BMW recently took a look back at the X5 after it was first released to the public back in 1999 as a direct competitor to Mercedes-Benz's M-Class
It was during the mid 1980s that the model X was first designated by the company that indicates that the car will be equipped with 4WD technology. It was only in 1999 when BMW introduced their first automobile that featured 4WD technology and their first entrance onto a different car segment, the X5. It was the company's answer to Mercedes-Benz's M-Class SUV that was released 2 years earlier prior to the BMW unit. It debuted as a Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) by BMW and can take off- and on-road terrain with no problems.
Today, the X5 is now in its 3rd generation and the X lineup has expanded to the X1, X3, X4 and X6. The company even went as far in introducing select M performance models; the X5 M and X6 M. The X1 caters to the compact SAV segment, the X3 acts as a go-between for the lineup, the X4 Coupe is a mid-range SAV Coupe while the X6 offers the full-size driving pleasure of a SAV and a Coupe. According to the company, each model was a 1st vehicle of its kind in their respective segment and the lineup will continue to grow as BMW is currently developing the X7, a model that will focus on providing luxury to the SAV segment.
Today, BMW has sold over 3.3 million units of X models worlwide which makes every 3rd newly registered vehicle from the German automaker a X model according to the company.