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Car reviews - BMW - X5 - M50d

Overview

We've driven the outgoing BMW X5 before, but never quite like this

BMW logo23 Aug 2013

By DANIEL GARDNER

Soft-roader, Toorak-tractor, Vaucluse van: SUVs get called a lot of unkind things these days, and in many cases the description might be justified.

But are we too eager to criticise a particular vehicle just because of the reputation of others?

In many cases if a 4WD doesn’t handle the rough-stuff as admirably as a Toyota HiLux or Land Rover Discovery then it gets dismissed as all show and no go.

But realistically, how often will the average off-roader be required to summit K2 or submerge up to its windscreen in a river?

Most of the time, the average SUV needs to start in the morning, return acceptable fuel economy, withstand the abuse of children and Ikea boxes and provide good protection for the occupants in the event of a crash.

But if you were thinking of putting a snowboard on the roof and taking to the hills most drivers wouldn’t know how their SUV handles adverse terrain.

One such SUV that has copped a lot of flak for its off-road performance is BMW’s large SUV, the X5.

We tested the BMW X5 M50d triple-turbo in New Zealand’s Southern Alps to see how it handles a variety of surfaces, winding mountain roads and the constantly changing conditions.

Even though a new-generation model is imminent, there’s life in this beast yet.

Click here for the full review...

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Model release date: 1 June 2012 to 1 October 2013

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