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Road Test: 2024 BMW X5 M Competition

by | June 14, 2024

The 2024 BMW X5 M Is Fun To Drive; Less So To Ride In

Despite its weight, the 2024 BMW X5 M Competition is very sporty.

How can a practical vehicle be this much fun to drive? That’s the question of the 2024 BMW X5 M Competition, a midsize-performance SUV that does battle against such competitors as the Audi SQ7, Audi SQ8, and Porsche Cayenne Turbo.

In an era where sedans are disappearing faster than dinosaurs during an asteroid strike, the 2024 BMW X5 M Competition proves that fun-to-drive, practical vehicles are not dead – yet.

One trim level

Offered solely in Competition trim for 2024, BMW has redesigned the X5 M with new exterior color options, new wheel designs, a sharper exterior appearance, and revised lighting. The 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen has been replaced with a significantly larger one that takes up more than half of the dashboard’s width, incorporating a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 14.9-inch iDrive infotainment touchscreen. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a Harman/Kardon audio system come standard, while a Bowers & Wilkins audio system is optional.

It loosk like most X5s, albeit dressed a bit sportier.

This year’s cabin is more refined, with new upholstery color schemes, upgraded wood and carbon fiber trim options, and more sophisticated ambient lighting. It’s superbly appointed, with a shiny modern aura that feels – and is – very high-tech. If you’re looking to gild the lily, choose the optional Executive Package, which adds such items as soft-close doors, heated seats throughout, front-row massaging seats, and heated and cooled cupholders. Certainly there’s room is fairly good up front, with rear legroom dependent on those in front, although it’s certainly adequate.

It’s Electric

The grille is fairly aggressive in design, but you’d never call it pretty.

Beyond the things you can see, this year, BMW has improved the suspension and steering system, and installed a 48-volt hybrid system to the twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 engine of the X5 M Competition, which produces 617 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque through an eight-speed automatic transmission and variable all-wheel-drive system that can be set for maximum traction or added agility in rear-biased Track mode.

Now that there’s only one trim level, the 2024 BMW X5 M Competition is fitted with such formerly optional items, including an adaptive suspension system, a sport exhaust, and staggered 21-inch/22-inch summer tires.

It’s nearly 69 inches tall and weighs in at slightly less than 5,500 pounds. Yet it accelerates to 60 mph in an estimated 3.6 seconds, while returning an EPA-rated 18 mpg in mixed driving. We saw 14 mpg due to a very heavy right foot.

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Behind the wheel

The X5 M features a massive touchscreen for 2024.

Not only is it quick, it’s handling is razor sharp, with negligible body lean and a very firm ride. It makes it very fun to drive with gusto. Yet that same firm ride that allows for such athleticism inflicts an incredible punishing ride on passengers, who were so pounded by its harsh ride they couldn’t wait to get out of the vehicle. It’s something to consider if you’re going to be using the rear seat a lot, especially considering its $123,295 starting price.

Despite the toll it extracts in passenger ride comfort, the 2024 BMW X5 M Competition is a fun-to-drive beastie, one that should be on your short list if you’re considering such six-figure rides.



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