June 19, 2024
SUVs & Crossovers

9 reflections on the 2024 BMW X5 M Competition

The 2024 BMW X5 M Competition is the M version of the X5, and it’s a worthy product of the Bavarian automaker’s performance division. At its heart is a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8, plus a 48-volt hybrid assist motor incorporated into its eight-speed automatic transmission. It’s good for a wild 617 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, with BMW clocking the 0-60 sprint at a brisk 3.7 seconds. It’s got the sport-tuned suspension, beefy brakes and a host of visual upgrades to match. The result is an unnervingly potent luxury family crossover. It’s almost funny.

With the Competition being the only way into an X5 with the full M treatment — the next rung below it on the ladder for 2024 is the X5 M60i — I wondered about the balance between performance, comfort and utility. Some of BMW’s M cars can get a bit hardcore for daily driving (particularly when it comes to comfort), especially as you start appending words or letters beyond the M. With a starting price of $125,975 (including destination), I’d expect something pretty hot, but as an owner, I’d want to be able to use it comfortably as a primary driver.

With that in mind, here are nine thoughts after spending the better part of a week with an X5 M Competition in the driveway.

1. The acceleration is impressive

The X5 M Competition accelerates with incredible power, making it exhilarating to drive. The V8 engine is responsive and delivers a thrilling performance. While it can be a bit eager in traffic, the acceleration on open roads is exhilarating and provides an exciting driving experience.

2. Handling can be challenging

Due to the immense power of the V8, the X5 M Competition can be challenging to handle, especially when cornering. It requires skill and caution to navigate corners smoothly. The raw power of the vehicle demands respect and careful driving to fully enjoy its performance capabilities.

3. The transmission adds to the driving experience

The transmission in the X5 M Competition is engaging, especially in manual mode with the paddle shifters. It offers quick and precise shifts, enhancing the overall driving dynamics of the vehicle. Whether you’re cruising or pushing the limits, the transmission adapts accordingly, providing a seamless and exhilarating driving experience.

4. Enjoy the impressive engine sound

The X5 M Competition produces an exciting and exhilarating engine sound, adding to the overall driving experience. The sport mode enhances the auditory experience, creating a symphony of engine notes and exhaust sounds that amplify the thrill of driving this performance SUV.

5. Improved steering response

The X5 M Competition features improved steering response, offering better precision and feedback compared to previous models. The variable steering ratio and speed-dependent assistance enhance the overall driving dynamics, providing a more engaging and confidence-inspiring driving experience.

6. Refined interior design

The interior of the X5 M Competition features a refined design with tasteful touches of luxury. The use of materials like carbon fiber and quilted leather adds to the premium feel without being overly extravagant. The interior design strikes a balance between elegance and functionality, creating a comfortable and stylish environment for both driver and passengers.

7. Infotainment system could be more user-friendly

The infotainment system in the X5 M Competition can be cumbersome to navigate, with bulky menus and complex controls. The addition of wireless Apple CarPlay is a convenient feature, but the native menu interface can be overwhelming. Despite its drawbacks, the dual digital screen provides clear information and a visually appealing display for a seamless user experience.

8. Spacious cargo area

The X5 M Competition offers a spacious cargo area, perfect for accommodating various items and luggage. With a cargo capacity of 33.9 cubic feet behind the second row, the X5 M Competition provides ample space for storage and transport needs. The versatile cargo area enhances the practicality and utility of the performance SUV.

9. Convenient two-piece hatch

The dual-opening liftgate/tailgate combo in the X5 M Competition offers convenience and versatility for accessing the cargo area. The liftgate opens quickly for easy loading and unloading, while the lower tailgate provides a practical space for various activities. The two-piece hatch design adds functionality and convenience to the SUV, making it a versatile choice for daily use.

I’m glad the two-piece tailgate is still a thing. I loved it on my ’94 Blazer, and was excited to see Rivian include a similar feature on the upcoming R2 and R3. I like it just as much here.

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