The new BMW X5 M50d is possibly the ultimate everyday SUV. Sure, Mercedes, Land Rover and Porsche offer more potent, thirsty V8 petrol Chelsea tractors, but this diesel-powered leviathan has bi-polar. Its triple-turbocharged engine can offer 376bhp – or up to 42mpg. Plenty powerful enough, and endowed with the adequate range to tackle the extreme lifestyle sports that SUV-marketers like to think their customers enjoy attempting…
CAR’s Steve Moody put the X5 M50d to the ultimate test as part of our BMW vs Winter extravaganza. Armed with a surfboard, carbonfibre road bike, and enough skin-tight clothing to give even Sir Bradley Wiggins nightmares, he set out on an 1880-mile odyssey to see how the all-wheel drive, 545lb ft X5 M50d copes with French autoroutes, wave-battered coastal roads, and even an Alpine Tour de France stage.
The M50d’s performance, notes Steve, ‘is absolutely mighty. Standstill to 62mph in 5.3sec for this two-tonne car only tells a tiny portion of the story, because it’s from then on that it really starts to shift and make use of that massive wodge of torque’.
The X5’s torque vectoring technology paid dividends on the twists and turns of the Col du Tourmalet too. ‘For such a big, high thing, cornering is impressive. It’s just so amazingly consistent: consistent in the braking zones, consistent in its reaction to steering inputs, consistently bloody quick.’
You can check out the HD video of Steve’s exploits in the BMW X5 M50d below. To read the complete nine-page feature, download the free BMW vs Winter tablet app (available here) or grab yourself copy of the February 2014 issue of CAR magazine – complete with an exclusive 36-page BMW vs Winter supplement – on sale 22 January.