I researched and test drove all the leading 2010 SUVs that are not gas hogs. Far and away the BMW X5 diesel was the best driving experience. Mercedes was #2 and Lexus was #3. The x5 diesel was the most responsive under all driving conditions. It combines the right amount of power with a great feel for the road. The brakes are incredible. The acceleration is excellent. The ergonomics are outstanding. For me, the engineers at BMW have really done their homework. I love the iDrive interface and the integration with my Apple iPhone and iPod. The backup sensors, rear camera and overhead view are superior to anything I saw from other manufacturers. Very happy with my choice.
I learned in this process that even the competitors acknowledge why BMW is called the ultimate driving machine. Each time a test drove a car I told the sales person what cars were on my list. Each time I said that the X5 diesel was in the list you could tell they knew the competition was strong.
Open grill to radiator should be better shielded from bugs (like the Lexus). Cutout in bumper for hitch could be improved. There is a learning curve for all the controls but the manual is quite good. Not sure if everyone takes the time to read it though. Rear privacy glass not standalone option