Need an SUV to replace my 520d: BMW X5 30d M Sport or Mercedes GLE 400d

Are there any other cars I should consider? I am not looking at the Audi Q7 & Volvo XC90 for being petrol only.

BHPian Jay_P2324 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hi Folks,

I am in a dilemma myself about buying a car hence decided to get some expert advice.

To give a background, my family has had the 2011 F10 520d for more than 11 years now and the time has come to replace it. It is a fabulous car and I still love driving it. It has been rock solid in terms of reliability and the design has aged well, the car is still a handsome one in the Imperial Blue Metallic shade.

The next car we are looking for is an SUV, especially due to the road conditions and tall speed breakers at certain places (the current 520d scrapes its bottom sometimes at full occupancy).

I have shortlisted the BMW X5 30d Msport and the GLE 400d (the only diesel competitors left in that segment). Given my ownership experience with a BMW, I am leaning toward the X5, but there seems to be no diesel test drive vehicle available with both dealers in Mumbai. Mercedes, on the other hand, does not have a GLE400d available for a test drive pan India but is offering a GLE 300d for a test drive. I believe the 400d misses out on the Burmester sound system, it is only the Hip-Hop edition (correct me if I’m wrong here).

We have owned the 2013 ML350 in the past and have used it for 1,75,000 km, and replaced it with a pre worshipped 2016 GLE350d. This is making me less inclined toward the GLE 400d as we already have a Mercedes in the garage.

Another big dilemma that I am facing is the staggered setup of the BMW X5. The front comes with 275 section tyres and the rear comes with 305 section. From what I have read on international forums, the 740M wheels are 9.5J at the front and 10.5J at the rear for the staggered setup models. Does it essentially mean that I cannot move to a square setup once I wear out my stock set of tyres?

Are there any other cars I should consider? I am not considering the Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90 for being petrol only.

Also, if someone would know of a diesel test drive X5 in Mumbai I would appreciate that.

Here’s what GTO had to say about the matter:

Go for the X5.

  • Your running is very high and as you’ve seen with your 5-Series, BMW’s reliability is damn good.
  • You already have a GLE in the garage.
  • Take a morning-to-evening flight to whichever city the X5 30d is available for a test drive in. But I can tell you this is one engine & gearbox you can buy even without a test drive. My car is 9 years old and the powertrain still amazes me whenever I drive it. Top-class refinement, power & gearbox behaviour. It’s one of the best diesel engine + gearbox combinations in the world.

Even with 285 mm tyres, the 530d’s rear slides way too much, especially once the tyres have 7000 – 10000 km on them. With the X5’s additional weight, I would prefer to stick with the 305 mm tyres. Why would you want to move to a square setup? I am sure you can, but you will have to go for thinner tyres at the rear. Will look & drive poorer than the 305s.

Here’s what BHPian HighRevving had to say about the matter:

If you are going to be driving the car, X5 it is.

The 30d is a far superior engine – very refined and extremely torquey. So you’ll feel the upgrade in your very first drive. BMW folks really know how to mate this engine to the ZF8 and it’s a match you can’t go wrong with.

Staggered setups have a few disadvantages – you cannot rotate the wheels between front & rear and you end up having uneven wear in front and rear tyres as typically the rears wear out sooner than the fronts, this, of course, is the problem even when you get new tyres. However, I sincerely believe you should stick to the manufacturer’s recommendation as the advantages of better grip and handling far outweigh the disadvantages.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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