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Car Wars Wednesdays: Range Rover Sport vs. BMW X5

January 14, 2015

In today’s edition of Car Wars Wednesdays, we’ll be pitting the new Range Rover Sport against the new BMW X5. It’s SUV versus SUV and only one can be the winner. Let’s go.

BMW X5

Original image by Rocking Cars

Design

Design is always subjective, but we have to give this one to the Range Rover Sport. Firstly, because the automaker has replaced the frankly hideous headlights of its predecessor with slick new LED lights, transforming the front view of the SUV. The wheels are further apart, the windscreen has been streamlined and the beltline has been raised. This car may look compact, but there’s no denying it’s significantly bigger on the inside. Put simply, the new Range Rover Sport is slick, dynamic and robust. The new BMW X5, however, has seen a pretty minimal upgrade and, while the SUV is far from ugly, it is certainly bland. In the design department, it definitely has to go to the Range Rover Sport.

Performance

The Range Rover Sport is the first in its class to feature a completely aluminium frame. This has helped the SUV to shed a lot of its weight and introduce some high-end gear. In this illustrious engine range, we find a 255bhp 3.0-litre TDV6 SE which returns 37-38mpg and, at the other end of the spectrum, a supercharged 503bhp petrol V8 – offering just 22.10mpg, but rocketing from 0-62mph in under 5 seconds. The diesel range of the X5 BMW includes the rear-wheel drive sDrive25d which offers up a little over 50mpg. And at the top of the range, there’s the xDrive50i – returning 29mpg and equalling that 0-62mph time of less than 5 seconds. Points go to the BMW X5.

Ride & Handling

Both SUVs are lighter than the cars they replace, but the new Range Rover Sport is the one that really uses this new weight to its advantage. It’s versatile, agile and comfortable to drive, and steering handles tightly and has great grip even at high speeds. Better yet, the car comes with a ton of options to optimise the driving experience, including stability control and fantastic suspension. The BMW X5 handles comparatively poorly – with stiff steering and poor reaction times. The SUV suffers from an excess of settings, none of which seem to improve the ride. The sportier settings are strangely numb and the comfort mode feels very jolty. So if you’re looking for a smooth ride, you’d be better off with the Range Rover Sport.

Price

The Range Rover Sport price is £51,550, but for the fully kitted-out, high performance option, you’ll be looking at £81,550. But it’s the high resale value that saves the Sport, which is where the BMW X5 falls down. The BMW starts at £42,945 and reaches a whopping £90,170 for the top level specs.

The verdict: In the end, we have to declare the Range Rover Sport our winner. With striking aesthetics and exceptional handling, this sensational SUV blows the BMW out of the water.

Range Rover Sport

Original image by Land Rover MENA

Fancy climbing inside an irresistible Range Rover Sport, but worried about finding the funds? Check out our dedicated Land Rover finance page – or if you’ve got your eye on the X5, you can also finance the BMW with us. Whichever 4×4 floats your boat, try our online car loan calculator for an instant quote.

About The Author

Jon Le Roux is co-founder and company director of The Car Loan Warehouse. Being a mad engineering and motorsport enthusiast, I spend more hours than is healthy, watching, reading or talking about cars, boats, motorbikes…..basically anything with an engine.