I Review Every 2019 X5 Color Option

It's a good year if you like various shades of white and various shades of black.
By Daniel Smith

Some people say colors are just a consequence of the way different frequencies of light reflect off of an object's surface. But others aren't quite so easily tricked by facts, and understand that colors cut through our plane of earthly existence and hint at the mystical beauty beyond.

Then in the middle you've got the folks who don't really care all that much about colors, but still like some more than others. And maybe they'd like them painted on a car. The new BMW X5, for example.

To help those color-kinda-lovers out, I'm going to share my thoughts about each standard color you could get splashed over a new SUV.

Alpine White

BMW X5 in Alpine White
Photo: BMW

It's white, basically. I mean, it's really white. It's the kind of color people instinctively think of when they think of something that's definitely white.

I know there's a lot of love for Alpine, but I'm still convinced it's a better idea in theory than it is in the real world. No car-washing regime will ever be strict enough to keep this thing looking good. Kids will draw genitalia in the filth on your door. Is that really what you want? Neighborhood kids making a fool of you? Cartoon appendages on your car?

It's just not worth it.

☆☆☆☆

Jet Black

BMW X5 in Jet Black
Photo: BMW

It's black, basically. I mean, it's really black. It's the kind of color people instinctively think of when they think of something that's definitely black.

Actually, I'd say it's too black — on most cars, Jet Black just swallows up all the detail on the front end. It's like gazing into the abyss. Is the front end of a Jet Black 330i gazing back at me? Perhaps this is what Nietzsche was talking about...

It's marginally better on the X5 because the frankly massive kidneys break up the eternal nothingness, but you might not want a paint job that accentuates such a controversial design choice.

★★☆☆☆

Black Sapphire Metallic

BMW X5 in Black Sapphire Metallic
Photo: BMW

This is a more realistic kind of black. A classier kind of black, something that will make you feel like a big shot executive type. Then again, if that's the look you're going for, you should probably be shopping for a humongous sedan, what the hell are you thinking looking at the X5?!

But it's still black. So you're still going to end up getting T-boned coming through an intersection one night, and nobody's even going to feel sorry for you. You really thought it was a good idea to drive your car around after dark acting all invisible? You absolute loon. Put a real color on that thing...

★★★☆☆

Mineral White Metallic

BMW X5 in Mineral White Metallic
Photo: BMW

Pretty much every problem with Alpine White also applies to Mineral White. Looks good after a good wash, not really suitable for actual use in our impure world. The only redeeming feature is that Mineral isn't quite as snow-like, so you have slightly more chance of being seen in a northern winter.

Beyond that, I don't really know how to feel about it. The light catches Mineral White much better than Alpine White. Less of the shiny stuff, so you can really see the lines of the car better. So that's good. But like pretty much every other crossover in existence, the X5 doesn't really have any lines that are worth drawing attention to, so it's a bit wasted on this one.

★★★☆☆

Phytonic Blue Metallic

BMW X5 in Phytonic Blue Metallic
Photo: BMW

OK, now we're playing with the big boys.

In case you weren't paying attention in your botany class at high school, a phyton is a kind of plant cell which — in my mind, at least — isn't particularly well-known for its blueness. Ridiculous name aside, though, BMW was oh so right to add this one to the lineup this year. It's got a formal look that says you're the real deal, and it plays nicely with all the other colors on the car. The red of the taillights absolutely pops out of that sea of blue, and if you like those kidneys, they definitely look best on this one.

If I could change anything, I'd make it a little more blue. In strong sunlight there's no doubting what's going on, but on a cloudy day, it looks almost ashamed of being blue. Like it wants to trick you into thinking it's black until you look for a split second longer. That's a real shame. Be blue and proud!

★★★★

Arctic Grey Metallic

BMW X5 in Arctic Grey Metallic
Photo: BMW

Sorry folks, but I don't like it. It's the kind of charcoal-y color that's made for a pair of dress pants. Wear whatever jacket or tie you want, your charcoal dress pants won't mind. Because charcoal dress pants are a nothing item. They're just waiting for something else to sit next to them and grab your attention so they can disappear into obscurity where they belong.

You're already getting a big old SUV, which is definitely a conservative, middle-of-the-road, utilitarian choice (even if it's not quite as utilitarian as a ute). Do you really want to double down by painting it in what's basically the formal version of beige? Didn't think so. Avoid like the plague.

☆☆☆☆☆

Sunstone Metallic

BMW X5 in Sunstone Metallic
Photo: BMW

Boom, this is the shit right here. Sunstone Metallic is basically the perfect match for the X5 and anybody who thinks otherwise is wrong. Let me tell you why.

Reason one: painting a big lump of a car in a dark color is a bad idea, because it just gets overwhelming. You want something lighter, which explains why so many people (foolishly) buy white SUVs. Sunstone Metallic keeps the freshness you'd get from white, but adds a bit more character, which will make onlookers think you have some kind of imagination.

Reason two: a crossover is a family car, so you want something mum/mums, dad/dads and kid/kids are all going to like. Sunstone straddles gray and a kind of subtle gold in a way that makes it everything to everyone. It's formal, it's pretty, it's whatever you want it to be. Literally everybody who's expected to ride in this car is going to think it's a great color. Because it is. It's great. Long live Sunstone Metallic.

★★★★★

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Q: Is a 25-year-old BMW a good choice for a daily driver in the frozen north? A: Uh, probably not but whatever.