BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GL

BMW X5

A BMW has and always will be considered to be the ultimate driving machine, whatever its size or shape, and the X5 is no exception to that rule. Although the design changes over the years have been evolutionary rather than revolutionary, the real changes have been taking place under the skin. Not only have the features, ride and drivelines improved, the whole car feels generations ahead without really looking it. Although it isn’t as large as the Q7, the interior is airy and rather plush with a long list of equipment in tow but the engine bay is where it gets even more interesting. Under the bonnet is a choice of two petrol engines as well as one diesel engine. The 35i uses a 3.0L twin-scroll turbocharged direct injected straight 6 motor making 306 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The larger 50i uses a 4.4L twin-scroll turbocharged direct injected V8 making 407 hp and a huge 442 lb-ft of torque! However, the most economical engine of the lot is the rather torquey 3.0L straight 6 twin-scroll turbocharged common-rail direct injection diesel engine in the 35d which makes 265 hp and 425 lb-ft of torque and delivers up to 26 mpg US! All engines are paired to the 8-speed automatic transmission and xDrive intelligent all wheel drive system.

The new X5 is one of the most engaging SUVs you can drive and delivers on every other count as well. For those looking for even more excitement, there is an upcoming M50d model which uses the same 3.0L straight 6 motor from the 35d albeit with three turbochargers and an output of 376 hp and an even more amazing 545 lb-ft of torque! That’s more than what many V8 engines can manage! Not the first time an M division model raised the bar.

Mercedes-Benz GL

Mercedes have always tried to deliver the maximum luxury per square inch and the GL class takes that to a whole new level. It is one of the largest passenger cars available today and that’s not just restricted to the Mercedes-Benz range; the GL is behemoth by any stretch of the imagination. Inside, you have typical Mercedes luxury, but for 7 seats. While the long wheelbase R class may have spacious seating for 7, the GL adds butch design and greater off road credibility to the mix. It certainly looks the part and on the inside it feels every bit as special as any high end Mercedes. Powering the GL are some of the most versatile engines Mercedes has on offer. The base 350 has the 306 hp 3.5L direct injection V6 which also makes a decent 273 lb-ft of torque. The 500 has the larger 5.4L V8 making 388 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque, but will soon be replaced by the 4.7L twin-turbocharged direct injection V8 with 435 hp and 516 lb-ft. There are also two diesel engines on offer. The 350 CDI uses a 3.0L V6 with 265 hp and 457 lb-ft of torque. While that torque figure may seem rather astounding, Mercedes has the even more powerful 450 CDI which has a 4.0L V8 making 306 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. The 7-speed GTronic automatic transmission and 4matic intelligent all wheel drive system are offered as standard on all models.

The GL class is Mercedes’ largest passenger car to date but that’s about it. It gets the job done well, is very comfortable and safe but it isn’t really fun to drive as such. It seems that someone must have mentioned that to Mercedes which explains why there’s an AMG model on the way!

Mitsubishi Pajero

While Mitsubishi isn’t the most popular brand worldwide, it certainly makes a good crop of cars, or should I say a great crop!