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
The Cayenne is also technically the least versatile of the three, thanks to a less blocky exterior shape that itself leads to the absence of a seven-seat option, though looking at the third row of seats in both the X5 and RRS, the extra pair are best used only in extremis, for someone else's kids. They really are that limited, and are likely best referred to as a 5+2, not full seven-seaters.
The BMW, as you might expect, deploys its DPC driving performance control and Active Roll Control system to good effect, soaking bumps and controlling the X5's bulk like a tall saloon. But the steering lets the whole thing down. The gearing is decidedly odd, lending the X5 a disconnected, uninterested air, and no matter how well the car carves around a corner, the steering makes it feel like it would rather be doing something else. Where the Range Rover's rack is simply high-geared - probably to stop it rolling into a corner too harshly - and the Porsche just a bit light on actual feel, the BMW's steering is actively annoying.