BMW X5 - Used Car

Review

BMW X5, front, action
BMW X5, side
BMW X5, rear
BMW X5, interior
BMW X5, boot
BMW X5, front

THE big, butch BMW X5 has a lasting upmarket image and has long been one of the go to models in the on-road large SUV class.

Limited ground clearance means that it's not really a go-anywhere off-roader, but that said, it can still handle tracks and grass fields in its stride - even towing a caravan or trailer.

Build quality has always been very good - as is true of most of the models in the BMW range - and there is a wide range of engines to choose from in the model built between 2007 and 2013.

They all come with a standard six speed automatic gearbox, making them very easy to drive in all situations.

But if you value your comfort, avoid any models fitted with sports suspension, because it gives quite a firm ride that's not as good as the standard setup.

Many secondhand models will have been fitted with the seven seat option (a £1,320 option new) but the third row of seats is pretty cramped and will not accommodate adults.

Most available will be powered by the only sensible option - the excellent 3.0-litre diesel with power ranging from 230 to 300bhp.

There are also 3.0, 4.4 and 4.8-litre petrols, with power ranging from 268 to 402bhp, but their performance is hardly any more useable than that in the smooth and tuneful diesel.

It will bring up 60 from rest in around seven seconds, and the government combined economy figure is around 34 miles per gallon.

In real driving, that means you'll get between 20 and 25 - especially if you're using it mainly in town.

All without sports suspension are comfortable and very quiet at any speed. They also have excellent handling and roadholding, with tremendous grip from very large tyres.

Never buy one without full service history. These are very complicated cars and you need to know every service has been properly carried out.

Bear in mind that insurance is going to be group 40 or higher, and maintenance is not cheap! Also, not all models have four wheel drive, so if you want it, make sure you find one that does!

Equipment is good across the range and most secondhand cars will have been loaded with extras by their first owner.

Mid-range M-Sport spec brings climate, electrically adjusted sports seats, leather upholstery, alarm, traction control, cruise, alloys, audio remote controls and parking sensors.

Pay about £13.900 for an '11 11-reg SE diesel with 4WD, or £22,150 for a '13 13-reg M-sport 4WD with the same engine.

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