BMW X5 30d 2014 Review
BMW's new X5 is a big bugger, bigger than we recall the previous two models were but it's not unexpected from a vehicle built in the US where they make 'em to accommodate possibly the largest humans i
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The supercharged V8 Range Rover Sport is brutal and orchestral and those who can afford the $200K may not feel the guilt of gas-guzzling. But the Green Oval has tailored something else in a relatively modest style — a twin-turbodiesel V6.
The Sport — now truly a Range Rover — in SDV6 guise empties the coffers to the tune of $113,600, or tens of thousands below the turbo diesel V8. View it as a prestige wagon and genuine 4WD in one vehicle and you might argue that it represents value for money.
The five-seater wagon lacks little in safety and comfort features. The test car had options aplenty, starting with the SE Comfort pack — it adds front parking sensors, auto-dimming mirrors, automatic bi-xenon headlights with high-beam assist — for $3860.
Throw in $3000 for power-adjustable front seats, the $2300 SE Luxury Pack to give it the full 12.3-inch "virtual" instrumentation setup, an alarm and first-aid kit, $2100 "worth" of metallic paint, contrast paint for the roof ($1400) and digital radio for $900 and quickly you're just south of $130,000.
There is a cost in making such regal progress — in HSE spec, the mid-year update of the SDV8 starts at $146,300 and adding full regalia can nudge this to nearly $200K. If one must be sparing, at least option the 22-inch alloys for $1600 and the premium audio and digital radio for $3800 combined.
The V6 (215kW/600Nm) has a little less kerb weight to propel — although at 2.1 tonnes it could lose a little more.
The latest incarnation of 4WD-ing for Dummies — Terrain Response 2 Auto — gives the Sport's driver easy access to off-road ability that is unmatched in the segment. Height-adjustable air suspension, clever air intakes for an 850mm wading depth, low range, terrain-specific programs for the 4WD and associated electronics enable this machine to take on terrain that's not for the faint-hearted or poorly funded.
The slightly larger Range Rover endows the Sport with styling cues and much of its underpinnings. Shorter overhangs front and rear are obvious and the extra 178mm in the wheelbase benefits those in the rear seat more than anyone else. All occupants are cosseted.
The Sport drops the former split tailgate in favour of a place to sit and take one's muddy boots off, can it still really be a Range Rover without this? Probably.
A full suite of safety gear is deployed. As well as 4WD and air suspension, there are stability and traction control, trailer sway, emergency brake assist, hill start and descent controls. To six airbags, add rain-sensing wipers, reversing camera and power-operated child locks for the rear doors.
Arrogant indifference to the road surface has been a Range Rover trait for a long time — never before has it been more adept at aiming its nose down a roadway of any description and punching a big hole in the horizon.
Tootling through town, the diesel V6 is effortless and unfussed, quiet and insulated from the cabin, with the only significant complaints being the small digital speed readout and the automatic's gear selector.
The transmission displays sporadic annoyance at the driver looking for too-quick a change (quick three-point turns can get ugly) without adequate brake pedal or selector-switch pressure, a behaviour not limited to its Land Rover application.
The V6's Pirelli Scorpion tyres on 20-inch wheels that are more adept on unsealed surfaces than the Continental tyres on the supercharged V8. General mode on the adjustable suspension delivers good ride quality. Push the selector button back into the console for auto mode and there is greater body control.
Thick-rimmed and leather-wrapped, the steering wheel is light and reasonably direct, given the on and off road duties of which it is capable. A moderate prod of the throttle does little to change the noise levels but does much to enhance forward progress — in-gear acceleration is swift thanks to 600Nm of torque.
It can belt out a tune at higher revs but it's just not the done thing in the diesel — the slick eight-speed auto has the brains to make the most of the torque and provide a regally resplendent journey.
Bootspace isn't enormous — it never has been in a Rangie — but it has a full-size spare. The spare disappears if you tick an option box that adds two extra "occasional" seats that fold into the floor. If you have your heart set on shifting that many, save your money and buy a Discovery.
The V6 is an impressive way to deal with roads, made or unmade — how about the imperious way, the Sport SDV8, with its mighty 4.4-litre (250kW/700Nm) and majestic road manners?
The oiler burbles around town, bellows under throttle, devours hills and cruises serenely and almost frugally. Claimed average thirst is 8.7L/100km and Carsguide logged as low as 8.2L.
The sprint from 0-100km/h is worthy of note (6.9 seconds) but the truly awesome performance is in rolling acceleration to overtake or change lanes. Ample glass and deftly shaped mirrors enhance outward and rearward vision.
|3.0 SDV6 Autobiography||3.0L, Diesel, 8 SP AUTO||$81,990 – 85,850||2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport 2014 3.0 SDV6 Autobiography Pricing and Specs|
|3.0 SDV6 HSE||3.0L, Diesel, 8 SP AUTO||$59,860 – 84,997||2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport 2014 3.0 SDV6 HSE Pricing and Specs|
|3.0 SDV6 Luxury||3.0L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO||$57,750 – 66,330||2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport 2014 3.0 SDV6 Luxury Pricing and Specs|
|3.0 SDV6 SE||3.0L, Diesel, 8 SP AUTO||$67,888 – 69,990||2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport 2014 3.0 SDV6 SE Pricing and Specs|