The X5 is far from cheap to buy, but next to rivals such as the Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90, it is competitively priced. And, as long as you stick to one of the lower-powered diesels, the X5’s running costs won’t be too bad, either. The four-cylinder 25d is best for this, and particularly the rear-wheel-drive version of it, which has the lowest CO2 emissions and best fuel economy of the entire range.
Many buying through work will also be tempted by the hybrid 40e, and there is a potential for big savings if you do lots of short journeys. However, the economy will be pretty woeful once you’ve drained the electric motor’s batteries – we managed only 27.1mpg in real world use, measured from when the petrol engine had to kick in. It’s also worth remembering that a Volvo XC90 T8 will cost half as much as the 40e in company car tax, although leasing tends to be more expensive on the Volvo.
Resale values are impressive on the X5, so running one on a contract hire basis should work out relatively well in financial terms, and when it comes to trading it in at three years you can rely on getting a decent amount towards a new car.
The X5M is by far and away the thirstiest X5. It also emits the most CO2 and will cost the most to insure, service and tax. That’s the price for having one of the quickest large SUVs on sale, though.