2020 BMW X5 M Competition review: Great power, great responsibility

Victoria D. Doty

How quite a few programming languages are you proficient in? What’s your experience with machine understanding? You practically require a master’s degree in laptop science to decode some of the 2020 BMW X5 M Competition’s most superior features. Its iDrive infotainment system has much more likely on than a Google details middle. Yes, this ultrahigh-performance SUV can be exceptionally complex.

Or it can be lifeless very simple. You can dive by means of dozens of different options and menus to tailor its habits particularly to your flavor, or you can click on its shifter into push, stand on the accelerator pedal and hold on limited as it shoots you down the highway like an armor-piercing shell fired from a battleship’s key gun. The option is yours.


  • Responsive iDrive system
  • Thundering performance
  • Good cargo area
  • Opulent interior

You should not Like

  • Minimal backseat legroom
  • So… much… complexity
  • Not incredibly fairly

Stupid speed

Delivering the X5 M Competition’s pavement-pounding performance is a noble powertrain. If you are acquainted with fashionable BMWs, you’re very likely acquainted with the Bavarian firm’s 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8, which is utilized to great effect in a huge range of versions. This delightfully easy motor is equal pieces natural beauty and beast, joyful to trundle together in close to silence or drop-kick you to the horizon.

In the standard X5 M, this V8 is great for 600 horsepower, but in the Opposition model it provides even much more, cranking out 617 hp. No make a difference the product, torque clocks in at the identical prodigious 553 pound-ft.

With an 8-speed automated transmission routing all that torque by means of a substantial-performance, rear-biased all-wheel-push system, the X5 M Opposition can strike sixty mph in as little as 3.7 seconds, a person-tenth more rapidly than the non-Opposition product. Leading speed is constrained to 155 mph — or 177 mph with the readily available M Driver’s Package deal, a $two,500 possibility.

As individuals figures propose, this Bimmer is silly rapid for some thing that weighs much more than five,400 kilos. It’s like a leather-lined, roadgoing cruise missile. But pushed in a sane fashion, it’s also properly docile and tranquil. The transmission shifts smoothly, the interior stays hushed and when you convert the seat massager on and tune the satellite radio to Symphony Hall, it can be really serene as well.


Yes, there is certainly an motor hidden beneath that plastic address.

Ben Sanders/Roadshow

Toss this loved ones-hauler into a corner and it eagerly responds. The steering ratio is rapid, offering it a nimbleness not typical of some thing this significant, and the rim is reassuringly meaty. Nonetheless, like so quite a few fashionable autos, there is a dearth of highway come to feel. You are not able to truly notify what individuals front tires are carrying out.

Journey high quality is a bit on the prickly facet and this machine’s intense tires present a bit of sound. No make a difference the chassis placing, you come to feel each individual crack and enlargement joint.

On the avenue, braking performance is inexhaustible. Then yet again, with front discs clocking in at much more than fifteen.five inches in diameter and wrapped in six-piston calipers, it’d far better be. Curiously, BMW lets you regulate the come to feel of the brake-by-wire system. You can find a Comfort and a Activity placing, and I uncovered the previous much more agreeable as it can make the binders simpler to modulate.

Whilst not solely deplorable, gasoline financial system is not a person of this BMW’s strong satisfies. It stickers at 13 miles for every gallon city and eighteen mpg highway. Merged, it’s rated to return fifteen mpg, which is about what I bought in actual-environment driving when I wasn’t burying the accelerator pedal at each individual stoplight.


This interior is totally amazing.

Ben Sanders/Roadshow

On the lookout the component

Some of BMW’s current models have produced rather a bit of controversy. That bucktooth grille motif uncovered on the new 7 Sequence and X7 versions is a bit significantly. Luckily, the X5’s front finish has not been supersized to the identical severe, and in general, it’s nonetheless a moderately handsome car and far much more interesting than its partially deflated sibling, the X6.

As opposed with common X5s, M versions feature more substantial front bumper openings, specific grille inserts and different fender vents. There are flared wheel arches, much more-aerodynamic mirror housings and a unique rear diffuser, which surrounds some girthy quad exhaust ideas.

In a natural way, the Opposition product sits at the pinnacle of the X5 range. Placing it aside from even the standard X5 M are a number of black-finished factors these types of as the grille surrounds and mirror caps. These autos also appear with a staggered established of wheels, 21-inchers up front and 22s at the back. Of course, individuals rollers appear wrapped in gummy-smooth 295/35 Michelin Pilot Activity 4S substantial-performance tires for greatest grip, at the very least in favorable temperature. I might detest to navigate a blizzard with these issues.

From an visual appearance standpoint, some pieces of this machine’s design work well. Other individuals, not so significantly. I’m in appreciate with this vehicle’s stance and proportions. The black trimmings give it a sinister edge and individuals exhaust shops command attention. But the in general look is nonetheless a bit as well chaotic for my flavor. It’s like designers weren’t absolutely sure when to wrap issues up, and just kept incorporating much more creases and accents to the X5’s entire body.

The finer issues

That exterior might be some thing of a blended bag, but inside of, there is certainly pretty much almost nothing to complain about. Opposition versions feature a cabin that is practically as lavish as the Palace of Versailles. They appear with full Merino leather trimmings that not only look and come to feel great but odor awesome, as well. My tester is also dressed up with radiant carbon-fiber trim and attractive distinction stitching, standard gear on this product. The X5 M Competiton’s cabin is simply just outstanding, particularly in the ivory and darkish-blue color plan.

