From Towcar Awards 2008

THIS IS ONE car that had the Land Rover Discovery looking over its shoulder. Even with a big twin-axle van behind it, nothing short of an earthquake would  shift the X5 off course. In the lane-change test, the X5 was imperious. The ATC unit in the caravan recorded a peak G-reading of 0.75, showing how the caravan followed obediently behind.

The diesel engine is one of the strongest on test, with 383lb.ft of torque to call upon. The outfit took just 12.4 seconds to sprint from 30-60mph. Once up to speed, the engine was quiet and wind and road noise were unobtrusive.

The latest X5 is roomier inside than the old model, with lots of space for five. Sixth and seventh seats are optional, although there’s not as much room for them as in the Discovery.

For such a big, quick 4×4, the X5 is exceptionally economical. Official figures promise 34.9mpg on the combined cycle. Carbon dioxide emissions are low, too, giving a 2009 road tax bill of £300 – that’s £140 less than many big 4x4s.

5/5: An exceptional towcar, but not as practical as the Discovery.

List price when tested: £40,560
Kerbweight: 2150kg
85% match: 1828kg
Max towing weight: 2700kg
Towball limit: 120kg
30-60mph: 12.4 secs
30-0mph: 11.4m

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