Less than 10 years ago, the idea of an SUV featuring an M badge was something unheard of. People were still reluctant to making M-badged wagons, let alone SUVs. And yet, BMW did it, with the first BMW X5 M and X6 M models and they proved to be a success. That’s probably why every X5 and X6 generation so far got an M version and the most recent iterations are no exception and quite capable too.
I recently had the BMW X6 M Competition all to myself for a week and was completely blown away by its performance. The one thing I didn’t like was the rear-end design, but that’s something the can easily be fixed by getting a different car, like the X5 M Competition, for example. Not only will you get the same performance, you get a better rear-end and a more practical version altogether.
That’s what’s featured in the video below, in a configuration that’s basically identical to the X6 M we had. The color is the same (Marina Bay Blue), the wheels are the same and the specs are the same. Unfortunately, I couldn’t push my X6 M Competition to 300 km/h (186 mph) like you’re about to see unfold in the video below, as I don’t live in Germany. Luckily for us, some people do and they have cameras with them to allow us to join them for the ride.
The fact that an SUV of this size can reach such eye-watering speeds is a testament to how far technology has come and how much power resides under the hood. The 4.4-liter V8 doesn’t only have to carry all that weight up to that speed, but it also has to break the wind resistance.
Clearly, at those speeds, the wind the biggest force working against large SUV. Judging by the looks of things, I reckon the X5 M Competition could reach even more than 300 km/h (186 mph).
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The 2022 BMW X5 is a versatile player in the mid-size luxury-SUV segment, combining a well-appointed interior and a pleasurable driving experience in one handsome package. Even the entry-level models are richly outfitted with modern technology and convenience features, not to mention a silky-smooth inline-six cylinder engine. Upgrading to the plug-in hybrid model gives the X5 the ability to drive solely on electric power for short trips while the optional twin-turbo V-8 engine delivers seriously punchy acceleration. It might not be as plush inside as the Genesis GV80, nor quite as athletic as the Porsche Cayenne, but when compared to SUVs such as the Audi Q7 and the Mercedes-Benz GLE-class the X5's well-roundedness shines through.
What's New for 2022?
The limited edition Black Vermilion model is new to the lineup for 2022. This black-and-red beauty features unique styling cues as well as a host of high-end features such as Merino Black leather upholstery with red piping, a glass shift knob, a faux-suede headliner, a leather-covered dashboard, and a Harman/Kardon stereo system, to name a few. It's based on the xDrive40i model and only 350 will be offered in the U.S., so if it strikes your fancy act quickly.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
We love saving money almost as much as we love great performance, and that's why we think the xDrive40i is the X5 to buy. With a zero-to-60-mph time of just 4.8 seconds, it's got sports-sedan acceleration, comes with all-wheel drive, and is a relative bargain in this pricy class. We'd recommend adding the Premium package for its head-up display, four-zone automatic climate control, remote engine-start capability, Harman/Kardon stereo system, wireless phone charging, and Wi-Fi hotspot.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The 2022 X5 is offered with one of three distinct powertrains, each associated with a different model. X5s wearing the sDrive40i or xDrive40i badge are powered by a 335-hp turbocharged inline-six. The plug-in hybrid xDrive45e comes with a turbocharged inline-six and an electric motor that combine for 389 horsepower. At our test track, that powertrain motivated an X5 to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds. (We've also tested the 40i—it managed a quick 4.8-second run to 60 mph.) Last but not least, the M50i's 523-hp twin-turbo V-8 enables it to rush to 60 mph in less than four seconds. All three powertrains are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, and none of them will leave drivers wanting for power in virtually any driving situation. The X5's refined ride and stable handling are a big improvement compared with the previous-generation model, as is its steering, which feels more connected and direct but still not exactly what we'd consider sporting. The Q7 still has the X5 beat in this area, but it's a close match. Pitch the X5 into a fast corner, and it holds on reliably and rewards the driver with a predictability that's missing from the GLE-class. And if you need to tow, know that the X5's maximum towing capacity is a stout 7200 pounds no matter which engine it has.
Range, Charging, and Battery Life
The xDrive45e model comes standard with a 24.0-kWh battery pack that BMW claims is good enough for up to 30 miles of electric-only driving. The X5 can use the battery to travel up to 84 mph without tapping the gasoline engine. The battery pack can be charged at home on 110-volt or 220-volt outlets or at public charging stations.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
With the inline-six, the X5 is as fuel-efficient as the four-cylinder-powered version of the GLE-class and a tad more fuel-stingy than the four-cylinder Q7, according to the EPA. With the V-8, its EPA ratings drop dramatically. However, during our real-world highway fuel-economy testing, only the 40i model outperformed its highway rating with a 28 mpg result; the M50i recorded 20 mpg, 2 fewer mpg than expected. The plug-in hybrid 45e delivered 46 MPGe in when running only on battery power and 26 mpg overall. For more information about the X5's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Interior space is generous for adults in both the first and second row, but the X5's optional third row is for kids only. Once settled inside, occupants are treated to a cabin lined with high-quality materials, plenty of charging points for devices, and—depending on the options chosen—myriad luxury features. Power-adjustable front seats with memory for the driver are standard. All models come with a power-adjustable steering column, heated front seats, a panoramic sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power rear liftgate, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and customizable ambient lighting. Massaging seats, remote start, soft-close doors, acoustic glass, a leather dashboard, and heated front armrests and steering wheel can make the X5 feel like a high-end luxury SUV but add a lot of dough to the bottom line. Speaking of expensive options, buyers can add a Bowers & Wilkins surround-sound audio system that features diamond-domed tweeters. The X5 offers plentiful cargo space. With the rear seats in use, we managed to fit 11 of our carry-on suitcases behind the second row of seats. With the rear seats folded—an operation that can be done from either the side or the rear of the SUV—we found room for 26 cases. The Mercedes GLE matched the X5's result in this test, case for case, but its rear seats aren't as easy to stow.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Twin 12.3-inch displays add a contemporary look to the otherwise restrained cockpit. One serves as a digital gauge display—a feature that's becoming increasingly common among luxury automakers—and the other provides access to the infotainment system, which runs the latest version of BMW's iDrive software. Users can control the system using a variety of methods, including gesture controls, which are less intuitive than just touching the screen or using the center-console-mounted rotary knob. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both standard.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
BMW offers basic driver-assistance features as standard, including automated emergency braking, but more advanced features such as a semi-autonomous driving mode are optional. For more information about the X5's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane-departure warning
- Standard blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
BMW matches its main rivals Mercedes-Benz and Audi with similar warranty coverage but offers three years or 36,000 miles worth of complimentary scheduled maintenance to sweeten the deal. Volvo buyers also get such a benefit, while the Buick Enclave offers longer powertrain coverage.
