Even the smallest, least powerful four-cylinder engine doesn’t feel underpowered in the X5. It pulls strongly from low revs and keeps pulling until you get close to the redline. Of course, the six-cylinder diesels are even stronger, but when the former is so good there’s little need to upgrade.
Company car buyers might also want to consider the xDrive 40e, a plug-in hybrid model that teams a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine with an electric motor, the latter of which provides 20 miles of pure electric travel. This powertrain is seamless when in electric mode, and generally predictable and easy to get on with the rest of the time. However, a Volvo XC90 T8 is much faster, and will stay in electric mode more of the time.
The standard V8 petrol is hugely powerful and massively quick when you plant the accelerator, but it doesn’t make much sense. If you’re after one of the fastest large SUVs on sale, then the X5M’s V8 engine is boosted to even loftier performance figures, and is extremely rapid. Again, though, the M50d diesel is only just behind it in a sprint and makes more financial sense.