Easily one of our favourite full-sized SUV’s – the X5 once again shows the deep depths of its abilities to excel both on track and on the road.
Ever since we drove it last year in Canada, we’ve held the new X5 in very high regard. Offering an impressive depth of abilities, the X5 combines driving appeal, space, practicality, and dynamics that completely belie its size. And its size actually is perfect for our conditions – it’s big enough to be spacious and practical, and yet it’s not so big that it becomes cumbersome to drive.
We tested the X5 earlier this year in a very interesting manner. First, we raced it on a tricky dirt track against a rally Gypsy and the Desert Storm winning Polaris RZR 900. Then we brought it to the BIC and raced it against the Range Rover Sport. And, in both scenarios the X5 would be our pick. On the dirt, you can throw it around and race it against decided off-road machinery – and then drive off the trail, and head across the country if you so choose. On the track, you can annihilate the Range Rover Sport SDV6 – and save a boatload of money in the process.
On the track, and on the road, the X5 displays all the dynamics that BMW’s are famous for. And now, with its new headlights that extend all the way to the oversized kidney grilles, it has a lot more road presence as well. The interiors too have been spruced up. So, while the quality levels remain as high as ever, the design quotient has certainly increased – the dual layer dashboard is especially stylish.
So, it was no surprise that the X5 did very well overall, with its design, quality and practicality receiving high marks from all the judges. In fact, it even did very well as far as the lap time was concerned – especially considering its size and intended use. The 3-litre turbo diesel engine is fantastically responsive and refined, and, once again, the 8-speed automatic gearbox shines thanks to its response time and ability to virtually respond to the drivers’ instinct.
It’s no surprise, then, that the X5 sneaks into our top-ten. It’s a premium SUV that we can recommend wholeheartedly!