BMW’s mid-sized family SUV has taken large strides between its second-generation form and this, its third-model epoch.

It has now developed the kind of completeness and class that ought to make it a contender for almost anyone shopping in this increasingly popular market segment, while retaining the better than average grip, poise and performance to attract BMW’s familiar customer base.

Extra refinement, space and class lift it to the brink of class leadership

Even though our test car was fitted with run-flat tyres, it had ride and refinement good enough to bear comparison with any rival.

Even so, Audi’s Q5 still has it narrowly licked for general comfort, cabin isolation and perceived quality; and knowing how much those things matter to typical buyers of premium SUVs, we can only give the Audi the nod.

However, this BMW wins our recommendation over every other rival, being truly expensive-feeling and proving composed and thoroughly well polished on the road; and yet it is also more encouraging to drive than most of its SUV rivals.

And that particular sweet spot is one that BMW has never struck quite as soundly.