Sports Utility Vehicle, famously known as SUV has made a profound impact in the automobile industry all over the world and here in India it is nothing less. We drove the latest iteration of the BMW’s ultra luxury SUV, the X5! Let’s find out how well does this SUV fare in our tests.
The first glance at the X5 prominent headlights gives the impression of an aggressive beast. The bright thick quintessential BMW headlights makes its presence rightfully felt. The sleek eyebrow-like finish over the headlights stepped its beauty up a notch. The front kidney-shaped grille is commonplace of the BMW family member however the X5 gets matt chrome finish and has also grown in size in tandem with the mammoth proportions of the car.
The expansive wheel arches makes the X5 more muscular than before. Also the huge side window frame finished with chrome gives a glimpse into the roomy interiors. The vertical LED strips flanking the horizontal tail lamps gives the rear lighting of the car a singular fluidic look.
The same BMW interior styling has followed in the X5, which could have been avoided. The only striking feature being the rich and premium wooden finish strip streak running across the dash. It bears the same instrumental cluster panel holding up a bigger screen featuring the iDrive technology. The instrumental panel consisted of neatly placed buttons for air conditioning and multimedia functions. Out of the comprehensive list of features, what stands out are the iDrive touch controller which has a touch pad, making it easy for the driver to navigate the system with handwriting recognition.
Another striking feature is the camera parking assist and the navigation maps for those travelling to unknown destinations. The best part of the car was the Harmon and Kardon music system with 12 surround speakers delivering excellent sound quality in the cabin. The anti-dazzling light beam assistant feature improves the night vision with extra focus and increased visibility of the road without harming the incoming driver. Some add-on BMW features in the X5 were the magnificent panoramic sunroof, dual climatic controls for the front and rear, speed lock control and three colour options for the ambient lighting.
The cabin is spacious both at the front and rear but when it comes to third row you will surely feel a bit cramped, the third row is optional. The boot space is totally depended upon the third row. With the third row of seating rised you get a full 650 litres of space while putting them down results in 1800 litres of boot space. Coming to the seating comfort, BMW being a driver’s car, the front seats pamper both the driver as well as the passenger with 12-way electronically controlled seats providing lot of comfort. The raised seating position also aided the driver to keep a good command over the road both on highways and in the city traffic.
The BMW X5 comes with only one engine option, which is the xDrive 30d. This is a 3.0-litre straight six diesel engine that makes 258bhp of max power and 559Nm of torque. The transmission is a eight-speed unit that transmits the power to all four wheels. It has four driving modes, as usual Eco-Pro mode for lesser gas emission and better fuel efficiency, Comfort for normal driving, Sport mode for a real BMW driving experience and then last being a Sport+ mode which is specifically created for an individual driving pleasure where it automatically turns off the electronic stability program (ESP).
The 3.0-litre engine just does not give you anytime to think and react, once the gas pedal is pressed hard, it just takes off the mark in no time. The power delivery was more than adequate to put sedans to a shame, thanks to the equal distribution of the power to the front and rear wheels. The Sport mode will give you a thrilling experience catching up three digit speeds ina very short span of time. Shifting from Eco-Pro to Sport mode brings prompt and evident changes in its driving dynamics such as the heaviness of the steering wheel and surge of power behind the wheels and the needle touching the red line mark before every gearshift.
The usual stiffness and heaviness feeling of the BMW steering was no more prevalent while driving the new generation X5, especially in the Comfort and Eco-Pro modes. The steering felt a bit lighter in weight and now the X5 steering felt perfectly balanced in weight and response while driving on highways and especially in city traffic. Zipping this huge SUV in jam-packed traffic was much more easier than before. Even the suspension undergone under several tweaks, as the car felt much more smooth while hitting into potholes and on rough tarmac. I would personally say that these few changes bought in its suspension were really needed and this time the BMW executed it well while building the new generation X5.
The expected mileage from this gigantic machine is around 11-12km/l but according to our test and calculation we just received a mileage of approximately 8-9km/l, which is a bit low. But while experiencing the fun behind the wheels in this X5, one would barely care for the fuel he is paying for. It is worth it. The X5 is also loaded with several safety features being dual air bags, with side curtains. There is no compromise done by the Germans to keep you safe and comfortable inside the X5.
The BMW X5 is available with two seating options, a five (2 row) or a seven seater (3 row). The on road price in Mumbai for a five-seater is INR 92 lakhs whereas the seven-seater costs a lakh and a half more. With this segment pricing its competes with the Audi Q7, Range Rover Sport and the Mercedes GL. The BMW X5 being one of the most premium SUV still does not posses the best off road skills when compared to its competitors. But if anyone buyer is looking for some fun behind the wheel with explicit performance, X5 should be definitely considered while comparing its competitors in its segment.