BMW X5 REVIEW – THE BIG BEEMER

What is it?

An SUV which does what it is supposed to do- behave live an SUV.

How does it look?

Exactly how an SUV should look i.e big and brawny, large air intakes the classic kidney grille up front complement BMW’s usual family front fascia really well. It looks aggressive and eager from its stance and looks ‘angry’ if you were to give it an expression. The same story continues on to the side profile but there is a bit of downer here. Our test car came with 18-inch alloys which look really disproportionate and small in context of the overall brawny dimensions and especially in those chunky wheel arches (yeah we know it aids ride comfort and all but they look really small). The rear again means business and the dual exhaust tips on either side look nice and chunky, clearing all intentions that it is an SUV.

 

How’s it from the inside?

Step inside the cabin and you will be greeted by a very BMW-ish cabin. The 10.25-inch iDrive infotainment system is placed ‘on’ the dashboard instead like all modern day Beemers and has a million techy things to display like the real time power and torque usage, brake energy regeneration to name a few. Sound from the Harman system is acceptable and the audiophile in you will be at peace on most occasions. On selecting different drive modes, you can also see what exactly happens to the chassis, steering and the gearbox on the infotainment screen which in my opinion is a very neat touch. The seats are nice and wide and hold you well especially when you are driving the car dynamically. The panoramic sunroof is quite big and offers an airy feel to an already spacious cabin.

 

How does it drive?

Under the hood of the diesel X5 is a 3.0-litre twin- turbo motor is and the grunt coming from it is just phenomenal. Power figure stands at 258bhp and a mighty 560Nm of torque is what really gives it the grunt. 0-100 acceleration comes in about 6.9 seconds which is really commendable from a vehicle that is over 2 tonnes in weight. There’s oodles of torque from as low as 1700 rpm and the really likeable xDrive(all-wheel-drive) tech ensures that you get off the line with all the traction that a car ever needs. Complementing the torquey engine and the xDrive is the 8-speed ZF gearbox which neatly pulls through all the gears, all by itself or when you pluck in the paddle shifters. Selecting ECO PRO mode does subtle down things considerably- the gearbox starts coasting as soon as you lift off from the accelerator, the air conditioner calms down a bit and so does the throttle response- all to aid fuel efficiency. You get a reading on the MID as well which shows how many kms you have added because of ECO PRO mode.

Yes, you do get the ‘big car’ feel from behind the wheel but once you get accustomed to the car’s overall dimensions, you can really push it hard into corners without ever worrying about grip (thanks to the incredible xDrive again). Steering is an electric unit and offers great feedback of the road, especially when you select Sport and Sport Plus modes. Things soothen up considerably in Comfort mode and is a bliss while cruising on highways. Talking about highways, the X5 has a huge 85-litre fuel tank which ensures that you have an almost 800+ kms cruising range!

Should I buy one?

Now the X5 is almost a 3-year-old product in the Indian market and has new strong competitors like the new Audi Q7, Jaguar F Pace and the Volvo XC90. Having said that, the BMW X5 doesn’t really feel all that dated, thanks to its  tech-laden cabin and is still a sweet handling SUV that it has always been known for. The punchy 3.0-litre diesel motor offers dynamism and practicality both at the same time. So if you are planning to buy a full-size SUV which will be mostly driven by you, the BMW X5 is still a very very strong option to consider!

 

SPECS-

 

ENGINE – 3.0-litre twin-turbo diesel

POWER- 258 bhp, TORQUE- 560Nm

TRANSMISSION – 8 Speed Auto, AWD

ACCELERATION – 0-100kmph-  6.9 seconds

TOP SPEED -230kmph

 

Price- Rs. 74.3 Lakhs (ex-showroom)

REVIEWED BY- KONARK TYAGI

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