Ownership Diary - G05 X5 30dXdrive M Sport (MHEV)

Discussion in 'X5' started by Spuffington, Aug 16, 2021.

  1. Spuffington
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    Here it is, the official ownership thread for my new steer - a 2021 G05 X5 30d Xdrive M Sport MHEV in Phytonic Blue with black Verasca(?) leather. It was first registered in March 2021 as Baron's Stansted demo car and bought by me on 26th July 2021 with 2,656miles on the clock. The engine is a 3l diesel I6 with 286bhp through the super-smooth 8spd ZF autobox. MHEV I'll talk about later.

    Here are some (bad) pics from collection day:

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    The back story to the purchase, I have perhaps covered elsewhere, but interestingly I never set out to buy a car this new. As a pure coincidence I had called Baron's regarding a 19-plate car with 26k miles on the clock at £51k which I wanted to testdrive. I was even fairly agnostic about that car, but wanted to testdrive to compare with my recent experience of the LR Disco5. On the way to the dealership I got a call to say it was sold but they'd ready the demo car for me to get a feel for the G05 to see if it was something I might be interested in for second hand purchase. After a 45min unaccompanied testdrive, I came back to the dealership sold on the G05 but it never entered my head that I'd drive away in a week later in this car. A combination of the pre-reg discount, BMW Group support and cheap finance package meant that this car was in fact close enough to my budget that I could get the maths to work. I ended up putting in £2k more than I had on the Porsche but kept monthlies the same. In cash terms, the car worked out at £68k new, I bought it for £58k. A pretty good deal in my view for a 4month old car with 2.6k on the clock.

    The car is fairly sparsely optioned, which initially bothered me coming from a background of always searching out the very best specced cars. However, when I really focussed upon what was important to me, which I had searched out on the Cayenne, it was really only missing the heated steering wheel. My list of must haves included:

    - Adaptive LED headlights (part of the Visibility Pack on this car);
    - Upgraded sound system (Harmon Kardan part of the Technology Pack on this car);
    - Electric memory seats (Tech Pack);
    - HUD (must have if available - this was fitted with Tech Pack);
    - Privacy Glass (option);
    - Apple CarPlay (standard);
    - Heated Seats (standard);
    - Air Suspension front & rear (standard).

    There was very little I was really missing from my must haves - it has Technology Pack, Visibility Pack, Sun Protection Glass, Parking Assistant Plus & Drive Recorder (like a dashcam which uses front & rear cameras to record pre & post crash or with 40sec manual recording mode if needed). There are huge amounts of boxes left unticked compared to what you could have fitted, but I worked on the principle that the 32months warranty was more important than heated & cooled cupholders etc.

    The car got a very good run-in from us immediately post-collection. Baron's fast-tracked the prep of the car so that we could head straight off for our holiday in the Cotswolds, followed swiftly by another week in Somerset. We headed down to the dealership with the X1 packed to the brim with baby stuff and our suitcase, unloaded all into the X5 and they then stored the X1 until our return. A superb and fairly slick process, apart from them "forgetting" to honour the full tank of fuel. This resulted in a short holdup whilst they took the X5 off for the £120 required to brim it before we set off.

    Our first trip to the Cotswolds resulted in a super mpg figure of 43.8mpg over 141miles. The return journey averaged the same. Every other trip was pretty much >35mpg, unless doing a lot of urban which reduced to 30mpg.

    The following week, with the X5 now full to the brim with driver plus 4 passengers, full boot and full roofbox, we averaged 39mpg over 225miles to Somerset and a similar figure of 37mpg on the return, with lots of stop start traffic.

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    Overall, we have now covered a little over 1100miles and the average since purchase is 35.8mpg, against the average since new of 35.4mpg. For the size of the vehicle, I find this astonishing. I remember in both my pre-LCI 30d and LCI 40d E70 X5's, I averaged 25 and 26mpg, respectively over the time I had them. It really goes to show how much technology has moved on in the last 10+yrs.

    So enough about fuel economy & costs, what's it like to drive?

    First and foremost, it's a massive step forward in terms of technology from the last gen Cayenne. How it compares with the latest Porsche, I couldn't say, but the presence of the big screen, superb graphics & resolution and interactivity with touchscreen and iDrive is a step up from ANYTHING I've driven (hire car/courtesy car or otherwise) in the last few years. The technology is intuitive, easy and all pervading. Pretty much everything is controlled via the screen, but a few shortcut buttons have been preserved for heated seats, aircon etc. The quality of the switchgear is superb, although I'm not a great fan of the very soft-touch/click buttons around the iDrive, gearstick for the drive select and camera functions - they don't feel as definite as previous generations and sometimes it's hard to know if you've really selected something or not.

