Cast your mind back to Autocar’s bumper Christmas 2017 issue and our story on the cars owned by some of the magazine’s staff and contributors.
Among them was the BMW X5 belonging to our technical guru, Jesse Crosse. It’s an E53 – or first-generation – 3.0 diesel Sport, registered in 2005.
Jesse had owned it for two years and was in love. “It’s powerful, refined and fun to drive,” he wrote. He admitted to having spent £500 on a couple of oil changes and some bits for the air-con system, but concluded that it was money well spent.
Jesse’s generation of X5 was on sale from 2000 to 2006, interrupted by a facelift for the 2004 model year. It was BMW’s first SUV but, thanks to its car-like, unibody structure, it drove far better than anyone hoped.
It was launched with a 286bhp 4.4-litre V8 driving all four wheels through a five-speed automatic gearbox. This was followed a few months later by a straight-six 3.0-litre petrol producing 231bhp and available with a five-speed manual gearbox or optional five-speed auto.