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
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.