New Range Rover Sport vs BMW X5: costs

The new Range Rover Sport steps up to the plate to face its luxury SUV rival from BMW. Let’s see if it can knock the ball out of the park...

Range Rover Sport and BMW X5 rear action

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety and security

You might have assumed the BMW X5 is the significantly cheaper option, and with an enormous £11,842 price difference (after discounts have been factored in), we'd hardly blame you. For many, though, it's actually the Range Rover Sport that will make the smaller dent in the wallet – and even when it doesn't, the difference is surprisingly small. 

Let's start with the numbers for company car drivers paying benefit-in-kind tax, because it's they who have the biggest reason to choose a plug-in hybrid. Because the Sport can officially do 70 miles without calling on its engine (even though it can't in the real world), you'll pay tax on just 5% of the list price every year. That means £146 a month for anyone in the 40% tax bracket – less than you'd pay for a Honda Jazz small hatchback.

NEW Range Rover Sport side panning

Even with the X5, which is taxed at a rate of 8% due to its inferior official electric range (of 52 miles), the monthly tax bill comes in at a very palatable £205. If this all sounds like a big tax loophole, well, it is – especially because there's no requirement for you to take advantage of the electric-only ranges. You could never plug in and, based on our tests, you'd see a return of 27mpg (X5) or 25.1mpg (Range Rover). 

Plugging in these cars won't save you much cash with electricity prices as high as they are now, anyway. Charge at home and, based on the current price cap (of 34p per kWh), every mile in the X5 will cost you 20p, compared with 22p in the Sport. That's equivalent to a petrol car averaging 34-38mpg, so not exactly brilliant. 

Anyone with the wherewithal to pay cash will benefit from the Sport's incredibly slow predicted depreciation. That's the main reason why, over three years, it will work out thousands of pounds cheaper to own than the X5. 

BMW X5 side panning

It's also why monthly PCP finance costs are surprisingly close. Put down a £10,000 deposit and you'll pay £1002 a month for the next four years to drive the Sport, assuming a limit of 10,000 miles per year. The X5 is only slightly cheaper (£960 a month) on the same terms, although it's worth noting that you'll pay a much smaller 'balloon' payment on the X5 if you opt to buy it outright at the end of the agreement. 

Perhaps the biggest reason not to choose the Sport is parent company Land Rover's woeful reliability record. Its cars have, for many years, been some of the most troublesome on the road, and the 2022 What Car? Reliability Survey only provided more evidence for that: Land Rover finished second from the bottom in the brand league table (out of 32) and its Land Rover Discovery was the most unreliable car on the entire report. Hopefully the new Sport will be a turning point for the brand, but don't hold your breath. The X5 didn't feature in that survey, although BMW ranked 16th in the overall league table. 

NEW Range Rover Sport vs BMW X5 costs

Although the X5 received five stars for safety from Euro NCAP, that was way back in 2018 when the testing protocol was less stringent than it is today. You'll also need to add the Driver Assistant Professional Pack (£2300) to get adaptive cruise control and rear cross-traffic alert – things that come as standard on the Sport. The latter hadn't been appraised for its crash protection by Euro NCAP at the time of writing, though. 

One of the most disappointing things about the X5 is how long it takes to charge. It can accept only 3.7kW of power, so a 0-100% charge will take at least 7hr 15min – fine if you're only making one trip a day of less than 35 miles but otherwise quite annoying. The Sport, meanwhile, can be plugged into a public CCS charging point, from which it can pull 50kW for a 10-80% charge (of its larger battery) in around 50 minutes – or five hours (0-100%) if you're plugging it into a wallbox at home. 

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