2014 BMW X5 xDrive 30d: Review
It’s the size that gets you first. The X5 is a big car to drive in chock-o-block Delhi peak hour traffic and I am getting anxious as I get out of city limits and hit the highway. At a crawl, ruthless office-going motorists are willing to put sheet-metal on the line to make that 10 AM punch-in so I’m feathering the throttle in the spanking new X5, all the time looking in the mirrors to safely guide this ship out of troubled waters. The engine is growling at low speeds, and I am all but annoyed by now. In an instant though, an opening presents itself and I’m beaming from end-to-end. The X5 lunges with an eagerness that defies its 2.1 tonne kerb weight and I am suddenly starting to enjoy it as the traffic gets thinner.
A winding road coming up is all the X5 requires to show how much fun this new car really is. The 30d gets the same 3-litre six-cylinder in-line twin-turbo diesel mill as before but it churns out a healthier 262PS of power. Torque is up too at 560Nm and available at a wider 1,500-3,000 rpm band. It’s not just the power and torque figures but the way it’s delivered that make the X5 a fun car to drive though.
You get the usual Comfort, Sport and Sport+ modes with increasing level of engine response and heavier steering input. The best setting at all times is Sport for short bursts of power in the city. Comfort is best suited for bad roads as it helps the X5 waft over the worst of patches. The X5 we drove got the optional 20 inch wheels with drool-worthy alloys. The rear 315 section tyres are in supercar territory and offer immense grip when you need it and pop out of the side of the car almost like the aftermarket shoes many Indian car owners fit their cars with. But the low profile tyres don’t offer a good low speed ride that the new X5 coupled with rear air suspension should offer. We believe the standard 18 inch wheels should offer a more pliant ride. Otherwise the electronic damper control and self-leveling rear suspension ensure a sure-footed ride at all times.