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sirgrotius 01-19-2013 05:38 AM

Torn between new X5 or '13 LR4
I drive an X3 now and like it a lot, but am looking for a larger vehicle with more oomph. I'm torn between waiting on the new X5 this year, or going with a '13 LR4 with the luxury package.

Am I going to go off roading? Probably not, but I live in a snow-y, potentially off-road area. I have a growing family, so the third-row seats come in handy.

I'm a deeply superficial person, so I like having something nice and different.

I love to drive, but the X5 and LR4 are fun in VERY different ways. The X5 seems more like a car to me, while the LR4 is like a luxury truck.

The X5 has much better gas mileage, but the LR4 has more space. Both have cool lights and premium sound options.

Anyone gone through a similar debate or fortunate enough to have both vehicles (or rather the current X5, of course!)?

I appreciate any insights in advance.

smyles 01-19-2013 06:54 AM

Before X5 I had LR3, which is roughtly LR4 minus newer engine, fancy interior and LEDs, and I can honestly tell you that if their turbo diesel version was available there, I'd stay in the Land Rover camp.

It is much roomier car, the 3rd row is fully functional for adults (and you still get a spare unlike in X5) Mine was HSE (top version), so it had few nice options like a cooler b/w front seats, separate audio and A/C unit for rear seats. The touch-screen navi was more convenient than CIC, and little things like front parktronic that would turn on automatically when crawling forward or rear wiper switching automatically when reversing in rain were really nice and you notice lack of them when going elsewhere. Oh, and the air suspension that allows you to change the ride height manually is :thumbup:.

Having said all that, LR is HEAVY, so the mileage is in lower teens - mine mostly highway averaged 14 MPG, - and every time I was driving it alone I couldn't help but think why am I carrying all this weight. Also, unlike what they say from the reliability perspective my LR was solid in 2 1/2 years and required only replacement of parktronic unit. The service and warranty experience with my dealer was top notch, but I'm pretty sure it would change had I have to pay for any repairs myself. It went thru a set of apparently rare 19" goodyears in less than 30k miles, with excessive inside wear, so I could see some rather big expenses, incl. 30K service, coming before I got rid of it.

So, to sum it up, leasing a brand new LR4 can be very pleasant; owning a used one - :dunno:.

UncleJ 01-19-2013 07:48 AM

The above mirrors the experience my nephew and his wife had with their LR3. They loved the first 30k miles, had few (but large) problems, then moved on when the lease was up. They now drive a Suburban (which they absolutely love BTW) and get better mileage than the LR did. There is virtually a "cottage industry" dealing with replacing the LR/RR air suspensions with steel springs after the warranty period ends. Apparently it is cheaper to go that route than to replace the airbags et al on your dime. On the other hand, once you get past a certain point and everything that can go wrong, does, and gets fixed, they seem to last for years.:angel:

GoHawks63 01-19-2013 07:48 AM


Originally Posted by smyles (Post 7323881)
or rear wiper switching automatically when reversing in rain were really nice

I'll have to check the manual again, but I thought thought my X5 does that too.

sparrky 01-19-2013 10:17 AM

Funny you should ask this, as I have both a 2013 X5 and 2013 LR4 in my garage right now. We were looking for SUVs with a third row seat and a step up from a Toyo Sequoia and a Honda Odyssey.

We started with the X5 Premium to replace the Sequoia. I can say its sporty, somewhat comfortable, but tight quarters for a family. As with a typical BMW 3 series or 5 series, the back seat isn't really for adults. The third row seat, I would say is good up to about a eight year old kid.

Gas milage is pretty good, I average about 16mpg, guess I have a bit of a heavy foot. The 6 cyl is powerful and quiet on the highway, it has a nice growl inside when you step on it. But it sounds like a 4 cyl Hyundai if you're outside of it and someone accelerates from a stand still.

The first few months I found annoying rattles under the rear seats and was back to the garage three or four times, each time add some tape and grease the contact points.

Over the summer, taking it up into the Adirondack Mtns on some dirt roads (I would even call them 4X4 roads, just dirt, a few bumps and pot holes), you can tell, it doesn't like being off pavement. In fact, BMW calls it an SAV, not an SUV. Also, in the NY winters, without snow tires, you might want to work from home when it snows. I would say the all wheel drive is more tuned for acceleration than traction.

Then after about five months, major engine malfunction, see my other post for more details.

We replaced our Honda Odyssey, known as the "vanther", with the LR4. We've had it for a few weeks now and really enjoy it. For a hulk, its actually got good pickup, until you need to turn. But again, its not made to ride on rails like a BMW. For the lower version of an LR, compared to the Sport and Range Rover, it is defiitely a step up in comfort and class inside from the X5. We have the thrid row seats, and I can actually fit and ride back there (I'm a 6'), they fold flat into the floor as well.

Through snow it has been great. I have not gone off road myself, but on the test drive the salesman took it through a huge gully beside the road, so I know its got capability.

I can't say much for reliability or gas milage, long term. But in the two fill ups, I have averaged around 15mpg. The V8 is for the most part quiet and smooth, if you punch it it does have a nice growl.

