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This is a good SUV that is a great drive on and off-road and offers excellent performance and fuel economy. Co2 emissions are low in comparison to others in the same class, but the overall quality disappoints. The interior is smart, but standards are not at their best and with a price tag of £42,590 to £63,920, this is frustrating.

The engines come in 11 different options, from the 4x4 sDrive25d SE 5dr to the top of the range 4x4 xDrive50i M Sport 5dr, but it is thought that the 245bhp six-cylinder 30d model at £52,595 will be the most popular. There is an eight-speed automatic gearbox with responds quickly and accurately to what is required.

The X5 has a very positive feel when driven, but the steering is slow to self-centre and the comfort of the ride depends very much on which model you choose. The door mirrors, while giving good all-round vision when towing, generate too much wind disturbance; road noise is a nuisance as is vibration in the diesel models.

There is plenty of safety equipment included as standard, but rather surprisingly, the BMW X5 seven seater does not provide side curtain airbags for the two people seated at the very back. Anti-theft measures however have not been compromised and this will prove a difficult car for thieves. Even the entry-level X5 comes well-loaded with gadgets such as front and rear parking sensors, climate and cruise controls - and that's just for starters!
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