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Price, fuel economy, range and depreciation

Whether it’s one of the diesels or the petrol V8s, the BMW X5 is priced exactly as you’d expect: slightly more than Audi asks for the Q7 and marginally less than Mercedes wants for an ML.

Like its rivals, leather upholstery is standard in all X5 models these days, as are parking sensors, metallic paint, automatic air conditioning and an MP3-compatible stereo. However, the third-row seats remain an option, even though they are standard on Audi’s Q7.

It's hard to look beyond the 30d in terms of pricing, power and torque

The choice of models is more straightforward – mainly because it’s easy to dismiss the versions powered by the 4.4-litre petrol V8. They have the performance you’d expect but will give you economy figures in the mid-teens. Relatively high CO2 emissions on the petrol X5s should seal the deal in favour of one of the diesels.

The three different levels of diesel are more evenly matched, though in truth the xDrive30d feels sufficiently strong for you to have to think very hard to go beyond it in pricing, power and torque.

Expect the BMW and its rivals to be worth around half of their value after four years. And with the latest engine in the xDrive30d, the X5 is not only more potent than the equivalent Audi or Mercedes, but also more frugal and cleaner. In our experience, 26.5mpg is a perfectly realistic average, and this rises to 36mpg at cruising speeds.