The X5 and LR4 are two different cars.
-In the garage, they're about the same lenght. The LR4 is of course a bit taller. Both smaller than a Sequoia and Odyssey.

-Sporty - BMW is fast, coners without question ansd stops quick. The LR4 is big, but takes off quick, you can feel its size in the corners, but stopping is pretty good.

-Off Road - In my expereince, BMW doesn't handle dirt, or bumpy roads well, especially with run-flats. LR4, its made for off road.

-Comfort - LR4 feels nice to sit in, takes pavement very well, and it quiet and refined. The BMW has hard seats, a tight fit (kind of like a glove) and you feel the road - in your hands and your body as you drive or ride.

-Reliability - I'm disapointed with BMW so far. For $65k, I would expect better. Can't comment on LR4, have not had it that long.

-Tech - I like the BMW iDrive better than the LR4 touch screen to contol functions. The BMW system has gremlins though, settings will not save and go back to default when you turn the car of and get back in. Both have phone integration, iPod integration and wireless streaming. Don't get the BMW internet option, waste of money, its like AOL dial up back in the 1990's.

Good luck, they're both great vehicles and I enjoy driving them. But figure what you're needs are. Hopefully this has helped a little.

If you have any specifics, feel free to ask.

henrycyao 01-19-2013 08:32 PM

Since you are torn at waiting for the 2014 x5, I say wait for a few months and decide them. BMW may increase the leg room on the new x5 or it may not . We don't have all the information of the new models to make judgment.

As for snow, BMW is not that bad in snow. Land Rover will not get you out all the time. It's important to realize that a properly fitted tire is far more important. You can't replace traction in the tires with all mechanical and electronic assistance.

The place land Rover wins out is in locking differential and entry height. That happens really much more often in off road situation.

Sent from my LG-P999 using Bimmer App

BR328 01-20-2013 06:42 PM

These are interesting comments. While I have no experience with the LR4, I recently test drove a RR Sport. It was nice but I thought the X5 was much better. I would definitely give the RR sport the node on the off-road capabilities especially with the adjustable ride height but I spend 99% on paved roads. I've driven on the rough dirt roads with my X5 in Colorado as well as snow and was not disappointed in any way except the thought of rock chips on this expensive vehicle.

Vex500 01-21-2013 03:06 AM

How did the range rover sport ride compared to the x5? Been told that the rr sport is pretty hard to beat, would look at one but I am apprehensive about the complicated air suspension.

sparrky 01-21-2013 05:23 AM

I also tested the RR Sport. It's a nice and well appointed vehicle, very comfortable and quiet. It's got a little more room than an X5 on the inside. In terms of performance, the RR Sport 8cyl sounds and feels smoother compared to the X5 6cyl, X5 is a bit quicker. But the X5 handling on the street is night and day compared to the RR Sport.

sirgrotius 01-21-2013 07:07 AM

I did a lot of test driving with both the RRS and the LR4 vs. the X5. They are very different vehicles. In the Land Rovers, you definitely have the high, commanding presence, and there's a ton of pickup for the size, and there's a smoothness to the ride. X5 handling is much better; when you take a turn in the X5 you feel you are hugging the road, with the Land Rovers there's a much looser feeling.

BR328 01-21-2013 05:00 PM


Originally Posted by Vex500 (Post 7326988)
How did the range rover sport ride compared to the x5? Been told that the rr sport is pretty hard to beat, would look at one but I am apprehensive about the complicated air suspension.

Well I was surprised at how it handled, fairly tight turning radius, good initial pick up but just not as impressive as the X5 50i. But I think if I was going to be driving/living in the mountains off a dirt road I would feel more confident with the RR. FYI I just test drove a whole bunch of cars and here's how I would rank them:

1 X5 50i (best overall for me)
2 Tie: Cayenne base for more paved/RRS for more dirt/snow
4. VW Toureg (but it's $50K+ for a VW)
5. MB ML350

Cdnrockies 01-21-2013 06:18 PM

We were actually going to buy a RR Sport prior to our 750. It drove well and the interior was significantly better than anything BMW offers. The questionable reliability and ridiculously poor customer service was enough to steer us away.

NoI4plz 01-21-2013 07:01 PM

X5=A TALLER 5 series

LR4= a big box on stilts.

If you need the extra capability both off-road driving performance and space (and i mean boatloads) then LR4. The tech is ehhh, the reliability is tarred, and the dealerships nothing to write about.
If you need the on-road driving performance, in-car tech, and the ability to carry 4 adults and their gear then X5.

The lr4 really is phenomenal in capability but more of a long-distance family hauler for occasional use (and its prepared)
The x5 you can live with on a daily basis but you make a lot of compromises when making it a purposeful family hauler.

Good luck!


X5d is great at towing, and really providing you with the necessary get up and go around the city.
X535i is great as a performer, but not great at towing
x550i is x5d but with a better highway performer.

bkhk 01-22-2013 05:03 AM

I have had 2x RR Sports, great when they work. My first one was in the shop so much it was Lemon'd, and we don't have Lemon laws so that shows how bad it was.!!

LR replaced it with a new car which was much better. But as soon as the warranty ran out it was time to move on.

The air suspension, electrics, turbo pipes, alternators and batteries can be a nightmare on the RRS and the LR4.

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