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Better for Off-Road? 2012 ML350 or 12' BMW X5?

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Better for Off-Road? 2012 ML350 or 12' BMW X5?

 
Old 01-03-2012, 12:44 PM
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Better for Off-Road? 2012 ML350 or 12' BMW X5?

Does anyone have any personal experience or opinions between these two? I'm not going to be using our ML for major off road excursions - but how about snow and trails? Say for going into the mountains on ski trips, etc.

I understand, much depends on the tires/clearance - but is there a vast difference between the two when it comes to off road or are they both street machines and should not venture off pavement?

Thank you in advance.
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:34 PM
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The X5 is a on-road performance SUV, I have stated this in a post before. The BMW salesman should tell you that...They even tested the X6 (same platform) off road on fifth gear and it was embarrassing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UwOBKSHl-c

Go to 4:15 in the movie, you will see something very interesting.

Last edited by jweezy; 01-03-2012 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 01-03-2012, 02:56 PM
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I'm interested. What movie is that?
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:08 PM
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If you are a good driver and know how to handle snow/ice then the ML350 wins handily. Otherwise the Lexus RX350 is the better option. The BMW doesn't work well for either driver. This is my opinion is based on doing a number of tests on snow and ice packed parking lots and roads (and causing one Lexus salesman to lose all color in his face). The ML does it's best to do what YOU want it to do, the RX does what IT THINKS it should (and pretty well), the X is just kind of squirrelly. I am not a professional driver though so better drivers may have different opinions.

Last edited by TundraRoads; 01-03-2012 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:09 PM
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Both xDrive and 4MATIC use input from the wheel speed sensors to brake wheel(s) that do not have grip. This "transfers" power to the wheel(s) that do have grip. Compare this to a system like QUATTRO, which uses mechanical differentials to redistribute power to wheel(s) with grip.

To answer your question, the difference between the X5 and the ML would likely come down to the size and type of tires more than anything else. If you're really concerned, you could hold off until MY13 and pick up an ML with the off-road package, which gives you control of the differentials.
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:26 PM
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Not sure why my link didnt show up. I reposted it. Remember to pay attention at 4:15
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:36 PM
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The reason why the X6 can't make it up the grass is the same reason why it can't make it up the snow covered hill one minute later; summer performance tires. Those tires are meant to be used in temperatures above 40F on the dry asphalt. Below 40F the tire compound becomes hard and looses grip. Slap on some all seasons and the X6 would be able to handle moderate snow and the grassy hill without any issues.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRa-Jax-EN0

But in the end the ML still beats the X5 when it comes to off-roading. My X5 wasn't as sure footed in the snow as any of my 4-matic cars which pretty much feel like they are on rails.

If you decide that you do want to do some serious off-roading (not just the snow/sleet) the ML is again your car. It has better departure angles front and back to avoid damaging the body work plus, in my humble opinion, the 4-matic system is better then the X-Drive system found on the BMWs. One of the biggest things that I missed on the X5 is the ability to raise or lower the height of the car on demand. All German manufacturers offer this in their respective SUVs with the exception of BMW. The last time I was in Spartansburg picking up a car I asked and they said that the X5 and X6 is more of a soft-roader then an off-roader. It was designed to be fast on the pavement and not to handle any rugged terrain you throw at it. For instance I don't think and X5 would be able to handle something like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ac_cP1naEog
or
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctlnJv9hZRw

Last edited by LaicepsYdobon; 01-03-2012 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:15 PM
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laiceps...look at this...The video below is one of the reason I had to purchase the ML350.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmuhKyMHgJI
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by jweezy View Post
laiceps...look at this...The video below is one of the reason I had to purchase the ML350.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmuhKyMHgJI
That was beautiful; thanks ! I can get lost for hours on YouTube looking at car videos

Going to hijack the thread a little and throw in a clip of a Range Rover Sport into the mix. Pretty impressive stuff what these beauties can do:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8Nfvr4iWeQ
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by LaicepsYdobon View Post
That was beautiful; thanks ! I can get lost for hours on YouTube looking at car videos

Going to hijack the thread a little and throw in a clip of a Range Rover Sport into the mix. Pretty impressive stuff what these beauties can do:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8Nfvr4iWeQ
That is not REAL! That is amazing!

Way to make our cars look like crap, compared to the LR.

Hey, at least the ML is better than the X5.
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:26 PM
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I just looked at the Range Rover website. And the SUV is a great deal actually. Compared to the ML and the X5 the Range is a better deal.

With the base Range you get air suspension, navigation and a butt load of other off road goodies all standard.

The locking-diff is only an extra $500
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by jweezy View Post
I just looked at the Range Rover website. And the SUV is a great deal actually. Compared to the ML and the X5 the Range is a better deal.

With the base Range you get air suspension, navigation and a butt load of other off road goodies all standard.

The locking-diff is only an extra $500
Yes, but check Land Rover reliability closely before making that leap.
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by YYZ-E55 View Post
Both xDrive and 4MATIC use input from the wheel speed sensors to brake wheel(s) that do not have grip. This "transfers" power to the wheel(s) that do have grip. Compare this to a system like QUATTRO, which uses mechanical differentials to redistribute power to wheel(s) with grip.

To answer your question, the difference between the X5 and the ML would likely come down to the size and type of tires more than anything else. If you're really concerned, you could hold off until MY13 and pick up an ML with the off-road package, which gives you control of the differentials.
One other thing, the X5 is not available with air suspension, as the ML is. This can give you a little extra clearance in deep snow or water or off road situations.
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:03 PM
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The RX is riding on a sedan chassis and will most likely end up with a bent frame if taken off-road. The X5 is riding on a slightly reinforced sedan chassis. Out of the above group, the ML is the only one designed to be taken off-road with a fully reinforced SUV chassis.

Last edited by Scott5000; 01-03-2012 at 11:07 PM.
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by jweezy View Post
I just looked at the Range Rover website. And the SUV is a great deal actually. Compared to the ML and the X5 the Range is a better deal.

With the base Range you get air suspension, navigation and a butt load of other off road goodies all standard.

The locking-diff is only an extra $500
You also get the auto industries worst reliability record by far based on the latest consumer reports issue.
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by jweezy View Post
I just looked at the Range Rover website. And the SUV is a great deal actually. Compared to the ML and the X5 the Range is a better deal.

With the base Range you get air suspension, navigation and a butt load of other off road goodies all standard.

The locking-diff is only an extra $500
In the past I almost pulled the trigger once on a Range Rover Sport Supercharged and once on a Range Rover HSE. I ended up chickening out both times the last minute because of the reliability. I used to live in London and while there I developed a soft spot for Range Rovers. I think they are gorgeous SUVs but their reliability scares me. As a matter of fact any British car has sketchy reliability in my mind. I owned an Aston for a short amount of time and left me on the side of the road twice I just don't have patience for that.

My sister in law just gave up her Range Rover Sport when her lease ended and she had zero issues with it. Two of my neighbors have Land Rover/Ranger Rovers and they don't have *major* issues with it, yet I'm still not comfortable getting one. I did the Range Rover Experience in South Carolina where the issue of reliability came up and was shown the log book of all the vehicles they used for the event and the most common complaint was a blown tire. The Range Rover Sport is a great value for money and I personally thinks it looks better then the current generation ML but I'd rather play it safe and not tempt fate with a unreliable, yet gorgeous, Range Rover. Of course I might change my tune when a lease ends and I need to give a car back from my garage so take everything I just said with a grain of salt
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