Today’s car market is expanding in a unique way – where there is a sedan or a hatchback, there is also an SUV body style being offered and this is happening across the range. Our focus today is to look at a newly launched sedan and an SUV, both for a similar price and from the same manufacturer i.e., ^BMW. The sedan is, of course, the 5 Series and its SUV counterpart is the X3. There is a new X3, but our comparo will look at the current car which will be on sale in India for quite some time before the new vehicle comes in.
Both BMWs come with the signature elements that give them the family look. This includes the kidney grille, tail lamps, wheel design and rooflines. What separates them is the obvious – one is a high riding SUV design while the other is low slung and sporty in nature. However, the sedan has been around much longer than the SUV and in terms of recall value, it will score higher. BMW cars are generally not known to be flashy and, in this regard, the X3 scores higher due to the presence quotient.
There is a generation gap between the new 5 Series and the X3 currently being sold in India. There aren’t too many design changes, instead it is down to the feature list. New features on the 5 Series includes a new infotainment system, trim bits, leather trims as well as a new display for the instrument cluster. These are all features that will be offered with the X3 when it is launched in India either later this year or in early 2018.
The cars that we have looked at are the 520d in the 5 Series and the X3 20d xDrive. Both are two-litre unit producing around 190bhp/400Nm of torque and are offered with an eight-speed AT as standard. However, the X3 being an SUV gets the SUV bits, like the bash plates and of course, all-wheel-drive a.k.a xDrive which is a torque on demand AWD system. This is a common engine across the BMW line-up in terms of the budget diesel options.
The growing battle between sedans and SUVs is unlikely to change and by the look of things, its only set to get bigger and probably more competitive. Right now it is the 5 Series that is clearly ahead due to it being a completely new car in the game.