BMW X5 M Competition review
The BMW X5 M Competition ticks many boxes: its quick, comfy, high-quality, spacious with great infotainment. Oh, but there’s one more – expensive.
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The BMW X5 M Competition has so much going for it, it’s a bit like a car designed via a focus group. It’s spacious, practical, has a lovely cabin, great infotainment and is fast yet comfy. Oh, this focus group all live in Monaco, by the way.
Yep, the X5 M Competition is watery-eye expensive. More than £100,000 expensive. It isn’t alone, however, because it competes with other blisteringly quick large SUVs such as the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 and Porsche Cayenne, which aren’t exactly budget cars.
You can’t be the shy and retiring type to own an X5 M Competition, with its gaping black grille, huge air intakes, huge wheels, large exhausts and vivid unique paint colours helping it stand out over the standard X5.
And, if by some miracle you’d missed the exterior, the X5 M Competition’s interior is every bit as in-your-face. Think seriously figure-hugging seats with quilted stitching, aluminium trim, sports pedals and ambient lighting. Of course, there’s the chance to up the ante with BMW’s options list, but a superb fit and finish are standard.
One thing that stays the same versus stand X5s is the infotainment system, although it’s one of the best in the business. It’s BMW’s top-end Professional system, which gets a 12-inch screen that can be controlled by touch, a rotary dial between the front seats or even a very good voice control system.
It also gets Apple CarPlay as standard (with Android Auto to follow in time), although you’ll have to pay for it beyond year one and Mercedes’ digital dials are more visually impressive and configurable than the ones you get as standard in the BMW.
It’s a shame that European X5 M Competitions don’t sound quite as good as US ones. It’s all to do with a more restrictive exhaust getting in the way of the noise. Boo.
Two adults in the front of the BMW X5 M Competition will have no issues with space, and the same goes for another couple of tall adults behind them in the back. The X5 M Competition keeps the standard cars’ huge 650-litre boot too, which has the added benefit of a split tailgate.
Elsewhere in the world the BMW X5 M Competition also comes as simply an X5 M with 600hp, but here in the UK it’s the full-fat 625hp Competition model or nothing. That V8 petrol sends this 2.4-tonne behemoth to 62mph from standstill in just 3.8 seconds. That’s supercar fast.
And while it won’t lap a track as quickly as BMW’s fastest M cars, the X5 M Competition’s huge tyres, stiff, adaptive suspension, clever differential, extra bracing and quicker steering all help it feel just about as agile as an SUV can, even without the rear-wheel steering of some alternatives.
As such, in town, this big SUV doesn’t feel quite so nimble, but on the motorway it’ll breeze down slip roads and overtake faster-moving traffic with a simple twitch of the right foot, all the while remaining more comfortable and quiet than it has any right to be given its sporty intentions.
It all sounds great, but it’s worth bearing in mind that the also-V8 BMW X5 M 50i model does 90% of what this M Competition model can do while being vastly cheaper. However, if you have the budget and the need for the pinnacle of BMW SUVs, then the X5 M Competition will satisfy and then some.
Make sure you head to our BMW deals page for the very best prices.