    Unless you select the air suspension (full front & rear this time instead of just rear on previous generations) into fully low entry & egress mode, it's a big car to get in and out of. Even when in its lowest mode, you sit a lot higher than in previous generations. It's more Range Rover-esque and a very commanding view of the road. It feels like a very big car these days and quite daunting from the off. However, the seats are very comfortable - the standard sports seats enveloping you nicely and very supportive - could do with lumber adjustment, but not an absolute necessity. The leather is real rather than faux, even on base trims although the "leather dash" is in fact Sensatec faux leather, but still a lot nicer to look at compared with the plastic dash. The interior does feel slightly lower rent than the Porsche but that's probably to do with the fact that soft leather adorned every surface of the dash and door cards in the Cayenne with beautiful stitching throughout. That said, I'm sure if you specced Individual Leather on the X5, it would have a similarly high quality feel. For the family and for this price point, however, I think it's perfectly judged.

    Driving wise, the first thing that hits you is just how quiet and refined it is. Starting the engine, the only thing heard is a distant engine note that has a slight diesel flavour to it - nothing like the unrefined diesels of old. Once on the go, it's more of a satisfying rumble than anything else, but it's very distant from the cabin. In fact the whole cabin ambience is one of quiet, hushed refinement - very much like Range Rovers I've sat in previously. The air suspension is another big boon. Although there is a firm edge to the ride when there are slight imperfections (potholes, manhole covers etc), overall it is very well judged with a reach magic carpet ride - wafty, but not boaty (unless you're comparing it with the flatness of the Cayenne with its PDCC). The ride is so composed and cossetting, every one who has sat in it has commented from the off on how comfortable it is. I have the base 20" M Sport alloys, for which I'm glad. They are a good compromise between style and comfort. Although you can option up to 22" wheels, I've no doubt that ride quality would suffer. The only "problem" with the car is the lean in the corners, which does reduce when in Sport mode, but it's not a car you want to hussle along at too sporty a pace given the sheer size of it and the likelihood of throwing around your passengers in unceremonious fashion.

    The steering is a bit wooly being fully electric and doesn't offer much in the way of feel, but to be honest cars have been going in that direction for so long, it's almost anticipated now. What does feel lovely is the steering wheel - if not the overly fat rim - but the soft new leather which has barely been soiled by others hands. Really does feel a delight to hold.

    The major difference to other drivetrains is the introduction of 48v architecture to install the mild hybrid (MHEV) - this allows more seemless use of start:stop technology and also the introduction of regenerative braking. When stopped, the 48v circuits and batteries allow for the full suite of driver aids & entertainment to be run whilst the engine is stopped. It's quite amazing how discreet the start:stop is and whilst you do hear a slight difference in noise as the engine stops when coming to a halt, it's only slight and it's not accompanied by any juddering or loss of steering wheel feel or power - it switches seamlessly between coasting to being off. As you get used to it, you can provoke either coasting by easing off the power gently to provoking regenerative braking (which feels like really strong engine braking) by coming off the power quickly. I wouldn't be surprised also if the car also enacts regenerative braking by using some of the collision avoidance equipment and/or satnav since it seems to have an uncanny ability to slow things down when traffic ahead slows too. Not always, but it does seem fairly intuitive. As a note, I don't have Adaptive Cruise control, but as I say, 90% of the radar equipment must be there for the collision avoidance functionality.

    Only once have I turned off the stop:start due to it being annoying and that was in very heavy stop:start traffic on the M4. You can only do it on this model by selecting Sport mode. Thankfully Sport is less aggressive than maps on other cars, so it doesn't become undriveable when in traffic.

    That is, in fact one of the only times I have also used Sport mode too. Comfort is so well judged both from an economy perspective as well as a tool for making progress. Even the display, which is now just speed and % of power available, is intuitive - no need for the rev counter when the ZF gearbox is left to do its thing. Although there is obviously a huge difference in terms of acceleration & power/torque available versus the Cayenne, it feels really well judged to real world driving and no more than on one or two occasions have I felt I was lacking in punch. I can see why a lot of journalists quote the 30d as being the pick of the bunch. I know that the 40i would be the more satisfying powerplant for me as a petrolhead and the 45e being the choice for environmentalists, but it's hard to ignore the mix of power, refinement and economy from the 30d - an average of 35mpg over 3.6k miles is testament to that, with the potential for >40mpg on a long run.....incredible for this type of vehicle. With the Cayenne averaging 19.5mpg, I am saving in excess of £100pcm. Not my primary goal for my motoring, but hard to ignore.

