Impressive to look at, but this BMW is a plain Jane

Mabuyane Kekana

Mabuyane Kekana

I had heard so much about the BMW X5 that I became curious. With people saying there isn't a car like the BMW X5, especially the 4,8is, I wondered what all the fuss was about.

Our test unit, the 3,0 diesel,was as plain as any bottom-of-the-range car.

The difference is that the X5 is big and commands respect. It would be unfair to say the X5 is a bad car, but I would also be lying if I said it is a brilliant car. It is a BMW, right? But there is nothing spectacular about it. I have driven so many BMWs and in all honesty they were beautiful pieces of machinery, but this one, well .

Driveability and handling are unmistakeably BMW, meaning they are tops.

The technology is a bit out of date, so if you want to buy one, rather wait for the new X5.

The successful synthesis of sporting performance and economic benefits have made the diesel-engined X5 3,0 diesel one of the most popular versions of this SUV in many markets.

The updated straight-six turbo diesel with second-generation common rail fuel injection develops maximum output of 150kW in the X5 3,0 diesel.

With this kind of power, the X5 3,0 diesel accelerates to 100kmh in, the manufacturers claim, 8,8 seconds and has a top speed of 210kmh and an impressive maximum torque of 480Nm.

The technical features of the X5 are at least as significant as the outstanding performance of the engine, conveying this superior power to the road smoothly and consistently in all situations. This supremacy both on- and off-road is ensured by the specially-developed intelligent xDrive all-wheel-drive system. It sets new standards in the traction and agility of all-wheel drive vehicles. The xDrive ensures infinitely variable distribution of drive forces between the front and rear axle more quickly and efficiently.

The system immediately recognises the need for a change in power distribution and responds extremely quickly to any demand of this kind when driving on-road, usually even before the wheel, about to slip, has lost its grip on the road.

You need more than R400000 for this Beemer.

Like hell!

I'd rather go for the Discovery 3 or its sibling, Range Rover.