IT'S been a long time coming but, six months since it was first unveiled, BMW's new, fourth generation X5 is at last ready to hit the roads of Britain.
Longer, wider, higher and more capable than ever, the latest model has the highest level of autonomous capability yet seen on a BMW X model, although many of its features only come as part of a high-tech option pack.
The new Driving Assistant Professional package includes active cruise control with a stop and go function which is capable of braking the vehicle to a standstill and sending it on its way again automatically.
A speed limit info system not only identifies speed restrictions but also includes a no passing info display which can be incorporated into the automatic cruise control system with variations of up to 9mph. The pack also provides a steering and lane control assistant as well as lane keeping function with active side collision protection and an evasion aid, which can help avoid collisions with vehicles or pedestrians suddenly appearing in the driver's path.
While you'll have to pay extra for all that, parking and reversing assistance systems are standard fittings across the new range which is available with a choice of three six-cylinder power units - three litre, 340hp petrol and a pair of three litre diesels rated at 265 and 400hp, all mated to an improved version of BMW's eight-speed Steptronic auto transmission and the company's latest X-drive four-wheel-drive system.
Prices start at £57,495 for the 265hp diesel, with the 340hp petrol model costing another £1,390 while the range topping 400hp X5 M50d is priced at £71,475.