When the BMW X5 first hit the scene in 1999 it really changed the luxury 4×4 market for good. With its class-leading engineering, impeccable off-road credentials and attractive styling, which stuck to the classic BMW looks without compromising its performance, it was able to muscle in on its competition and attract customers away from the Range Rover and the Mercedes M-Class.
What made the original X5 stand out was its roots in BMW saloon cars. It brought the power and performance from the 5 series and combined it with the elevated driving position and presence of a traditional 4×4. The V8 petrol engine impressed many off-road enthusiasts with its torque and the diesel alternatives were equally praised for their power delivery. As a result of the X5’s success many other prestigious manufacturers joined the 4×4 market, with Porsche throwing its hat into the ring with the Cayenne in 2003.
An updated version of the X5 was released back in 2007 and with the X Series line up continually growing with the X3, X6 and now the X1, the new X5 had to establish itself in a slightly higher price bracket the second time around. As well as becoming even better to look at, the X5 was bumped even further up the luxury ladder, aiming at families with a 7 seat option. This was a first for BMW, although many believed that this newer model has resulted in some compromises in the off-road capabilities and the limited space for the passengers in the final row of seating makes it acceptable for small children but uncomfortable for anyone else.
The updated X5 also benefited from some more environmentally friendly petrol engines, although the diesel options remain the most popular due to their combination of economy and performance. Since most are uninterested in the off-road capabilities of the X5 they will find a lot to enjoy here if they can afford the steeper price of admission.
The cheapest options in terms of car insurance within the current X5 line-up can be had if you pick the 3 litre petrol or 3 litre diesel engine editions, both of which fall into insurance group 17. The 4.8 litre petrol engine resides in group 19 and the various models with their different options sit somewhere in between. The 3 litre petrol version is no slouch, hitting 60mph in 7.8 seconds, whilst the top of the range 4.8 litre can get there in just 6.3 seconds. Top speeds range from between 130 and 149mph, although if you are intending to use the X5 off-road you probably will have minimal interest in performance stats. X5s tend to hold their value well, although the V8 versions fall faster than most. Getting a car insurance estimate should be easy if you compare prices online.
Information correct on 14 Feb 2010
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