CLASS OF THE FIELD (some text hidden)
By Andy Enright
Introductionword count: 113
The BMW X5 changed the way we thought about SUVs. No longer were they 'off roaders' that you might use to drive on road occasionally. The X5 was an unashamedly tarmac-focused vehicle that handled well, offered a decent amount of space and offered a commanding presence and elevated driving position. Of course, a whole slew of imitators followed in its wake but for many, the X5 is a car that still defines its genre. Used buyers have long been attracted to this BMW due to its build quality and value. Here we look at how to pick a bargain from the current stock of facelifted second generation models, built between 2010 and 2013.
Modelsword count: 10
5dr SUV (4.4 petrol, 3.0 diesel [SE, M Sport, M])
Historyword count: 319
Inventing a class-defining car is one thing. Keeping it at the top of the bunch is quite another when rival manufacturers have the benefit of a 'wait and see' approach, cherrypicking the aspects of the design that work and ditching the bits that don't. BMW certainly got the first part right back in 1999 with the first generation X5, a luxury SUV that completely changed the market for large 4x4s. Prior to its appearance, cars of this kind were slow and ponderous. This one proved it didn't have to be like that and buyers loved it. By the time the second generation version arrived in 2007 however, an even more sophisticated package was needed, to distance this car from its X3 stablemate as much as from a growing copycat band of ever-improving rivals. These models were getting bigger. Much bigger and the X5 needed to respond if it wasn't to find itself wallowing in mid-market. The response was impressive and enough to take total X5 worldwide sales comfortably over the million mark but deep down, BMW knew there was still work to be done. This car, after all, no longer had the market to itself and with a second generation X3 threatening the lower rungs of its model range, further enhancements were needed - and provided in 2010 in the form of the revised MK2 model we're looking at here. Think it doesn't look much different? I'd agree with you, but you can understand the Bavarians' reluctance to tamper too greatly with a winning formula. Under the bonnet, there were a raft of changes aimed largely at improving the efficiency of this massive car. BMW wanted to demonstrate to Mercedes and Audi that it had a clear engineering edge. Even when this model was replaced in 2013, its rivals were only just catching up to the powerplants BMW debuted in 2010. Here's what to look for when shopping used.
What You Getword count: 274
You really do have to be an X5 enthusiast to notice the changes visited upon these revised MK2 models. There are restyled bumpers with larger vents that better cool the engine and brakes, with matt aluminium-look lower scuff plates and vent fins supposed to underscore this car's performance credentials. LED corona rings adorn the headlight clusters above more centralised front fog lights. There's more LED lampwork at the rear above a set of enlarged tailpipes. Otherwise, it's pretty much as you were if you're familiar with the original 2007 version of this second generation car. The changes are equally subtle inside the particularly roomy and practical cabin with its high quality materials, superb commanding driving position and clear instrumentation. Clutter-free surfaces come courtesy of the iDrive control system that banishes legions of fiddly little buttons, the downside being that despite improvements, the set-up still takes a little time to master. Modern design touches like the gear selector that juts from the central transmission tunnel like a shard of glass further set this interior apart, but we're not quite so keen on the electronic parking brake. In the back, there's room for three fully-sized adults as long as they're on reasonably friendly terms, while behind them, there's the option of the third row seating that BMW lengthened this second generation car to take but that it now says hardly any buyers ever want. One reason perhaps is that specifying these extra seats denies you what is otherwise a very useful 90-litre under-boot cavity. Either way, the 620-litre boot is certainly a decent size, extendable to 1750-litres if you're able to flatten the split-folding rear seats.
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Category: Crossover or SUV 4x4s
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