BMW X5 M put to the test: The well-trained stock bull from Munich

Incredibly strong, enormously heavy but still with a top speed of 2800 km/h.  The BMW X5 M is an automotive masterpiece that is full of contradiction. We put it to the test.  

BMW X5 M put to the test 4 1

With this text still being typed, the air vents of the BMW X5 M parked down on level U3 are probably still humming. And this was only after a gentle morning drive to the office. But the 4.4-litre V8 not only produces 750 Nm and 575 HP, but also a huge amount of heat. Ten radiators, four cooling circuits, five pumps and transmission oil cooling ensure that the biturbo doesn't catch hyperthermia. One day before, working together with the snappily quick or softly switching eight-speed automatic transmission, they had much more blowing to do.

Taking measurements in Lahr: the destination flag flashes in the display. The Launch Control is alert. The V8 in the BMW X5 M thuds at 5,000 rpm, and then the gears kick in. A dual clutch transmission can't get any better than this. Nought to one hundred: 4.1 seconds. 11.1 seconds later and 200 km/h is history. A 700-kilos-lighter M3 is just 0.1 second faster in the sprint to 100. Brutish values but: any car can drive in a straight line. For eample, an X5 xDrive50i for 35,000 Euros less.

The BMW X5 M for 114,300 Euros

But this X5 now features an M on the kidney grille, and yes: it is deserving of it. Tremendously nimble and light on its feet, the 2.3-tonner roars with a bassy undertone and minimal lateral inclination through alternating curves, depending on the ESP mode it pushes with the rear, sometimes to a large extent (key word: MDM), and sometimes to a lesser extent, and at the same time offers sufficient drive comfort. It is up to the driver to set the characteristic curve for the chassis, drive system and steering using three shortcut keys. Here only the Sport Plus mode makes the steering feel excessively heavy and strengthens the BMW X5 M's desire to follow deep grooves rather than the steering direction.

The cost for this otherwise tremendous drive behaviour is huge: completely variable all-wheel drive, active roll stabilisers, adaptive dampers, pneumatic suspension to the rear, compound brakes – all working together, these features skilfully mask the weight of the SUV. But does the experience justify the expense? It at least relativises the price: 114,300 Euros.


10 May 2016
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