As far as quasi off-roaders go, BMW’s X5 has been a huge hit with everyone from serving as the company car for a well-to-do executive to yummy mummies using it for the school run. It went fast, was inoffensively styled (Cayenne anyone?) and had the same luxury appointments as the 5-series sedan on which it was based. It’s little surprise, then, that the old X5 remained one of the best selling premium SUVs since its introduction in 1999, with over 600,000 of them finding a home.
With the second generation, BMW has dropped the facade that the X5 is anything but an off-road bush basher by equipping it with all-weather run-flats as standard. My test car was kitted with the optional sports pack, which adds 19in wheels (18in standard), BMW’s Active/Servotronic Steering and AdaptiveDrive damper control.
BMW claims that the range comes with “even more powerful and efficient engines,” but the outgoing 4.8L V8 developed 5 more hp than the new one, 355hp vs. 350hp...