The BMW X5 is so far ahead of the rest of the pack, it's utterly cRedible. Before the X5 was launched, we all thought a Range Rover or a Mercedes M-class boasted sweet road manners. To be quite frank, the X5 made them look clumsy and agricultural. If you want the best luxury 4x4, this is it. The 3.0-litre cars make more sense financially, either due to their significantly less intimidating up-front price, the fact that they'll depreciate less and the fact that in this Land of crippling fuel bills, the 3.0d returns an average of 29mpg compared to the 3.0i's 22 and the 4.4i's dismal 20. The X5 rolls initially but not alarmingly, and as several corners are stitched together, confidence grows. The ride is supple and the speed sensitive power steering requires little effort to place the car accurately into a corner, although the rather high gearing facilitates a fair degree of twirling and a flaccid feel when driving straight ahead.