The BMW X5 M variant has undergone a mid-life facelift. It’s nothing drastic, but enough has changed to bring it in line with the rest of the X5 range.
There are new lights front and back, with those facing forward bringing to mind the BMW 3 Series. The rear bumper has also been modified, with an updated diffuser helping improve its aerodynamics.
Unsurprisingly, its external dimensions have barely shifted, with the only differences coming about as a result of the styling and aerodynamic tweaks. It is 30kg lighter than its predecessor, though, through the use of lightweight components – including uprated brakes that shave 1.6kg from each corner.
Step inside and you’ll feel right at home, as again the changes are subtle, with slimmer vents and less clutter leading the way.
High quality Merino leather and unique sports seats lift the interior above more run-of-the-mill editions, but the main attraction – and most obvious enhancement over the standard X5 – is a gorgeous M Sport steering wheel with gear change paddles.
The basic format of the X5 M’s engine is largely the same as before: it’s a 4.4-litre petrol motor boosted by two big turbos.
However, thanks to a more rigid construction, lightweight crankshaft and improved intake and exhaust systems, BMW has managed to squeeze out an extra 23hp, as well as an even more significant 52lb ft gain in torque.
A replacement for the old six-speed automatic gearbox comes in the shape of an eight-speed dual clutch unit, which aims to improve both performance and economy.
|Engine size/type||4,395cc twin-turbo V8||4,395cc twin-turbo V8|
|Gearbox||Six-speed automatic||Eight-speed automatic|
|Torque||501lb ft||553lb ft|
Performance and economy
That extra dose of power, combined with the weight reduction and more efficient eight speed double clutch gearbox, results in a half-second drop in the time it takes to get to 60mph from a standing start, clocking in at 4.2sec, which isn’t bad for a car that still weighs 2,275kg.
That’s not the only place where the improved gearbox and weight reduction pay dividends, either, with the X5 M now hitting 25.4mpg in regular use, and emissions dropping to 258g/km.
|0-60mph time (secs)||4.7||4.2|
|Top speed (mph)||155 (limited)||155 (limited)|
|Fuel economy (mpg, combined cycle)||20.3||25.5|
|CO2 emissions (g/km)||325||258|
If you’re after a fast BMW SUV then you could do worse than to take a look at our BMW X6 M and X5 M comparison – the X6 M has all the grunt of the X5 M with a bit more style.