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Week at the wheel: BMW X5 xDrive40d. Image by Dave Jenkins.

Week at the wheel: BMW X5 xDrive40d
BMW's X5 is still one of the very best of the large SUVs money can buy.

   



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| Week at the Wheel | BMW X5 xDrive40d |

Overall rating: 4 4 4 4 4

The latest BMW X5 pushes the class boundaries even further than its predecessor. It boasts talents that match or beat the competition on virtually every front. The social stigma of driving an SUV remains, but the X5 does what it can to mitigate this by being the class leader in emissions and economy. If an SUV has to be the answer to your automotive needs the X5 takes an awful lot of beating.

Key Facts

Model driven: BMW X5 xDrive40d SE
Pricing: 47,455 (details correct as at 23 April 2012)
Engine: 3.0-litre straight-six turbodiesel
Transmission: eight-speed automatic, four-wheel-drive
Body style: five-door SUV
Rivals: Audi Q7, Mercedes-Benz M-Class, Porsche Cayenne
CO2 emissions: 198g/km
Combined economy: 37.7mpg
Top speed: 147mph
0-62mph: 6.6 seconds
Power: 306hp at 4,400rpm
Torque: 600Nm at 1,500- to 2,500rpm

Inside & Out: 4 4 4 4 4

BMW's styling themes may have been a little unpredictable of late but its SUVs have been very well judged and the X5's look is a well-balanced combination of aggression and style; it's muscular and yet appropriately refined. This latest version benefits from a larger grille and different headlight design to freshen the face whilst more body coloured mouldings and matt silver running boards sharpen the look. It's a very attractive SUV.

BMW has made real progress in interior execution over the last few years and the X5 now boasts an interior to challenge for class honours. It manages to blend technology, ergonomics and quality as effectively as any other BMW ever has and as a result offers virtually everything an owner could realistically expect. Given the exterior dimensions the internal space may be a little smaller than one may hope, but even so it's very roomy and the boot is on the up side of massive.

Ride & Handling: 5 5 5 5 5

Looking at the X5 one may envisage a heavy driving experience where mass dominates proceedings. In actual fact the big SUV handles with an accomplished confidence at odds with its appearance. For sure, the driver is aware of the weight at times, most noticeably under heavy braking, but in terms of the way it steers and corners there is precious little to fault thanks to taut body control and an accurate helm. Of its rivals, only the Porsche Cayenne stands favourable compliance, all other opposition swept aside in the face of a chassis of rare ability in this class.

Engine & Transmission: 5 5 5 5 5

BMW's relatively new badging convention is rather confusing but marks its migration away from more traditional nomenclature and towards a product range defined more by outputs and emissions than engine capacities. The xDrive40d actually has a derivative of BMW's multi award winning 3.0-litre inline six turbodiesel engine, which now pumps out 306hp and a prodigious 600Nm of torque - on tap from only 1,500rpm and channelled to all four wheels via an eight speed automatic gearbox.

On the road the powerplant makes light work of the X5's not insignificant bulk and will hurl the big SUV down the road with aplomb, reaching 62mph from rest in just over six and a half seconds. As ever, the benchmark undermines the actual real world strength of the xDrive40d's performance, which is impressively muscular. The eight speed gearbox suits the engine perfectly and keeps it spinning in the heart of the torque curve smoothly and efficiently. It also works alongside BMW's EfficientDynamics measures to give the X5 class leading economy and emissions. All in all, BMW's engineering excellence brought to bear in full effect.

Equipment, Economy & Value for Money: 4 4 4 4 4

It's hard to be objective about financial value in cases such as these. The X5's pricing is class competitive in a sector where buyers view high retail prices as the norm and take depreciation for granted. The significant price for an X5 xDrive40d buys a highly capable car, which is well equipped and packed with technology. Also noteworthy is the fact that, for a car of this type to record figures of fuel consumption in the mid to high 30s, is not commonplace and reflects the beneficial impact of the EfficientDynamics technology applied.


Dave Jenkins - 28 Jul 2011



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2010 BMW X5. Image by Dave Jenkins.2010 BMW X5. Image by Dave Jenkins.2010 BMW X5. Image by Dave Jenkins.2010 BMW X5. Image by Dave Jenkins.2010 BMW X5. Image by Dave Jenkins.

2010 BMW X5. Image by Dave Jenkins.2010 BMW X5. Image by Dave Jenkins.2010 BMW X5. Image by Dave Jenkins.2010 BMW X5. Image by Dave Jenkins.2010 BMW X5. Image by Dave Jenkins.



2010 BMW X5. Image by Dave Jenkins.
 

2010 BMW X5. Image by Dave Jenkins.
 

2010 BMW X5. Image by Dave Jenkins.
 

2010 BMW X5. Image by Dave Jenkins.
 

2010 BMW X5. Image by Dave Jenkins.
 

2010 BMW X5. Image by Dave Jenkins.
 

2010 BMW X5. Image by Dave Jenkins.
 






 

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