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
First up is the newest, the BMW X5. This is the third generation of what BMW refers to as a Sports Activity Vehicle, itself a thorough reworking of the not particularly rubbish MkII. It looks good, though BMW's own description of ‘majestic sportiness' might be overdosing the grandiose a bit, with a truly massive kidney grille on the front flanked by aggressive-looking headlamps. There's plenty of texture, too, with big intakes on the front bumper attached to what BMW refers to as the Aero Curtain in the front apron, and Air Breathers in the front wheelarches that help guide atmosphere around the car.
There's even an Air Blade on the D-pillar, which, apart from being at least one too many draught-themed innovations, also helps to channel sticky molecules. They seem to work - the X5 is quiet and hushed on all kinds of roads, and at least some of that tech helps to achieve the high mpg figure. It's lovelier on the inside, too, feels all-new and a lot more spacious, with a neat and ordered dash, big multimedia screen and familiar BMW feel - tight and precise. A good, soft, calm place to be.