New Range Rover Sport vs BMW X5: practicality

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...

NEW Range Rover Sport rear space

Space and practicality

Front space, rear space, seating flexibility, boot

Unlike its predecessor, the new Range Rover Sport is strictly a five-seater – and although some versions of the BMW X5 can be specified with a third row, that doesn't include the 45e. Put simply, these five-metre-long giants can cart around only the same number of people as a Ford Fiesta

They will be considerably better catered for in our luxury SUVs, of course. Even with tall people sitting in the front, there's more than enough leg room left in the back to accommodate a couple of six-footers. The Sport is particularly generous when it comes to leg room and its rear seats are more supportive and offer a more natural seating position than the X5's. 

BMW X5 rear space

The only slight weak point is head room. The standard glass roof probably doesn't help and means anyone really lofty (6ft 2in plus) is likely to hit their head on the ceiling if they try to sit bolt upright. However, this can be mitigated by reclining the rear seatbacks, a feature that isn't offered in the X5. 

The X5's split tailgate is a handy addition and means you can fold down the bottom-hinged lower section to conjure up a bench for taking off your muddy wellies or make it easier to slide in heavy items. Outright boot space is very similar in both cars – although we managed to slot an extra carry-on suitcase (nine versus eight) under the X5's load cover. 

It's worth noting that these versions of the X5 and Sport lose some underfloor storage space, although a charging cable can be squeezed into the X5. In the Sport, cables have to go in the boot itself. 

Boot space

Range Rover Sport

NEW Range Rover Sport boot space

Boot 647-1491 litres Suitcases 8


BMW X5 boot space

Boot 500-1720 litres Suitcases 9

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