Home » The BMW X5 Silver Anniversary Edition Gets Skid Plates And A Locking Diff For Understated Overlanding

The BMW X5 Silver Anniversary Edition Gets Skid Plates And A Locking Diff For Understated Overlanding

Offroad X5 Ts
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A funny thing happened while none of us were looking: We all got old. Alright, perhaps that’s a bit mean, but it’s wild to realize that September marks a quarter of a century since BMW’s first production SUV — the X5 — entered production in South Carolina. Over the years, we’ve seen so much come and go, but the X5 and its American assembly plant are here to stay, and BMW is launching the X5 Silver Anniversary Edition as a little celebration that leans further toward travels off the beaten path than most X5 owners dare to venture.

The 2025 BMW X5 Silver Anniversary Edition starts with the B58-powered X5 xDrive40i, which is the right choice overall. The three-liter turbocharged straight-six in this model offers a lovely blend of torque and economy, boasting 375 horsepower and 25 mpg combined. All that grunt gets sent to all four wheels through a ZF 8HP eight-speed automatic gearbox, and the whole formula just works well. However, this special model then takes a bit of a left turn, because it gets some hardware made for when the going gets rougher than expected.

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While the X5 Silver Anniversary Edition doesn’t feature low range, it does get air suspension to jack the ride height up, a locking rear differential to direct torque across the rear axle, and a brace of skid plates to protect important underbody components. That’s a very reasonable set of off-road hardware, but BMW wasn’t finished there. Tires are a critical part of going off road, and this X5 is offered with discounted dealer-installed General Grabber All-Terrain meats. Obviously, if you order one of these things, you should get the tires, because they look great and really complete the package.

BMW X5 Silver Anniversary Edition

In addition to these more physical pieces of hardware, there are a few other off-road toys worth noting that are mostly software tweaks. A litany of off-road drive modes are on deck, along with a 360-degree camera system that works at up to 22 mph, and a set of digital off-road gauges including an inclinometer, real-time ground clearance, and a way of indicating how close you are to putting the shiny side down. Add in a standard roof rack and rubber floor mats including a cargo mat, and while this limited-run X5 isn’t a hardcore off-roader, it’s still one of the more serious choices in its segment.

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Oh, and because this is a special edition model, it comes loaded with everything from a Harman/Kardon sound system to heated armrests, and slathered in special paint thanks to BMW’s Individual program. Somewhat keeping with the Silver Anniversary vibes, BMW’s chosen Lime Rock Grey paint, previously seen on the F80 M3 CS. BMW chose to pair this color with black trim normally exclusive to M Sport models and carbon fiber interior trim from the X5 M60i, creating a sort of high-contrast vibe.

BMW X5 Silver Anniversary Edition

BMW is pricing this thing at $81,075 including freight, and while that’s not cheap, it’s not bad for a luxury SUV with a bunch of off-road goodies. However, BMW plans to only make about 1,000 of these X5 Silver Anniversary Edition models, so there’s a chance they’ll go fairly quickly. I must admit, I didn’t expect BMW to amp up the dirt appeal to celebrate a quarter-century of its landmark SUV, but it seems like the right call. By avoiding M Sport cliches and offering an actually desirable bundle of equipment, the makers of this X5 have created a special edition that’s indeed special. Not bad, BMW. Not bad at all.

(Photo credits: BMW)

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Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
17 days ago

Skid plates and lockers are nice, but you can only go so far with rubber band tires and absolutely zero flex. This thing will get out wheeled by a $1200 stock Subaru. Next.

Engine Adventures
Engine Adventures
17 days ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

I put a Subaru outback and a BMW X6 over the same off-road course. The X6 made the hard line on the steep climb, the Outback didn’t.

My Skoda is the Most Superb
My Skoda is the Most Superb
17 days ago

Real ones will know that when the G05 X5 went on sale for the 2020 model year, BMW offered an off-road package that sounds suspiciously similar to this “special edition.” It came with the air suspension, M-Sport LSD, and all-terrain tires. Not sure when they discontinued it (I think it lasted until the 2021 MY?), but I guess now it’s back (and way more expensive).

