Tech

Turn up the sport, turn down the utility: The 2020 BMW X5 M and X6 M

  • BMW has given the current X5 and X6 SUVs the M treatment. BMW
  • The X5 M, looking shiny outside some of Arizona's finest midcentury architecture. BMW
  • The differences between the X5 M and X6 M are really just cosmetic. BMW
  • You can have the interior of either upholstered like a storm trooper. BMW
  • I don't know about you but I think the yellow/orange stripes are a bit much. BMW
  • The command center. BMW
  • No one really needs an SUV with 617hp. BMW
  • You can preconfigure the cars' vast array of settings and engage them with the push of a button on the steering wheel. BMW
  • Do you think unintelligent safety remains engaged? BMW
  • Big brakes and sticky tires help these big SUVs handle better than you might think possible. BMW
  • If your rear passengers need headroom, the X5 M is the one you want. BMW
  • By contrast, this is the X6 M's back seat. BMW
  • Again, for maximum trunk space: X5 M. BMW
  • But you can still get plenty of stuff in an X6 M. BMW
  • Can a car this heavy really be called "competition"? BMW

Yes. Another SUV review. Sorry, but couples, families, singles, alt-lifestylers, outdoor-seekers, bankers, lawyers, doctors, musicians, actors, and even website developers are continuing to drive the SUV segment into utter dominance. And it doesn't matter where you live: the sales figures in Europe are accelerating more swiftly to the SUV camp than in North America, where it's dominated for many years already. This is not a value judgment on the goodness or evil of SUVs. It just is. And consider this: of BMW's 15 different lines of automobiles, seven of them are SUVs. Mercedes has a staggering eight lines of SUVs.

But BMW is nothing if not a company aware of and amenable to splitting niches, be they product lines (like all those hatchback variations on sedans) or ultra-high-performance flavors of big SUVs. That's where we pick up this particular train coming into the station: the 2020 X5 M and the related X6 M. These two add the engine and legs of a thoroughbred sports sedan to the sport-utility, resulting in SUVs with not just room and girth but also abilities in the twisties and the vast open road on the order of a top sports sedan.

The new Ms snarl with 600hp (447kW) from their twin-turbo, 4.4L V8 engines, though that figure can be boosted even more to 617hp (460kW) with the lily-gilding optional Competition Package. (We can't help thinking that any 5,200-plus-pound SUV wearing a badge that reads "Competition" is just a trifle incongruous, unless it's an eating competition.) And yes, that's damn near twice the output of the base X5 and X6 powertrain (in the US market), which puffs out a comparatively paltry 335hp (250kW), though no one would could legitimately call that engine deficient.

And all that power is nothing without the ability to harness it, so active anti-roll bars, adjustable damping, and enormous brakes come along for the ride. Both M models also have a full helping of active safety features like automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, and lane-keeping assist, plus conveniences like Wi-Fi, making the Ms an overflowing river of various technologies.

Not the best SUVs for crossing continents in a day

But starting at $106,095 for the X5 M and $109,595 for the X6 M, they are financial mountains to climb. And with combined city-highway fuel-economy figures of just 15mpg (15.7l/100km) for both, they're thirsty ones, too. These new Ms save fuel by using a start/stop system that shuts down the engine when reaching a full stop. However, when engaged, it creates an abrupt stop, even when you feather the brake pedal. You can disable the start/stop systeRead More – Source