2015 BMW X5
Engineered in Germany and built in South Carolina, the 2015
BMW X5 continues to be a benchmark for any company contemplating a new luxury mid-size SUV. The X5’s off-road-ability may be outweighed by its superb on-road manners, but that’s all on purpose–it’s a luxury family wagon tailored for comfort, meant for gated-community garages everywhere.
The X5 can seat up to seven, and for most of those passengers, it’s a warmer ambiance to soak up. Seat comfort isn’t perfect, though, with some flatness in the front buckets. The second-row seat in the X5 can now be split 40/20/40, for more flexibility, and they’re adjustable for rake.
The X5 hasn’t dramatically changed its sheetmetal in this generation, but the cabin’s reworked handsomely. The new X5 is more gracefully sculpted than its ancestors, in measurable amounts but not in any dramatic fashion. In the cockpit, the monolithic bulge of BMW’s latest dash designs shows up in swell form, made distinctive this time with a choice of neutral and brown leathers over the standard black leatherette. It’s not so broad a palette until you reach into the more extreme colors on the option list. There’s even a reddish-brown.
The BMW X5 occupies that performance space typical of German SUVs like the Mercedes M-Class and VW Touareg and, yes we’re going there, the Jeep Grand Cherokee. There’s diesel power available, insanely plush spin-offs with V-8 thrust, sophisticated
2015 Volvo XC90
ollowing several leaks, Volvo has published a full set of details about the 2015 XC90. The Swedish automaker’s range-topping crossover will be presented to the public for the first time at the Paris Motor Show next October.
The XC90 inaugurates Volvo’s next design language that was previewed by a series of show cars including the retro-inspired Concept Estate introduced last March in Geneva. Generally more angular than the current model, the crossover boasts a tall front end characterized by a floating radiator grille with horizontal slats, sharp headlights with T-shaped LED daytime running lights and a rippled hood. Out back, the upright tail lamps remain but they adopt LED technology.
Inside, the XC90 moves up on the market with a luxurious cockpit that features acres of leather upholstery, real wood trim on the dashboard and on the center console as well as a large tablet-like touch screen that controls the crossover’s infotainment system. The steering is commanded through a three-spoke multi-function wheel, and the XC90 packs a fully digital instrument cluster.
Staying true to tradition, Volvo has equipped the XC90 with a full suite of electronic driving aids and safety features including two functions that have never been used on a production car before. The first is a run-off road protection function that tightens seat belts and helps cushion vertical forces if the XC90 is accidentally driven off the road and into a ditch, for example. The second is an automatic brake at intersection feature that stops the crossover if it detects the driver pulls out in front of a car that is going too fast.
Under the Skin
Under normal driving conditions, the two power sources will work together to generate about 400 horsepower and a V8-like 472 lb-ft. of torque. Alternatively, the motor will be able to propel the XC90 on electricity alone for up to 24 miles.
Conventional versions of the next XC90 will be powered by Volvo’s new Drive-E engine family which will include two gas-burning mills rated at 254 and 316 horsepower, respectively, and two turbodiesels tuned to generate 190 and 225 ponies. The oil-burners are unlikely to be sold on this side of the Atlantic.
The 2015 Volvo XC90 will go on sale shortly after it debuts in the French capital. Full pricing information will be published closer to its on-sale date, but Volvo has revealed the XC90 T6 AWD will start at $48,900. The list of standard features will include navigation, a panoramic sunroof and 19-inch alloys.
Buyers will be asked to choose from two basic model lines: Urban Luxury and Rugged Luxury. The elegant Urban Luxury model will pack a color-coordinated body kit with stainless steel trim and 21-inch wheels, while the Cross Country-inspired Rugged Luxury model will stand out with flat black trim, skid plates on both ends and 22-inch alloys.
Finally, Volvo will offer a limited run of 1,927 XC90 First Edition models, a number chosen to celebrate the year of the automaker’s birth. First Edition models come with custom badging all around, a numbered plaque inside and a long list of standard features including air suspension on both axles and a 19-speaker, 1,400-watt sound system. First Edition models will be exclusively offered with a four-cylinder mill that generates 316 horsepower and 295 lb-ft. of torque.
The First Edition cars will be sold online on a first-come, first-served basis on September 3rd, 2014, starting at 10:00am. Pricing will kick off at $65,900.