    So what now? Well, for the first time ever, I'm realistically looking to just enjoy it and drive it. My goal is to see out the 48month PCP. With two kids and hopes for another, this really is a perfect car for the family to grow into. It's already showed its immense capabilities over the two family holidays and again yesterday with two mountainbikes strapped to the roof for a 40min hop to Thetford Forest.

    I would like to get the towbar fitted to it, but my towbar guy reckons there's a problem with coding the elecs. He can offer a warranty approved workaround but the BMW elecs need coding to the vehicle - he can't do it and he has yet to find a dealer that can/will. Given how many things rely on the operating system in the vehicle, I'd prefer to stick OEM. I'm going to wait a bit to stick the towbar on it until I can dig into the coding issue more (not least also because money is a bit tight following the Cayenne experience and losing money on the towbar I fitted to that and couldn't remove).

    Otherwise, I gave it its first proper clean with me on Saturday. It was obvious when cleaning the wheels that only the faces had been done for the last 3.5k miles. They need a full decontamination & sealing at some point - they're beautiful diamond cut faces with metallic grey spokes and inside rims. I'd really like to keep them looked after for as long as possible. The paintwork is also slightly marred by the usual dealer monkey valeting efforts. Although it's not bad - it's got more swirl marks than a vehicle of this age should have. I plan a full detail at home when I get the chance. At the very least some Tripple polish and wax, plus hard wax topcoat on there before winter. Here's the effort from Saturday, prior to dressing the tyres and arches:

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    So - stay posted for more, hopefully very uninteresting updates on this car going forwards. :)

    Here are some more pics too:

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  2. Wynne71
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    Wynne71 WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Great write up. It does sound as though you’ve fallen upon an almost perfect compromise, space/comfort/tech/power/economy etc, all in the one package.
    And great to see a two BMW car drive!
     
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  3. idrussell
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    idrussell Site Supporter

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    Great write up Spuff as always, sounds like the perfect car for your family needs :)
     
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  4. zarnd
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    zarnd

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    Nice write up and nice car

    Enjoy


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  5. GunRunner
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    GunRunner WARLORD Site Supporter

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    My thoughts exactly
     
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  6. edthefed
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    edthefed Site Supporter

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    Nice car Dunc.....Stratstone in Leeds have an almost identical one up at £61500 only done 1500 miles...im tempted but not that tempted and have had bad experiences at various Stratstone dealerships

    I have almost certainly decided against a Porsche next year as a 60th birthday present to myself following yours and others trials and tribulations

    The Cayenne is still for sale at Swindon Porsche, i suppose in offering to buy it back rather than accept your rejection they avoid awkward questions from prospective purchasers and will simply say "oh last owner didnt enjoy it", or "growing family and needed a change", etc rather than saying "he found it was a bag of nails, we couldnt fix it so he rejected " :sneaky:
     
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  7. 535i MSport
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    Sounds good to me. A car that runs the way it should is easy to take for granted, but it is really annoying if it doesn’t work one day, so I totally see what you decided and why.

    Decent mpg is also something easily taken for granted


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  8. a.s.uk
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    a.s.uk WARLORD

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    Well done Dunc..:.
    Nice one. Really pleased you approve..
    I can confirm…@Bishbosh: Dave will also back me up… the 22’’ wheels don’t trash the ride at all…. It’s just the cost of the tyres that trash the wallet….
    Just shows what increases we have seen in car values recently…
    Our new to us… <10 miles on the clock … fully loaded X5. G05, With almost every option apart from led headlights… 69 plate was a £50k….on the day… an absolute bargain in today’s prices…. If indeed you could call a £50k car that…..
    Keep us posted
    Good luck
    Al


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  9. Mieke
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    Great writeup, Duncan. I assume that this one's a keeper? :)
     
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  10. 535i MSport
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    Until he changes it


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  11. The Livster
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    The Livster

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    So it goes like this ,
    Mrs Spuff gets the Velar ! Ah don’t need the space in the X5 !! Nice Macan GTS on Autotrader …….. :whistle::whistle::whistle:i
     
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  12. Peter
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    Nah, X5 is a keeper! It's all that Duncan needs... remember.

    Peter
     
  13. a.s.uk
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  14. snrbrtsn
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    A lovely car, so glad you’ve found amicable happiness
     
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  15. zarnd
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    zarnd

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    Every time a new thread is started I just expect a new car is on the way


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  16. aldo
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    Great write up, Many more happy miles in this


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  17. a.s.uk
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    a.s.uk WARLORD

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    This made me laugh…



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  18. Peter
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    Peter WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Wait a few days.... will Duncan be posting a "Mrs Spuff's Evoque" thread?

    Peter
     
  19. zarnd
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    Absolutely


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  20. The Livster
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    Once the Man Maths kick in Im sure “His and Her’s” Macan’s could be justified (y)
     

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