Report: P.Tharyan ; Photography: Mohd. Nasir
cylinder in-line diesel
258bhp @ 4000rpm
560Nm @ 1500-3000rpm
Adaptive Suspension package comprises Dynamic Damper control and air
suspension with automatic self-levelling rear suspension
RWD with Cornering
Price (ex-showroom Delhi)
Has anyone of
you ever read the English classic ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ written by Jonathan
Swift? The story is about Gulliver who is washed ashore after a shipwreck and
finds himself a prisoner of a race of tiny people in an island country that
goes by the name Lilliput (hence the word ‘Lilliputians’!). Gulliver roams
around the city but is directed by the authorities not to harm any of the tiny
people. Gulliver eventually becomes their friend and protector!
generation BMW X5 is like a Gulliver on our Indian roads. Now with our cows on
the roads as free as the birds in the skies, and our stray dogs breeding like
Indians, one really has to be careful with this monstrous vehicle. As long as
there are wide roads and plenty of highways to drive, this big fella is just
amazing to drive and to be in.
This SUV or
Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) as BMW prefers to call it, is not just about speed and agility, it’s
about comfort, handling and dependability. The vehicle has great interior
ambience, luxurious and comfortable. Today almost every other vehicle on the
Indian road promises loads of bhp and plenty of torque. It’s the accompanying
technology that makes all the difference with this car.
If you talk
about power from the engine, then there’s plenty of it that comes in the form
of 258 horses pulling it along and a massive torque of 560Nm which is available
at very low rpm. With an eight-speed automatic gear box, the car comes with
additional BMW EfficientDynamics technology that offers Auto Start Stop
function and Eco Pro mode including coasting function (Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport
and Sport+). The model we drove was the 7-seater one, though it comes in two
more variants—the Expedition and the Design Pure Experience. All three variants
have the same engine and they perform similarly.
seven-seater has the third row seat as standard (the other two variants do not
offer these), which can be folded down fully into the luggage compartment. In a
country like India these seats are a waste because nobody here puts their kids
in the back seat, rather you will find them in their papa’s laps holding on to
the steering wheel! With the third row seat all folded up and the 40:20:40
split / folding rear seat back rest, the boot capacity can be enhanced from 650
litres to 1870 litres. Interestingly, the tailgate can now be opened and closed
by remote control and from the driver’s seat. It helps in loading and unloading
your suitcases without slouching over with a back pain!
describe the car from the outside. It is a good looking giant. It has a short
front overhang and a long wheelbase. From the front, the two BMW kidney grilles
look muscular as it stands next to the twin circular headlights fitted in a
neat casing that stretches to the car’s side panels. The LED fog lamps below the headlights come as
standard in the car. The bumper’s X-shaped contour is very evident, as though
to point it out to you that this is part of the BMW X model range. The neat
design continues to the rear of the vehicle as it slopes aerodynamically with a
roof spoiler and a set of aero blades. This is the brand’s first model to
feature aero blades. Apart from the smart styling, the front and rear LED
lights simply add to the style quotient, scoring big on the luminosity front.
car, Gulliver is all elegance. The
smartly styled dash is extremely inviting and with the 10.25-inch control
display for the iDrive operating system, the high quality materials, comfort
seats and not to miss, the Harman Kardon Surround Sound System, the car is a
treat to be in.
To sum it up
briefly, this car is so wired up that driving it is like being chauffeur
driven. Apart from the automatic transmission, the car comes with a comfort
adaptive suspension package that comprises dynamic damper control and air
suspension with automatic self-leveling rear suspension. The electronic control
logic adapts the damping characteristics to the changing road conditions and
driving situations. Two different damping modes can be selected using the
driving experience control switch.
braking, the car’s assisted by Dynamic Stability Control which includes the
likes of ABS, Dynamic Traction Control, Cornering Brake Control, Dynamic Brake
Control and Automatic Differential Brake. That’s not it, there is plenty more.
Apart from features like Hill Descent Control, Brake Drying function etc, this
car is also equipped with xDrive full-time intelligent all-wheel drive, which
actually manages the drive power split between the front and rear wheels at all
No matter how
much you want to toss the BMW X5 on a bad Indian road, this car will not let
you off its protective cozy gloves. You are safe and comfortable as a baby in
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