Rick Garcia
Rick Garcia
18 days ago

I am so sick of the overlanding trend. Just a poser trend. For every 100 overlanding rigs you see at most 2 have ever seen even a gravel road. I get why they are doing it, profit from all the wannabes. I don’t get why people buy vehicles for their fantasies, instead of what they actually do. For example, my cousin bought a Timberline trim Exploder to drive her 3 kids around San Jose. She has never even driven a gravel road, but now has an off road trim to drive to the mall. smh.

David Radich
David Radich
18 days ago
Reply to  Rick Garcia

This so much this. There’s a Ford Ranger driving around somewhere near me. Giant mid tires, a snorkel, bull bar the way works. It’s a 2wd!!!!

Rick Garcia
Rick Garcia
18 days ago
Reply to  David Radich

Of course it’s a 2wd! Lol!

Snorkels!!! I see so many. There are no real rivers in San Jose or anywhere close. Hell, it doesn’t even rain here from May thru September. WTF do all these trucks need a snorkel for?

Lizardman in a human suit
Lizardman in a human suit
18 days ago
Reply to  Rick Garcia

Snorkels are actually for dust. Most vehicles can’t ford deep enough to reach the stock intake. Where Snorkels really shine is dust. Which is why you see them on vehicles in the outback. Get the intake above the dust you create

Kaiserserserser
Kaiserserserser
18 days ago
Reply to  Rick Garcia

As someone living in Denver, it’s how many people you see who daily their 4runner with hundreds of pounds of roof top tent, gas cans, high lift jack, traction boards etc.

Like I live in an area that’s full of commercial office areas and every one of them seems to have at least 1 or 2 cars that look prepped for the apocalypse, all to drive to their suburban cubicle for their accounting job.

Engine Adventures
Engine Adventures
17 days ago
Reply to  Rick Garcia

While I do think overland vehicles are overhyped, they get used in Utah. I know of plenty of roof top tents that are getting used more than one weekend a month. I’m also aware of fully kitted out rigs that don’t leave the pavement. Utah is a little unique as you’ll see a sedan or minivan 20 miles up a dirt road with river crossings.

Church
Church
18 days ago

I’ve never once thought of a BMW as “understated”. No matter what the rest of the car looks like, once it has that badge (or Mercedes or Porsche or whatever), it can’t really be understated.

Mechjaz
Mechjaz
19 days ago

*checks forehead for fever*
I… Kinda like it? It’s like the GX550, a posh off roader that shouldn’t “go,” yet it does. (I don’t know Lexus body codes, but the ones before the predator face – there was a super cool one at the Chapel Hill meetup.)

How it will be actually used is probably deeply divorced from what it’s capable of, but I like the idea all the same. What a hilarious sore thumb you’d be on off road trails!

Kyree
Kyree
18 days ago
Reply to  Mechjaz

The J120 was the original 2003-2009 GX 470. That one stayed pretty consistent throughout, although a 2008 facelift added some chrome, swapped the orangey wood trim for a more mahogany-colored one, and changed the taillights.

The J150 is the outgoing 2010-2023 GX 460. That said, the 2010-2013 was pre-Spindle Grille. The 2014-2019 was the first facelift; the 2020-2023 was the second. In 2017, the Sport Design package began to be offered. The 2022 finally got a modern infotainment system and the 2023 had unique taillights.

Tartpop
Tartpop
19 days ago

So, exactly 0% of these will anything more than a gravel driveway.

Norek Koss
Norek Koss
19 days ago

Ooo another panzerfaust.

Anders
Anders
19 days ago

This is like Hugo Boss trying to be gorpcore.

Last edited 19 days ago by Anders
Greensoul
Greensoul
20 days ago

Will the skid plates protect this car (oooops, SUV wanna be) from those big rocks near the edge of every mall parking lot? If so, a valuable upgrade!

Lizardman in a human suit
Lizardman in a human suit
18 days ago
Reply to  Greensoul

Yup. You see how tall curbs are? And all of them have tire marks.

Kalieaire
Kalieaire
20 days ago

one of our friends brought an x5 to our camping trip one time. he ended up not being able to make through til the end of the trail and into our campsite, popped a tire.

we all made fun of them during that weekend. what ended up happening was that they traded in the x5, as soon as they got back, for a Raptor.

