When most people think of luxury SUVs, the idea of excess comes to mind. Most of them are needlessly big, have no business being off pavement and barely have more cargo space than smaller SUVs or wagons. They’re also very thirsty, gas-sucking vehicles. So it seems like unnecessary excess in a day and age where efficiency and frugality seem to be paramount. However, not all luxury SUVs are created equal and not all of them have to be gluttons. BMW makes an SUV that makes a great compromise between luxury and efficiency, the BMW X5 xDrive35d. Yet, for some reason, it goes unloved.

While diesel engines have gained a worse reputation than they’ve ever had recently, thanks to the Volkswagen Group and its massive scandal, BMW’s diesel engines are among the best engines in the world. The 3.0 liter I6 turbo-diesel in the X5 xDrive35d is an absolute gem, combining great power, performance and efficiency into one smooth and luxurious package. With 255 hp, 413 lb-ft of torque, a 0-60 mph time of 7.3 seconds and a BMW-claimed 31 mpg/hwy makes the X5 xDrive35d a wonderful compromise between luxury and efficiency.


It’s also likely the best SUV BMW currently offers and one of the best SUVs on sale today.

The current-gen BMW X5 is a delight to drive, as it’s roomy, comfortable and supremely luxurious. It’s one of the nicer SUVs on the market. While some new SUVs might have a slight edge in terms of luxury or technology, like the Range Rover or Audi Q7, not many match the all-around fantastic ability of the BMW X5. Not only is it great to drive, luxurious and adequate off-road (seriously), but it’s more affordable than the Range Rover and comes with a diesel engine, unlike the Q7.

Now, typically, America doesn’t like diesel engines. We’ve discussed this so much I feel like a broken record, but it must be said — Americans are dumb when it comes to diesels. BMW’s 3.0 I6 diesel is a gem. Not only did it pass the EPA’s new diesel tests, that were implemented following VW’s scandal, but it passed them with no additional modifications since the tests came out and passed with flying colors. So it’s perfectly clean and less harmful on the environment than even the cleanest of gasoline engines. It’s also silky smooth and offers sledgehammer torque.


Put that engine in an SUV that has optional seating for seven, great driving dynamics and a killer cabin and you get an SUV that’s almost impossible to beat. There are some really great competitors out there, and I’m not saying the X5 is perfect, but the BMW X5 xDrive35d is certainly among the best SUVs you can currently buy in America. Maybe it’s not the best, maybe some competitors have debuted new SUVs with new tech, but you can’t argue with the overall fantastic breadth of abilities that the X5 35d has to offer. It’s BMW’s best SUV and one of the market’s best as well.