The original X5 was groundbreaking: A 4×4 that actually went around corners without giving the impression of being aboard a heeling yacht. It spawned a whole new generation of sporty SUVS.
It did however, have a bum like a fishwife. The next one had a more shapely backside, and this all new X5 has a pleasingly pert derriere, and that’s only the start of the improvements.
Fuel economy has improved to 45mpg (yes, you don’t need glasses. That does actually say 45mpg). It can tow 3.5 tonnes, previously Land Rover Discoveries held the monopoly on this one.
As for technology – basically the Gadget Show threw up in the X5. It can parallel park itself (completely), see around other cars, brake itself in a queue, even find a deer that’s about to cross a road and warn you. If you are sitting in a traffic jam the car will pretty much pootle along on its own, but avoid an accident if one is imminent.
Inside, the standard level of trim is higher than ever. BMW interiors are getting nicer and nicer, and the interior of this one is going to give other competitors palpitations. And it’s practically infinitely customisable.
As with all BMWs, it’s superb to drive and the engine has just that right balance of barking when you are aggressive with the pedal and purring when you aren’t. The ride is adjustable with clever electronically controlled dampers, and even more clever pixies control the traction to each wheel on a permanent basis, reacting in 0.1 seconds. That’s faster than the reveal in the Full Monty.
The most popular model is likely to be the X30d, which will get to 60mph in 6.9 seconds and deliver 45.6mpg combined (up from 38mpg in the previous model) but personally I’d go for the M50d, because it sounds bloody brilliant and is faster to 60mph than a Subaru Impreza (5.3 seconds) and STILL returns 42.2mpg. Thank you, Ze Germans.
This has to be every driver’s dream. A car that fits your dog, children, saddles, bikes in it AT THE SAME TIME, goes like a rocket, sounds like a sports car and can tow a trailer with four horses in is practically perfection. I don’t advise doing all those things at once though. Horses don’t like g forces….
Range Rover, you have a serious contender.
The BMW X5 from £46,940