So, you’ve got $130,000-ish USD burning a hole in your pocket. You need an SUV with enough room for you, your golf clubs, and your growing family. But you also need enough power to smoke that jerk down the street with the slightly used Tesla. You know the guy. Imagine your surprise when you realize that BMW offers not only one, but two, vehicles that fit the bill. More than qualified to handle most vehicles from a standstill, going full-tilt with the BMW X5 M and X6 M is a rewarding experience no matter which you choose. But why pick one over the other?

BMW X5 M vs. X6 M Exterior and Interior Styling 

2024 BMW X5 M Competition front roller

Both the X5 M and X6 M offer the same exterior and interior options. From exterior paint to trim, from wheels to upholstery, every single option can be made the same. The exterior styling is noticeably different. And, indeed, it is the biggest separator between the two. The BMW X6 M features more aggressive and ornate air breathers, a black rear lip spoiler, and a pretty serious swoop in the rear set the X6 M apart from the more practical shape of the X5 M.

Inside, the sloped fastback style costs the BMW X6 M in cargo space. You’ll lose 12.7 cubic feet of storage in the X6 M, with only 59.6 cubic feet vs the X5 M’s 72.3. The front headroom decreases by half an inch, too. In the back, rear seat headroom decreases by nearly two inches, rear leg room by 1.5 inches, and should room by around half an inch. The X6 M, shockingly, does have an edge in front leg room – 40.4 inches vs. 39.8 inches – and ties for front shoulder room (60 inches). Predictably, the X5 M is, overall, slightly more practical than the X6 M.

BMW X5 M vs. X6 M Power and Performance 

2024 BMW X6 M Competition

You might think that the X5 M and X6 M are pretty much identical when it comes to performance. Well, you might be right. Both feature an identical twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 under the hood making 617 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. Of course, this assumes you’re buying one brand-new or opting for a used one with the Competition Package. Non-Competition Package versions, er, less-competitive versions, make do with just 600 horsepower – torque is unchanged. Both accelerate from zero to 60 mph in around 3.7 seconds, both will hurtle towards an artificially imposed 155-mph top speed, and both will beat Tesla guy. Well, as long as it’s not a Plaid (it won’t be).

BMW X5 M vs. X6 M Value and Verdict 

X5 M and X6 M Competition

New, the 2024 X5 M starts at $122,300, and the X6 M commands $127,200. While it may weigh fractionally less, the X6 M delivers an identical show from the driver’s seat. 123 pounds of curb weight isn’t quite worth $5K to me, but those seeking the absolute highest performance ceiling will want to opt for the X6 M. It is, however fractionally, the better-performing vehicle. For those seeking more usability, the X5 M is the clear choice. It’s a deceptively straightforward decision – and you won’t be disappointed by either.