The BMW XM: A Bold and Powerful SUV with Controversial Looks

The BMW XM: A Bold and Powerful SUV with Controversial Looks


When it comes to luxury car manufacturers, BMW has always been at the forefront of innovation and performance. With their latest offering, the BMW XM, they have taken a bold step into the world of powerful SUVs. The XM is not your average sports utility vehicle; it is a beast that combines the success of the X series with the raw power of BMW’s M Division. In this article, we will delve into the details of the BMW XM, exploring its design, performance, and overall appeal.

The Powerhouse Under the Hood

At the heart of the BMW XM lies a formidable powertrain that sets it apart from its competitors. The XM is equipped with a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 engine, delivering an impressive 482 horsepower. But that’s not all – the XM also features an electric motor integrated into the gearbox, providing an additional boost to the power output. The combined result is a staggering 644 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. With this immense power, the XM can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in just 4.3 seconds, making it one of the fastest SUVs on the market. The top speed of the XM is an impressive 174 mph, ensuring that it can hold its own on any road.

A Design That Demands Attention

The BMW XM is not a car that blends into the crowd. Its aggressive and muscular design demands attention wherever it goes. BMW has taken inspiration from its M1 supercar, incorporating twin roundel badges etched into the rear window as a nod to the iconic vehicle. However, the XM takes things to a whole new level with its exaggerated grille and muscular bodywork. The grille, in particular, is a standout feature, with its imposing size and LED illumination. While some may find the design obnoxious or even vulgar, it is undeniably a statement of power and presence.

The XM’s Unique Positioning

One might wonder why BMW decided to name this SUV the XM instead of following their usual naming convention. According to BMW’s engineers, the XM offers so much more than just an incremental improvement over the previous models. The decision to give it a distinct name highlights the extravagance and oomph that the XM brings to the table. It also sets the stage for future plug-in hybrid models from BMW’s M Division, as they aim to expand their offerings in the coming years.

A Driving Experience That Falls Short

While the BMW XM may look like a beast on the outside, its driving experience leaves something to be desired. BMW has a history of creating SUVs that offer sports car-like handling, but the XM falls short in this regard. It is evident that the XM has been designed to cater to a wide range of customers, which may have compromised its performance capabilities. The stiffness of the suspension makes it less comfortable as a luxury car, and its heavy-handed handling fails to deliver the agility and configurability that one would expect from an M car.

The Competition: Is the XM Worth It?

With a hefty price tag, the BMW XM faces tough competition in the luxury SUV market. One of its strongest rivals is the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S e-Hybrid, which offers a more well-rounded package with its plug-in hybrid technology and superior driving dynamics. Additionally, BMW’s own X5M, known for its exceptional driving experience, outshines the XM in terms of performance. Even the brand’s electric-only crossover, the iX, provides a more desirable option for those seeking a greener and more futuristic SUV. Considering the alternatives available, one must question whether the XM truly justifies its price and reputation.

The Controversial Appeal

Despite its flaws, the BMW XM has managed to generate a significant amount of interest, with order books already overflowing. This can be attributed, in part, to its controversial design that invites strong opinions from onlookers. The exaggerated grille, muscular bodywork, and overall obnoxious appearance have become a talking point among car enthusiasts. While some may appreciate the audacity of the design, others find it off-putting and unnecessary. In a world where sustainability and social responsibility are increasingly important, the XM’s image seems out of touch with the current climate.

Verdict: A Missed Opportunity

In conclusion, the BMW XM is a bold attempt by the German manufacturer to combine the power of their M Division with the practicality of an SUV. However, it falls short of expectations. The XM’s design, while attention-grabbing, may be too divisive for many potential buyers. Additionally, its driving experience fails to deliver the nimble and precise handling that BMW is known for. When compared to its rivals and even other models within BMW’s own lineup, the XM struggles to justify its high price tag. Ultimately, the XM feels like a missed opportunity for BMW to create a truly exceptional and well-rounded luxury SUV.

Additional Information

  • The XM is expected to have its largest market in the United States, followed by China.
  • The XM offers a coupe-like roofline and pays homage to the M1 with the twin roundel badges on the rear window.
  • BMW’s engineers have plans to expand their plug-in hybrid offerings in the future, with the M5 and the replacements for the X5M and X6M expected to feature petrol-electric powertrains.


While the BMW XM may have generated attention with its bold design and powerful specifications, it ultimately falls short of expectations. The XM’s aggressive appearance may polarize opinions, and its driving experience fails to deliver the level of performance and handling one would expect from an M car. With strong competition in the luxury SUV market, the XM struggles to justify its high price tag. Despite its flaws, the XM has found a market, but its controversial image raises questions about its relevance in today’s world.

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