The BMW XM is probably the most controversial looking Bimmer since the E65 7 Series and potentially even more controversial looking than that. It’s an incredibly unique looking car in the BMW lineup, without any resemblance to any other Bimmer. BMW really swung for the fences with the XM and, in some ways knocked it out of the park. But in others… not so much. So color choice is important, as certain colors can highlight the car’s attributes, while hiding its less stranger elements. Black Sapphire Metallic might just be the best color for that.

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First let’s start with what’s good looking about the XM. It’s overall shape is quite nice, as it has an aggressively raked roodling, boxy proportions, and a sporty stance. One glance at the BMW XM and you know you’re looking at a performance SUV. However, some of its more specific design elements can get quite awkward, such as its strangely vast slab of metal at the back end, its oddly shaped rear wheel arches, and some of the confusing surfacing. However, dark colors hide a lot of that awkwardness and it doesn’t get much darker than Black Sapphire Metallic.

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Then there’s the front end. Ironically, the front end is probably the best looking part of the BMW XM, which is not the case for most new Bimmers. The BMW XM’s grille is reasonably size for such a large SUV, its dual slim headlights looks sleek and modern, and—aside from the sea of black plastic—its front bumper has cohesive lines and sporty intakes. It looks cool from the front end. However, it does look a bit big and heavy, which isn’t great for a sporty car. So painting it black really slims it down a bit, visually.

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Black has always been the go-to color for slightly awkward looking cars, because it hides a lot of body lines and shapes. Whereas lighter colors and whites accentuate all of its body lines. Which is why the BMW XM might look best in black. It also looks good in Carbon Black, which is still incredibly dark but has some blue in it to add a bit of pop. Dravit Grey doesn’t look bad, either, but it is getting a bit too light. However, if you want one of the more exciting colors—Toronto Red, Cape York Green, or Marina Bay Blue—you really better like the XM’s design because it will stand out far more with those colors.

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