The posh SUV test
BMW X5 takes on Range Rover Sport TDV6 and Cayenne Diesel in the war of the big 4x4s
Posted: 12 Feb 2014
Which is nice. But the percentage of people who will ever use a £50k-plus posh SUV for a serious attempt on undiscovered country is a fraction of a little bit of a tiny number. Nobody really cares that the Rangie is easily the most accomplished, the X5 and the Cayenne pretty equally over-capable if not as imperious. Because, like extreme sports and quality time with relatives, most people like the idea, not the practice. But still. Nobody needs a hypercar with a 200+mph top speed, but it's nice to know that the engineering is equipped for redundancy.
Which means that the full-sized SUV - despite protestations to the contrary - is alive and well, and prospering globally. Indeed, most major manufacturers have, or are soon to have, some variation on the theme, mainly to cope with demand from previously emerging markets that have levered themselves out of their economic chrysalises flush with cash and equipped with prodigious appetites for big, shiny 4x4s. The three we have here are the best of the breed, in the specification that swallows most of the order books: 3.0-litre turbodiesel automatics.