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BMW X5 4.4i AWD

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    2 Reviews
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      03.06.2001 05:08
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      • "No Diesel Yet"

      The BMW X5 three-litres’ big brother, the 4.4I V8, is a very good machine. So good, in fact, that it won our 4x4 of the Year award. I enjoyed every second I spent in it. Yet I also seemed to spend a lot of time defending it. “How much is it?” would come the obvious question. “Oh, around 45 grand,” I’d reply. “That much, for an off-roader?” would be the surprised retort. “Well, a bit more than that actually,” I’d have to sheepishly admit, “when you’ve added on the extras like the TV and the satellite navigation.” “The what?” You see, you don’t really need satellite navigation to round up sheep, you just need a knackered but reliable old Defender. And while the X5 has a similar Hill Descent control to Land Rover’s, there’s no low-ratio gearbox so any attempt at a spot of heavy-duty off-road showing off could end in tears. In the real countryside, the 4.4I comes across as a bit of an expensive urban plaything. All jolly good fun, of course, until you have to splash out £90 on fuel just for the pleasure of taking it for a Sunday afternoon spin. So it was something of a relief to learn that the Bavarians’ newest X5 model, the 3.0i, has been priced far more realistically. The base model is priced at a semi-sensible £33,000, while the Sport – tested here – costs £34,900, which means it is almost £10,000 cheaper than the V8. And the even better news is that you needn’t be worried about floundering around in a big, heavy off-roader with no power under the bonnet. BMW’s M54 straight-six engine is also found in the 3-Series, 5-Series and Z3; it’s very good, it makes all the right noises and it certainly isn’t slow. In terms of horsepower, the new engine is 55bhp down on the V8 and a second slower reaching 62mph, getting there in 8.5secs. But top speed is
      hardly down at all – 126mph instead of 128. The three-litre version certainly feels quick enough on the road, leaving you wondering if the V8 is now really necessary at all. In a straight line the difference between the two doesn’t feel that massive, but the V8 definitely wins it on mid-range overtaking grunt. It kicks out a whacking 324lb ft of torque, while the straight six musters a less impressive 221lb ft. Choosing the smaller-engined X5 should see a fuel saving, but not quite as significant as you might expect, for the three-litre’s claimed 22.2mpg isn’t light years ahead of the 4.4’s 20.3mpg. In terms of kit, the V8 gets leather and a five-speed auto gearbox as standard, whereas the straight six doesn’t, but it is still comprehensively equipped. Like its big brother, the three-litre drives exceptionally well on-road, with well-damped body control, a decent ride and informative steering. Off-road, it might not be able to follow in the tracks of a trials bike, but with 190mm of ground clearance and an electronically controlled four-wheel-drive system, it won’t flounder in the muddy car park at Twickers. One small snag is the boot. Although adequate, it isn’t huge and the smaller Freelander could hold more crates of bubbly or picnic hampers. That aside, it’s a difficult car to complain about, and its more affordable price will open the X5 up to a much bigger market. There’s a 184bhp diesel model on the way soon too, which will be the ultimate sensible and economical X5. But do you know what’s also coming towards the end of this year? A 347bhp, 354lb ft, 4.6-litre version, that’s what. The TV and the satellite navigation system will probably come as standard in that baby. By a members friend (Again)

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      • More +
        09.02.2001 01:10

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        The new BMW X5 has set out with an aim to dominate the top end of the 4x4 market and I think it will succeed. It is a stylish new design that is totally different from previous BMW models. When you step inside the car you are greeted with a large selection of gadgets, which help you have a good journey. Taking the BMW out onto the motorway it behaved like a car and felt like one too. There was no role or any feeling of it wobbling around the road. When you put your foot on the accelerator it feels like you are in a small sports car yet with the comfort and safety of a BMW. The car exceeded my expectations, as I am sure it will to all of you too. Specifications Interior · Air conditioning · Armrest in front and rear · Car telephone · Memory functions · Cup holders · Sun roof (Electric) · Headrests in the front and rear. · GPS system · Auto dim rear view mirror · Wood trim · Lumber supports for front seats · CD, radio and tape player · Electric windows Exterior · All terrain tyres · Aluminium running board · Colour coded bumpers, wing mirrors and door handles · Metallic paintwork · Rear window wipe · Roof rails Engine · Top speed 128 mph · 0-60 8.5 seconds Size · Length 4667 · Width 2180 · Height 1707

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