KING OF THE ROAD

The new BMW X5xDrive 30d is per­fect not just to ne­go­ti­ate city roads but to strut your stuff on the high­way too

India Today - - CONTENTS - By CHUMKI BHARAD­WAJ

The BMWX5 XDRIVE 30D makes for a smooth and pow­er­ful ride

As con­fes­sions go, the last time I drove an SUV, it was a Hum­mer, which I drove down a 100 foot high dune in the Ara­bian desert. Nat­u­rally, I fig­ured, no se­quel could ever do jus­tice or fill its gi­gan­tic shoes, well, at least in the SUV depart­ment. Although tech­ni­cally, BMW brands its X5 as a Sports Ac­tiv­ity Ve­hi­cle, the all new X5xDrive30­d is a valiant fol­low-on. Not just in terms of its on-road abil­ity that comes as a pleas­ant sur­prise given this buffed-up ver­sion that car­ries al­most two tonnes in weight, but also without com­pro­mis­ing on its sporti­ness.

Step in­side, and the in­te­ri­ors are as swanky as they come with ivory white Nappa leather up­hol­stery and boot space large enough to fit a day bed. But it’s not just about luxe in­te­ri­ors, the elec­tri­cally ad­justable seats make it eas­ily cus­tomis­able for the most fas­tid­i­ous driver, in­clud­ing a thigh hold and a power lum­bar sup­port, which makes it per­fect for long drives.

Any­one who has driven the Del­hiJaipur stretch knows that although the roads are rel­a­tively de­cent, you can ex­pect any­thing from bovine traf­fic to a pachy­derm pa­rade. It is for such stren­u­ous times, while weav­ing through manic small-town traf­fic, that the pow­er­ful brak­ing sys­tem of this ve­hi­cle is per­fect; drive like a loon and yet avert trou­ble when you hit the brakes. Even at high speeds, sud­den brak­ing is a song with zero whiplash, while the elec­tric steer­ing ne­go­ti­ates curves bet­ter than the coolest Casanova.

For those like me who carry a slice of their homes with them, ad­di­tional stor­age com­part­ments and door pock­ets are im­pres­sively func­tional both for daily use and on longer jour­neys. Of course the bril­liant audio avail­able on the 16-speaker Har­man Kar­don audio sys­tem, the four-zone cli­mate con­trol, blue­tooth con­nec­tiv­ity, cruise con­trol, hill hold and a cen­tre arm­rest fit­ted with a chilled stor­age box, power the course. Per­son­ally, the panoramic sun­roof was my favourite, which lets in the out­doors, without mess­ing up the hair.

Another plus for the con­trol freak is the head-up dis­play that projects the cur­rent speed onto the wind­shield di­rectly into the driver’s field of vi­sion so you don’t have to look away to feel the power. Apart from the ob­vi­ous swag that comes with this mon­ster ve­hi­cle, high seats and all, the fact that we did a Jaipur-Delhi run in un­der three and a half hours without break­ing into a sweat speaks vol­umes not just for the ef­fi­ciency of the X5 but the lux­ury with which you can do it.

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