The X5 is quick. Ridiculously so. A car the weight of a small hippo and the size of a studio flat that does 0-62 MPH in 5.3 seconds. That’s less than a second behind an M3, a car built for its pure adrenaline rush. And in the real world the BMW X5 M50D driving is going to more than keep up with it. I forgot to mention it's a diesel. The three stage turbo not only offers enough torque to accelerate through the gears, combined with the 8 speed automatic gear box it's swifter than most petrol engines from the off.
Price compared to rivals
The BMW X5 started the luxury SUV sector. Ok you had the range rover, but they had never dabbled in the shit off a shovel approach they took with the Range Rover Sport until long after the X5 first launched. The Mercedes ML preceded it, but it had more in common with a Sherman Tank than it ever did a road car. Porsche, Lexus, Audi and VW may have imitated the success since, but they offer nothing quite like this when it comes to a combination of performance, fuel consumption, and low emissions. For example it's nearly half a second quicker in the 0-62mph sprint than a Porsche Cayenne S, fuel consumption is far greater, and the C02 emissions are much lower. The price might be slightly higher but it comes with superior standard options.
Car styling is very personal, but for me this is the best-looking X5 ever. The original was a tame looking car, and the second version was very much an evolution. The air deflectors taken from the new 4-Series Coupe behind the front wheels not only have performance and aerodynamic benefits, they look cool as fuck and give the car a much more masculine look. Where as the old X5 looked sedentary, the new model looks fast when it’s stationary. It’s a modern dynamic car, whereas it’s main opposition looks like it’s been dropped out of a jelly mould.
Now the car we drove didn’t have this option, but sidle up next to a space, press a button, and the car does everything else it self. Cameras measure the space is big enough, before the car does the rest. Some other motors have similar options, however with the X5 you don't even need to put your foot on the gas, it's the first to be fully automated.
The 10-inch screen on the top of the X5’s dash is a thing of beauty Apple would be proud of for their next iPad. Navigation routes were clear, and were east tot scale up or down to see the minute detail of the next hairpin turn, or where you are in relation to avoiding Basingstoke at all costs. When you selected X Drive Status 3D blueprints would literally show you which wheels are receiving power though the transmission. If there is a negative we are the post PC generation. It’s so ingrained to press a screen now, that the i’drive interface feels a little archaic, a 386’s rollerball, and not the Minority Report swipe fest we would have liked.
Again it’s something that’s becoming common among luxury cars, but anything that stops our eyes wandering from the road is good. The HUD, or Head Up Display shows the next SatNav direction, how fast you are going, and the speed limit for the road, but these three things definitely help keep your eyes up and at the road.
Kids, clubs, carcasses. The X5 is big enough to take them all. The 650-litre boot space isn't the biggest in its class, but the you will get four sets of clubs in comfortably, or a haunch of venison after you've been shooting on your country estate.
As a big guy, the X5 might have been the best car I've ever had the pleasure of sitting in. The luxurious cream leather interior was incredibly comfortable, though maybe not the most practical of colour choices for a 4x4 as our boots could testify to after going off road. Everything is easy to access, and while the iDrive control wasn't to my tastes it's easy enough to use with a little practice. The wide and clear windscreen along with the height of the driving position truly make you feel like the king if the road, while the qualities of the cabin materials reinforce it. Love the Blue UV light that runs along the length of the dash, practical probably not, but a really nice modern touch.
It's a real off roader
While the most extreme drive for most X5 owners will be in a flat field for the Sunday car boot sale or setting up the village fete, the X5 likes to play in the mud and get a little off piste. In fact it was only my ineptitude and not the cars ability that gave me any problems on the roller coaster like off road coarse we embarked on. Failing five times, I finally managed to get up and over the Big Dipper, before a descent while the car was on 45 degree angle the whole time. My head was screaming I was going to flip over while the car was telling me to "fuck off, I can do this in my sleep."
0-62 MPH in 5.3 seconds
We might have already mentioned the fact she goes like stink, but the X5 M350D is so self-assured while getting there quickly. The X5 sticks to the road like glue. Great if you want to get somewhere as quickly as possible. But it's so sticky you feel like you're on rails. It's a car you buy for the comfort it can get you somewhere swiftly in, not for the fun you can have on the way. Even in the Sport, and Sport+ modes with the paddle shift gearbox in play, you never feel like you're chucking her about. There's no hint of body roll though, which considering the size of the vehicle is a real feat. It might not be the fastest car, or the most spacious, or the sexiest. But if you want a car that can offer you a blend of all three, and you have £63,715 burning a hole on your pocket then you can do far worse than buying the new X5 M350D
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