The tide in the car market has well and truly shifted with more motorists now interested in larger cars than ever before. SUVs and crossovers are now selling in their millions, as drivers decide that they want more car for their money. This posed a problem for the likes of BMW, Audi and Mercedes as it meant they had to add them to their marque and not lose any of the sparkle offered by their exceptional saloon and sports car models. It's a challenge they have all taken up with relish offering bundles of SUVs and here is how the BMW X5 stands up to the scrutiny:
The blessing that the German car maker has is that by simply putting its trademark double grill on the front of the X5 it immediately looks like a BMW. SUVs are inherently bulky and boxy beasts, but the X5 does offer the executive looks that are more at home with the premium brands' models. The bonnet is sculpted and the back end coupe-esque, which distracts the eye from the sheer dimensions of what BMW has labeled in the past a Sports-Activity-Vehicle.
Getting the styling right on such a large car was always going to be difficult for BMW, but guaranteeing a luxury finish should have been home from home; and the X5 interior does deliver that promise. The first thing that you notice is the sumptuous leather finish and the understated refinement of the central console. BMW knows how to do this right, but the manufacturer manages to remember that practicality is equally as important. Inside you'll find class-leading space and if you wish you can upgrade to a seven-seat model to offer even more room should you need it. The connectivity is also seamless as you'd expect from BMW, which makes the X5 a lovely place to be.
One area where the X5 does truly excel over its rivals in the class more than any other is its remarkable ability to twin performance and frugality. For such a heavy car some of the engines can take you from 0-6mph in between 5-7 seconds, which is impressive enough. However, the frugality of the engine range is even more astonishing with BMW head and shoulders above any car maker in the way it can take such a heavy car around our roads at such a decent economical and efficient return.
The fault laid at the door of nearly all SUVs that don't come from Land Rover is there inability to cope with corners; being such heavy and high riding vehicles. Although, BMW's reputation for dynamism meant that the X5 was heralded as the premium SUV to break the trend of poor driving; and it does. You will only realise just how weighty the BMW X5 is when you try to stop it, because when you throw it into corners there is very little body roll with an impressive feel and great handling composure. Whereas the smooth ride can swallow up everything, but the largest potholes on Britain's poorly maintained roads.
For an SUV that covers on-road luxury and dynamism there are not many a whole lot better, but you feel BMW still has some way to go before being able to topple Land Rovers top of the range models?