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Complimentary scheduled maintenance is covered for 3 years or 36,000 miles
2021 BMW X5 xDrive45e
front-engine, mid-motor, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon
PRICE AS TESTED
(base price: $66,395)
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve 3.0-liter inline-6, 282 hp, 331 lb-ft; permanent-magnet synchronous AC motor, 111 hp, 77 lb-ft; combined output, 389 hp, 443 lb-ft; 17.1-kWh lithium-ion pack
Suspension (F/R): multilink/multilink
Brakes (F/R): .8-in vented disc/14.7-in vented disc
Tires: Pirelli P Zero PZ4, F: 275/40R-21 107Y ★ R: 315/35R-21 111Y ★
Wheelbase: 117.1 in
Length: 194.3 in
Width: 78.9 in
Height: 68.7 in
Passenger volume: 103 ft3
Cargo volume: 33 ft3
Curb weight: 5627 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 4.7 sec
100 mph: 12.8 sec
1/4 mile: 13.4 sec @ 102 mph
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 5.8 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.0 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 4.0 sec
Top speed (governor limited): 129 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 156 ft
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
75-mph highway driving, EV/hybrid mode: 46 MPGe/26 mpg
Highway range, EV/hybrid mode: 25/470 miles
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 19/22/20 mpg
Combined gasoline+electricity: 50 MPGe
EV range: 31 miles
2019 BMW X5
front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5- or 7-passenger, 4-door hatchback
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve 3.0-liter inline-6, 335 hp, 330 lb-ft; twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 4.4-liter V-8, 456 hp, 479 lb-ft
8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
Wheelbase: 117.1 in
Length: 194.3 in
Width: 78.9 in
Height: 69.0 in
Passenger volume: 105–133 cu ft
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 19–22/17–20/22–26 mpg
C/D TEST RESULTS
2019 BMW X5 xDrive50i
• 456-hp twin-turbo V-8, 8-sp auto, 5253 lb, base/as-tested price: $61,695/$92,405
Zero to 60 mph: 4.2 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 12.7 sec @ 109 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 158 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.87 g
C/D observed fuel economy: 14 mpg
2019 BMW X5 xDrive40i
• 335-hp turbo inline-6, 8-sp auto, 4872 lb, base/as-tested price: $61,695/$72,530
Zero to 60 mph: 4.9 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 13.6 sec @ 101 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 129 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 170 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.89 g
C/D observed fuel economy: 19 mpg
C/D TESTING EXPLAINED
More Features and Specs
The year was 2000 when BMW took an X5 off the production line in South Carolina and brought it to Munich, where it was fitted with the 6.1-liter V-12 the Germans used in the LMR race car one year earlier at Le Mans.
Only in the X5, power output went beyond 700 horsepower, while the race car “only” had 580 horses at its disposal due to the mandatory air intake limiters.
Other than the massive power output, the X5 Le Mans cranked out 720 Newton-meters of torque (that’s about 530 pound-feet) and needed just 4.7 seconds to reach 100 kph (62 mph) from a standstill. The official top speed was 278 kph (173 mph), but race driver Hans-Joachim Stuck drove the X5 LM without rear seats and managed to hit 311 kph (193 mph).
|0 to 60 mph||4.7 seconds|
|Top Speed||278 km/h (173 mph)|
Car and Driver wrote back in 2001 that making the engine swap was easier than expected. The donor car’s engine – a 4.4-liter V-8 – was wider and longer than the V-12, so the latter was easily mounted under the hood. However, it was heavier (by 176 pounds) and it needed a 50-percent larger cooling area. To solve the need for better airflow, BMW’s engineers cut holes in the front bumper and hood.
Even more interesting is that initially, BMW wanted to plonk the V-10 from Ralf Schumacher’s Williams-BMW F1 car inside the X5. That plan was dropped since the stock transmission couldn’t deal with an 18,000-rpm redline. Speaking of the gearbox, the X5 LM ended up with a twin-plate racing clutch and the transmission (six speeds, manual!) of an 8 Series coupe. A pair of 20-inch BBS wheels replaced the stock set and the suspension was lowered by 30 mm.
In a way, the audacious BMW X5 LM was a sample of what BMW could do with a high-riding SUV in terms of performance. We can therefore say that the X5 LM paved the way for the X5 M and had the task of preparing people for the madness that was about to come.
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - [email protected]
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born. Read full bio
Top mph x5 bmw speed
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