wheelbase X5 will be produced at the BMW Brilliance Automotive Dadong plant in Shenyang and will be sold exclusively in the country. For the the rest of the world, the luxury German SUV will continue to be assembled in Spartanburg, South Carolina.