Danny Zabolotny
Danny Zabolotny
20 days ago

These are gonna sell like crazy here in Arizona, everybody loves lifting their SUV’s and trucks and pretending like they go off-road, pure brain rot.

Lizardman in a human suit
Lizardman in a human suit
18 days ago

All those off road trucks, and no pinstripes. In AZ we know where trucks have been

Pat Rich
Pat Rich
20 days ago

This or a loaded GX 550…I’m taking the GX.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
20 days ago

But why? That’s a rhetorical question, I get why. Every normie on the face of the earth wants to cosplay as an off-roader. But the X5’s entire ethos is that it’s NOT an off roady SUV. It’s always been brilliant because it drives and handles like a car. It completely changed the market specifically because it wasn’t a truck.

And so now BMW is trying to make it…more truck like? It just seems so silly to me but then again no one cares what I think and BMW left us enthusiasts behind years ago in favor of the conspicuous consumption crowd…and this is certainly provides an opportunity to consume even more conspicuously than your neighbor with their pedestrian X5…

Peter d
Peter d
20 days ago

I kinda assumed these upgrades are not for David Tracy style off-roading, but more for New England style dirt roads and to better get through snow- it is surprising how little of the right type of snow can get you stuck in the trailhead parking lot – although I must say I was almost never stuck with the BMW traction control that was introduced in the 1990s. I had friends who once lived on a mountain with a mile long driveway where more than once I drove by their abandoned 4x4s with my RWD 3-series (I don’t think I even had snow tires on the car). So maybe I can just get a regular X5.

Lardo
Lardo
20 days ago
Reply to  Peter d

don’t think the skid plates are required for snow. or fire roads.

SoCoFoMoCo
SoCoFoMoCo
18 days ago
Reply to  Lardo

They are required to tell people you have skidplates, though.

Kaiserserserser
Kaiserserserser
18 days ago
Reply to  Peter d

+1 to this. My parents are like the exact target market for this. They’ve been long time BMW SUV people. They have no interesting in off-roading for the purpose of off roading. But they live in Denver and deal with a lot of snow, they have a ranch property with lots of dirt/gravel roads that can get a little sketchy with snow/rain and they like to be able to spend a weekend in the mountains in the winter without worrying about weather conditions. This seems like the perfect combo to give them 100% confidence in their usual encountered driving conditions without needing to go overkill on capability with something like a wrangler.

That being said, while there are cases where this is an ideal setup from a utility perspective, I do imagine 90% of the buyers will be “because it looks tough” and never leave pavement.

Bucko
Bucko
20 days ago

A perfect addition to the poseur class. Very clever of BMW to offer discounted dealer-installed off-road tires that will never see dirt. It allows them to skirt EPA fuel economy testing, I assume.

In all honestly, if I lived in a community where one-upping your neighbor’s X5 was your civic responsibility, I’d probably pick this over an X5 M.

Lardo
Lardo
20 days ago
Reply to  Bucko

and the grabber (while a great name) isn’t the M3 of off road tires. I didn’t think of why the dealer is installing them. smart of them to do and you to recognize

The Dude
The Dude
18 days ago
Reply to  Bucko

Ooof I don’t think I could live in that kind of community.

Peter d
Peter d
20 days ago

Oh shit – this looks really good – why don’t they offer these as options on the base car?? Seriously you cannot configure a base car this way with their configurator.

Now I need to stop eating out so much so I can save up. This is absolutely perfect for how I want my car to go – down dirt roads to the trailhead or my cousin’s cabin driveway that I currently have to carefully ride the sides of the ruts to not bottom out.

Rippstik
Rippstik
20 days ago

I hope this sells well, so that BMW can eventually do away with the XM and do a real G-Wagon competitor/Halo product. Offroad all the things!

Jason Lee
Jason Lee
19 days ago
Reply to  Rippstik

That would be fun for BMW to do, but I don’t think BMW would do that, even if the Silver Anniversary edition sells out in seconds.

Reasoning: I don’t believe BMW is serious about off-roading, and they’re not branching into it as a core competency. This is the Honda equivalent of Trailsport trim where the manufacturer is selling off-roading-lite accessories popular with the Keeping Up With the Joneses crowd for cost + healthy profit. Neither BMW nor Honda want to produce their own Wrangler, but these extra trims do pad the margins nicely.

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