An SUV on steroids. As an owner of a Porsche 911 Turbo, I'm used to speed and handling. As much fun as the Porsche is, this car makes much more sense as day to day vehicle. Elevated vision, toys galore and acceleration to spare, I enjoy driving this almost as much as the Turbo.
Purchased this car as a demo from a BMW dealership in Germany 21 months ago (it is U.S. spec). I'm fortunate to live in Germany where I put can put this car through its paces on the autobahn. I’ve driven it on long trips and in all weather conditions and it is nothing short of an exceptional machine. If you are looking for the best of both worlds, this is your car. Exceptionally fast, solid and comfortable. The fact that BMW has made virtually no changes to this vehicle in the last 2 model years speaks to its perfection. I’ve had no mechanical problems. A rattle in the moon roof trim and a squeaky spring in the rear seat were quickly remedied by the local dealership.
I thoroughly enjoy my X5M and only wish it had even more torque and horsepower. As an owner of a Porsche 911 Turbo, I appreciate fine engineering and performance and this machine doesn't disappoint. It also comes equipped with all the modern amenities not normally associated with German cars, user friendly nav system, two mp3 connections, every toy you could possibly want. Keyless entry, 4 cameras, sensors, it's impossible to find a flaw.
I thought the GT 5 would be a nice blend of performance and function. The sales manager suggested I drive the X5M. The X5M was much more fun to drive and more functional. Surprisingly comfortable than the GT with a more supple ride. The ride is tons better than a standard X5. The M's handling rivals virtually any sport sedan. It is big and heavy and the mileage is atrocious - but expected. Don't have enough miles to judge reliability.
Even in default Drive (no M options selected), this lump is a rocket. The engine itself lacks any sort of audible personality, but it provides thrust like some sort of turbine propulsion unit. After selecting M-mode and utilizing the launch control, it knocked more than a half-second off the 0-60 time and the upshifts were noticeably quicker and belched louder as well. And this locomotive runs a 12-second quarter-mile? I'm utterly amazed with how fast this thing is.
While the distances aren't particularly short in a vacuum, they are remarkable for a 5,300-pound SUV. The fade resistance, too, is beyond impressive, with the shortest stop arriving on the sixth run. A little more forward pitch than I had expected with all the real-time suspension hardware/software, but I'll cut it some slack, I guess.
Skid pad: M-dynamic Mode (MDM) produced only a slightly better result (0.91g vs. 0.90 g); however, it was far more controlled, requiring far less steering and throttle manipulation to maintain a smooth and fast arc. Steering weight is a little excessive here, but otherwise perfectly tuned for feel and assist levels. Grip is astonishing. Slalom: Two things limited the X5 M's slalom results: the stability control is not fully defeatable and the tremendous wind blast the vehicle creates topples otherwise untouched cones with regularity. The problems started when I purposely drove wide of the cones (to avoid blowing them down), effectively squaring off the turn which then awakens the DSC. Still, the connection between driver's palms and the tires' contact patches, the prodigious grip levels, and the obviously clever active AWD make the X5 M uncomonly (and incongruously) nimble and capable.