Two years separate the current generations of BMW X5 and Land Rover Discovery. In the automotive industry now an eternity. This proves the German SUV impressively in the test.
It just can not be said otherwise, but: That’s how it is in the past. Yes, of course, the Land Rover Discovery is still a reference when it comes to luxury and comfort. Leather, wood, chrome in the interior give the SUV the charm of a British country house. And there are modern assistance systems such as lane keeping aids, autonomous stowage pilots, pedestrian detection and emergency brake assistants, park beeper and reversing camera – albeit all at an additional cost. But compared to the new BMW X5, all of this looks startling yesterday. It can not be ignored that there is a technological evolutionary leap between the two cars.
In its latest generation has a lot of technical possibilities in the BMW X5Moving in. The SUV benefits from the fact that the Bavarians had to replace the predecessor after only five years, as it would not have been possible to meet EU exhaust emission standards. Thus, the systems from other current model series could already be integrated into the X5. The driver sees this first by the key in his hands. Even there, a display shines against him, of course, to touch and swipes. For example, you can set the temperature in the car in advance or read how much gas is left in the tank. Apart from that, the key is actually barely needed. The X5 recognizes it in the driver’s pocket and automatically opens the car. If the driver leaves the SUV, the BMW will lock itself.
Touchen? Swipe? Speak? Gestures?
Inside, of course, dominate digital displays. One serves as a speedometer, one for entertainment and the functions of the car. Even the temperature display of the heater is digital. In the center console, as usual, is the rotary knob from BMW, with which the functions of the car can be controlled. If the driver chooses this option. Another is the voice control, which is activated by a switch on the steering wheel and then reacts to free commands such as “enter address” and now works amazingly well.
Also possible: to control some selected features by gestures. The volume of the radio can be controlled, for example, with the index finger in the air to describe a small circle. To the right it gets louder, to the left again quieter. If unwanted traffic radio sets in again, it can be pushed back by a swipe gesture. But this variety of choices can also overwhelm. The driver loses himself in the options. Language? Gesture? Touching and Swiping? Or just use the multiwheel? The good news is: All control functions work perfectly. The bad: Until the manufacturer decides for one or two of the options to simplify the operation of his cars in the future, it will probably take time. Until then, the customer will be spoiled for choice with the BMW X5.
Self-sufficient from the parking space
Bayern have also developed their assistance systems. The most impressive is the case of parking. Several cameras and sensors work together here. When the SUV approaches a curb, the view on the middle display swings into a bird’s-eye view, so you can see exactly how far away the car is before it hits the sidewalk. If this is too complicated for you, there is a maneuvering aid. The SUV remembers the last 100 meters of his ride. It can autonomously maneuver out of a parking space that has become too narrow by pressing a button.
But the cruise control, which in conjunction with a distance meter provides a precursor of autonomous driving, as long as the hands remain at the wheel, works much more precisely. If the steering wheel on these systems was permanently in motion in the past to correct the course, it remains much quieter on the BMW X5. Only with construction sites, it still has its problems and confused the new with the old lane markings.
A clear winner
The Land Rover Discovery, however, can not exist. He has been on the market since 2017 . In the automotive industry, which is increasingly determined by digitization, this is an eternity. Everything in the BMW X5 just works a little better. The three-liter diesel with 265 hp does not afford any weaknesses, the automatic switches perfectly, the insulation is interior is so good that hardly penetrate noise from outside to inside. Even the interior looks higher quality, as BMW obviously more oriented to its 7 Series and the X5 wants to establish in the upper class. In Land Rover Discovery, however, there is much more plastic.
The British SUV can only score in two areas: The trunk is really huge with 981 to 2500 liters volume. Here the BMW X5 can not compete with 650 to 1870 liters. And the Discovery is in its basic version with two-liter diesel with 240 hp much cheaper than its German counterpart. With 59,500 euros it costs almost 10,000 euros less than the X5 (from 69,200 euros). The better choice is still the BMW. He is all around the successful SUV. With many technical features that make driving not only more enjoyable but also safer.
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