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Journeys : Dec10 Jan11
December 2010 / January 2011 47 Best Cars - Luxury SUV BMW X5 xDrive 3.0d $92,100 Driveline: 3.0L, 6cyl; 8spd auto; Fuel economy: 7.4/100km; Diesel Safety Features: DFSA, HAB, ABS, ESC, TCS, BA, EBD ANCAP: ★★★★★ GVG: ★★★ Since the Australia’s Best Car awards started more than a decade ago, the BMW X5 has grabbed half of the w ins in this category, and in 2010 it is another win to the new BMW X5 diesel. In a category dominated by European manufacturers, particularly the German car companies, a winner needs to be scoring well across the range. Although the X5 did not get the perfect score of 10 in any area, it scored consistently high in most criteria to give it the win. Where X5 did dominate was the area of Design and Function, and because it is a successful recipe that BMW has been refining over the years, it is a class-leader in this area. X5 has also rightly gained a very good reputation for on-road performance. Coupled with the X5’s car-like handling, this engendered the feeling of a ver y tight and tidy package, and only the much more expensive V8 Range Rover, which is designed as a spor ts model, had an edge over it on the bitumen. Not many in this class will go everywhere that the dedicated all- terrain 4WDs will, but off-road the BMW X5 did a lot of things well, helped by its good ground clearance and some electric assistance in the downhill sections, allowing it to do what most occasional off-roaders want. With comfort levels that are class-leading, all occupants enjoy leather seating and climate-control air-conditioning, and they are protected by good levels of safety equipment, including dual front, side and head airbags. So where did the BMW X5 win against the two other finalists? In the area of Value for Money they were all within cooee of each other. But the BMW started to put daylight between it and the Audi Q5 in the way it performed on and off the road. And although the Range Rover kept pace with the X5 in the vehicle dynamics area, it was the Design and Functionality of the Range Rover that allowed the BMW X5 to eventually tr ump it. BMW is to be congratulated on refreshing a tr ied and proven formula w ithout changing the basic DNA of the vehicle that has kept the X5 at the front of the field many times before. Best All Terrain 4WD Land Rover Discovery 4 TDV6 SE $81,990 Driveline: 3.0 -litre V6 turbo diesel, six speed auto Fuel economy: 9.3L/100km Safety Features: ABS, EBD, BA, DFSA, ESC, TCS, HAB ANCAP: n/a GVG: ★★★ Discover y 4 has brought home the gold in the All-Terrain 4WD class for the second year running. That makes it a record- shatter ing winning streak over six consecutive years for Discovery models. Land Rover’s trophy cabinet has been strengthened to cope, we hear tell. This year it crossed swords with two ever- popular turbo-diesel models from Toyota. Once again the Land Cruiser GXL was there to challenge, while the new-generation 150 series Prado GXL muscled its way past previous finalist Mitsubishi Pajero to thrust and parry for this year’s glory. Solid and clever engineering plus the raft of improvements that arrived in Discovery 4 held it in good stead with ABC judges both on and off the road, as its scores show. It’s man enough to skilfully tackle ser ious off-road duties, while strong perfor mance, adept road manners, refinement and occupant comfort haven’t been sacr ificed. Discover y again confir med that rugged compromise isn’t necessary for all-terrain mastery. There’s a 5.0 -litre direct-injection, naturally-aspirated petrol V8 in the Discovery range, too. But its high-scoring perfor mance doesn’t come for free, as its bottom r ung fuel consumption score attests. As the premium model, it gains plenty of additional features that make it untouchable in class terms, but the wallet is savaged once more with a price tag nearly $45,000 loftier. And the pain continues w ith extra hurt in depreciation costs. Head off the beaten track and the Disco takes all manner of rough in its stride, thanks to the improved Terrain Response system with programs to suit almost any terrain. And the height- adjustable air suspension and hill descent control system add to its impressive abilities. A braked maximum towing capacity of 3500kg, plus Land Rover’s trailer stability assist system that helps control trailer sway, w ill be relished by those w ith heavy-hauling duties in mind. Versatility, on-road sophistication and go-almost-anywhere off- road ability once again made it impossible to go past Discovery 4 as our all-terrain favour ite.
Oct Nov 2010
Feb March 2011