COTY’s battle of the luxury SUVs

Volkswagen and BMW go toe-to-toe in a heavyweight COTY knockout

Wheels Car of the Year battle of the luxury SUVs

It’s a clash of the heavyweight Germans for the large luxury SUV honours as Volkswagen takes on the BMW X5 with its new Touareg.

The BMW X5 has become one of the iconic premium SUVs since its inception in the midst of the millennium-bug scare that was 1999. And the G05-generation X5 only adds to the storied history.

We have two X5 to represent the range, with the torque-laden 30d and sweet-sounding 40i representing the models most likely to be bought by you.

Both are flush with options, meaning the base prices of $117,900 (30d) and $120,900 (40i) don’t truly represent what we have here.

The former steps up to $136,000 as tested thanks to options like the M Sport pack ($4000), 22-inch alloys ($3900), BMW laser lights ($2400) and Harmon Kardon sound ($1300). The latter $128,100 when you add in options such as M Sport pack ($4000) and the fruity M Sport exhaust ($1000).

Volkswagen Touareg interior

In terms of mechanical clout, the 30d oiler stumps up and impressive 195kW/620Nm, yet the 2110kg seven-seat SUV (third row optional) drinks just 6.8L/100km. The 40i petrol is a little thirstier at the bowser, claiming a combined consumption of 8.9L/100km, but it can also storm from zero to 100km/h in 5.5 seconds thanks to its 250kW/450Nm twin-scroll turbo straight six.

However, the Touareg is flush with strong pedigree, too. Based on the same MLBevo platform that underpins the likes of the Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini Urus, Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q7, it’s safe to say the VeeDub is mixing with highbrow company.

BMW X5 interior

The version we have is also priced like a luxe SUV. While a 190TDI comes in at $85,490, our highly specified contender comes to COTY packing a whopping $29,000-worth of options. Ouch.

Some of the goodies include the gargantuan 15-inch infotainment screen (included in the $8000 Innovision pack), Sound and Comfort package ($8000), and R-Line package ($8000 and includes the 20-inch wheels).

Volkswagen Touareg boot space

Still, with a 190kW/600Nm 3.0-litre V6 turbo under the bonnet, which sips 7.4L/100km of diesel despite weighing 2070kg, the Touareg will fight hard for the primo SUV category win.

More to the point, can either offering swan in and take out the whole show? Both the VW and BMW have the wares to give it a good shake. Tune in to Wheels on January 30 to find out.

BMW X5 boot space


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Trent Giunco

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