a view to drive
Sliding into the driver’s seat of the BMW X5 xDrive40e (RM388,800), it becomes clear that, despite being an SUV, this will be a typically BMW driver-focused experience. From the responsive and precise steering wheel, to the just-right position of the gear selector and paddle shifters, to the switch marked ‘Sport’ — this feels like a driver’s car through and through, down to the tiny details.
The HUD, for instance, is a wonderful assistant — from the comprehensive navigation prompts to the simplest selection of radio station, it lets one just focus on the road. True to the current trend, this is a plug-in hybrid, and the 2.0-litre turbocharged combustion engine and electric motor combined is capable of 313bhp. This results in a 0-100km/h time of 6.8 seconds, more than capable of sending this sizable vehicle on overtaking manoeuvres. It may not be quite as nimble around corners as a classic lower-slung BMW saloon would be, but the all-wheel-drive
remains sure-footed enough that it will not disappoint.
There’s plenty to enjoy when you let off the pedal, too. It’s a quiet and comfortable ride, even at highway speeds. The lofty seating position, high-ceilinged and spacious cabin, and panoramic sunroof defuses much of the claustrophobia of being trapped in a traffic jam, while the Harman Kardon surround sound system and rear seat screens can help pass the time. The driver will not, then, be the only one having fun.