It’s no secret that SUVs have far outweighed the importance of small sports cars in this modern age. Customers don’t want small, lightweight sports coupes anymore. Instead, they way fast, somewhat sporty crossovers and SUVs, with loads of comfort and technology. While enthusiasts bemoan this (as we should), it’s not all bad. Brands like BMW have shown that SUVs can still be hilarious good fun. Just in a different way. The BMW X5 M is a perfect example of that.
Car and Driver recently tested the 2017 BMW X5 M, which has gotten some mild updates since its original debut. Their feelings on it seem to match our own. Sure, the X5 M is no lithe-handling sports car but the current world is better for it existing. That’s because it shows that when SUVs completely take over, the fun doesn’t have to stop.
The 4.4 liter V8 under its hood makes 567 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. That allows it to get from 0-60 mph in a C&D-recorded 3.8 seconds. That’s positively rapid, by any standard. For a 5,000 lb-plus SUV, that’s blisteringly, absurdly fast. The BMW X5 M simply defies what physics claims is possible of such a heavy vehicle. But it isn’t just straight line speed. The X5 M has the moves to keep up with genuine sports cars on a twisty road or track. Grip levels are sensational for such a heavy car and turn-in is surprisingly sharp. We almost feel bad for what those tires must go through.
Now, this isn’t the most engaging car in the world. It’s a nearly two and a half ton SUV, it’s not going to be engaging. By literally smacking physics in its face can be a different kind of fun. It doesn’t need to be a pure sports car. Its performance smacks you in the face and it’s hilarious because of it.
The only real issue with the BMW X5 M is that it can be overly complicated. This is with all M cars, though. There are so many buttons and settings for so many different aspects of the car’s powertrain, steering and suspension that it can be overwhelming. This isn’t a complaint on just the X5 M, though, it’s more of how BMW sets up its M cars. Admittedly, you’ll pay a price for all of that power. At over $100,000, the BMW X5 M is not cheap. However, the fit and finish is superb and the interior is incredibly luxurious. It always feels worth the money.
So the X5 M is an interesting car that packs enough power to make space shuttles jealous and enough grip to tear the asphalt from the road, while being luxurious enough on the inside to travel with five people across the country and enough space for all of their luggage. That’s mightily impressive.[Source: Car and Driver]