(Note: Seriously though, BMW, you need to shorten the name. From here on out I am calling it the BMW X5 Diesel.)
My sister-in-laws last car was a Range Rover Sport Supercharged and she pretty much had to fill up the rather large gas tank at least once a week. This time she wanted something a lot more efficient so she wouldn't have to worry about that as often especially as my new niece was taking up all of her time.
I remember when they asked me about the BMW X5 Diesel all I had to tell my brother was "425 pound feet of torque" and his eyes lit up while my sister-in-law was impressed by the fuel economy figures (see below). It wasnt until Christmas Day, however, that I was given the keys to take their new Diesel SUV out on the road for a spin.
To start with, the X5 Diesel doesnt accelerate like your average BMW with a turbocharger (like the 335i or similar). I dont know if it has to do with the calibration of the PCM, the added emissions controls or the automatic transmission gearing but there is a slight pause before you accelerate. Nothing like the pause you used to get in diesels of old but it can be frightening if you are trying to gun it at a corner with people going 50 miles per hour right up your tail pipe.
The odd thing is it doesnt happen all the time which makes me think it might be an unintentional fault with my brother's model. Because otherwise this is one freaking fast SUV. It feels way faster than my sister-in-law's old Range Rover but that thing was heavier than a Sherman Tank.
You really have to adjust your driving style to suit the X5 Diesel because after that slight pause the full force of all that torque smacks you in the back and if you aren't careful you could be wearing the dashboard of the guy in front of you as a hat. Thankfully the brakes are really strong on this car and eventually you do get used to the somewhat on-off nature of the power and try to rev a bit mid-corner to stay in the engine's sweet spot.
Where the X5 Diesel really shines is at cruising speeds where I daresay it could take on plenty of sports cars in outright acceleration. The power available at your command when this thing gets going is totally addictive. As for diesel engine noise I honestly never heard any but I have bad hearing from going to too many rock concerts as a youngster. I wish that was a joke.
The interior of the latest X5 feels a lot airier and more spacious than the last. Apparently both my niece and Jackson (the family yellow Labrador) have plenty of room in the back seat (huge car seat and all) and love watching the world go by through the large windows. The wood is a classy shade of "realistic" and as always the black interior of this particular BMW was nothing less than understatedly classical. I just love a BMW with a black interior.
I really enjoyed my time behind the wheel of the X5 Diesel (I don't usually like driving SUVs) but with the slight hesitation it makes me wonder how differently a manual transmission 3-series with the same diesel would drive? I bet it would make it a lot easier to access the torque. Now that sounds like a fine car to bring over here, now doesn't it? Maybe next Christmas.