This vehicle’s front bucket seats are supportive and incredibly adjustable, but that is not all. They’re heated and ventilated, additionally the steering wheel and front armrests are heated, as well. If you are not able to get relaxed in a person of these chairs, there is certainly no hope for you.

The X5 M Competition’s 2nd-row seat is, regrettably, nowhere close to as comfortable as its front accommodations. Legroom is unexpectedly limited and it’s hard to get into and out of that back bench since the doorway openings are narrow and the sills rather wide. At the very least my tester’s optional $3,600 Govt Package deal provides heated outboard rear seats. That choices team also receives you issues like massaging front buckets, heated and cooled cupholders and smooth-close doorways, which carefully motor shut so there is certainly no require to slam them.

At the rear, this BMW has a conventional driven liftgate that opens upward, but it also has a vestigial tailgate, which sticks up about eight inches. This is a remarkably helpful feature, preventing products from rolling out of the cargo area when the key hatch is open. It also folds up and down at the thrust of a button, and whilst it’s in the decreased position, provides a awesome location to sit and an even simpler way to get hefty cargo inside of.


These front seats are supremely relaxed, and fairly stylish, as well.

Ben Sanders/Roadshow

Powering the X5’s rear seat you can expect to come across 33.nine cubic ft of baggage area, meaning it’s rather capacious. Fold the 40:twenty:40 break up backrest down and you get 72.3, figures that are fairly significantly in lockstep with competitors like the Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S and Audi’s SQ7. You can find also an underfloor storage cubby that is remarkably roomy, a great location to stash sensitive products absent from prying eyes.

Circuitry overload

Residing on a colorful and crisp 12.3-inch screen, the iDrive 7 working system is a notable component of the X5’s dashboard. This infotainment array is really responsive, booting up in an immediate and with pretty much zero lag.

But as I outlined, the usability of this technological know-how is a issue. At 1st, it’s like, whoa. You can find so significantly likely on, with menus and icons and submenus and much more. Over and above that, you can interact with this system by way of the touchscreen, there is certainly also a management dial and a touch pad, you can use voice instructions and BMW even includes gesture ability. It’s all overpowering and, frankly, fairly pointless.

But poke close to for a whilst and this system does start out to make feeling. It’s not as convoluted as it in the beginning appears to be, but be warned, there is a understanding curve and there are options for just about every thing, from how the climate-management system preconditions the cabin to how the brake pedal feels to about fifty,000 other issues.


BMW’s iDrive system is both of those immensely responsive and exceptionally complex.

Ben Sanders/Roadshow

For a much more streamlined experience, Apple CarPlay is involved at no excess charge. It connects to the infotainment system wirelessly, which is an absolute gamechanger and some thing I want each individual new car experienced. For Google aficionados, Android Vehicle is not readily available, at the very least not nevertheless. The good news is, it ought to get there in July of this year, readily available on a variety of versions equipped with the firm’s BMW Working Procedure 7.. The optional Bowers & Wilkins audio system rocks and isn’t really as well unreasonably priced at $3,400.

In a natural way, my X5 M Opposition tester comes with a substantial range of driver aids. You can find blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and rear cross-targeted visitors inform, the normal gear uncovered on quite a few mass-marketplace autos these days. It all performs as advertised, however I did detect the steering guide is not rather as dialed in as I might like, permitting the car to wander remaining and suitable a bit as well significantly. Automakers like Honda and Nissan look to have an edge in this area.

Apart from the normal aids, my tester also features the $one,seven-hundred Driving Help Specialist Package deal. BMW, and other German automakers, just appreciate charging excess for features that ought to be standard, particularly in a top rated-shelf product. This choices team includes adaptive cruise management with cease-and-go ability as well as Prolonged Site visitors Jam Assistant. That 2nd product provides partially automated driving on constrained-entry highways at speeds fewer than 40 mph. Essentially, in hurry-hour problems it enables this X5 to steer, cease and accelerate on its very own, with the driver carefully monitoring, of course. This is valuable for motorists with gnarly commutes.


Nope, this Bimmer is not a strong price but it absolutely sure is awesome inside of.  

Ben Sanders/Roadshow

Fun, but a bit as well significantly

The 2020 BMW X5 M Opposition is beautiful inside of and feature-laden, but we’ve bought to discuss about the selling price. These issues kick off at close to $115,000, about $nine,000 much more than the non-Opposition X5 M. My tester checks out for $128,245 together with a small handful of choices and $995 in supply costs. Do you want a starter house in suburbia or a new BMW?

Nonetheless, if you’re an orthopedic surgeon or a bank government who will use this car for commuting duty and know what you’re obtaining into, you will appreciate it. If you want a bit much more driving fun or a slightly much more adaptable loved ones hauler, you could possibly look at other car segments.

The X5 M Opposition is also blazingly rapid and suitably comfortable and even has sufficient cargo area. But at the finish of the working day, it nonetheless feels like as well significantly. The complexity can be overpowering and further than organ-bruising straight-line speed, the driving experience feels a little synthesized.

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