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Top-line 2024 BMW X5 SUV: too much of a good thing

James Raia

Bavarian Motor Works (BMW) is a few years away from its centenary as an automaker. It introduced its first sports utility vehicle 25 years ago as the industry continued its dominating switch from family sedans to sport utility vehicles.

The 2024 BMW X5 M Competition and its rivals take the SUV saturation to another level. It’s a luxury family hauler with track-level performance. It’s needed for the high speeds necessary when visiting the local nursery, hauling lumber and groceries or transporting youth soccer players. In other words, it’s a vehicle that defines automotive excess.

Top-line 2024 BMW X5 SUV: too much of a good thing 1
The 2024 BMW X5 M Competition has several interior exterior updates

Yes, the X5 M Competition is a descendant of the original. But it’s as far removed as feasible from Merriam-Webster’s original definition of an SUV: “a rugged automotive vehicle similar to a station wagon but built on a light-truck chassis.”

The standard X5 is available in three powertrain configurations, inline-six, inline-six plug-in hybrid and V8. But the Competition is only available with one engine, a turbocharged 4.4-liter V8. It produces 617 horsepower, an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. New for 2024 is a 48-volt electric motor placed within the transmission. It boosts midrange acceleration.

The downsides? The ride and shifting are nothing less than rough and gas mileage estimates are putrid, 13 miles per gallon it city driving, 18 mpg on the highway.

Top-line 2024 BMW X5 SUV: too much of a good thing 2
The 2024 BMW X5 M Competition has a superior quality design.

Known as a mild-hybrid, the electric motor adds 12 horsepower. Dittoing last year’s estimates, the new model is rated with acceleration from 0-to-60 miles per hour in 3.7 seconds. It’s just what’s needed for speed tests in parking lots and coffee shop drive-thru windows.

The continuation of the vehicle’s fourth generation, the X5 M’s interior and exterior have been revamped. The most attractive exterior paint choice is Boston Green Metallic and it’s a $5,00 expenditure.

Staggered wheels are standard, with 21-inch rims on the front and 22-inch wheels in the rear. Non-run-flat tires are also standard. Exterior lighting is full-LED. A moonroof is standard, with a panoramic Sky Lounge LED roof optional.

Carbon fiber accent trims are standard, with wood trim optional. Either choice complements the interior’s attractiveness, which also includes a significant degree of coolness. An ambient light bar with a crystalline surface structure and LEDs with the M logo sit up front ahead of the passenger. Its modern design has another function. It’s also a notification alert for income telephone calls or messages, and be can be customized in the iDrive menu.

Further interior styling: Merino leather is used throughout the cabin and is available in six colors, including the new choice of individual combination of ivory white and atlas grey.

Safety features have also been increased with reverse and advanced maneuver assist added to the parking assistant. Live Cockpit Professional is standard and comes with an M-specific iDrive interface, a 3D surround-view camera, and a head-up display. A premium Harman Kardon surround sound audio system setup is factory standard. Front-seat ventilation, a massage function and heated seats are optional.

Part of the allure of SUVs is available cargo space. The BMW X5 M Competition’s configuration remains the same. There’s 39.2 cubic feet behind the rear seats. Pull a latch on either on the top of the backrests and they open flat to increase the cavern to 72.3 cubic feet. There’s also a lower rear platform release opening the rear access further for sliding or otherwise transporting stuff.

There are no bargains in the BMW lineup. The over-the-top 2014 BMW X5 M Competition is a prime example of the manufacturer’s prideful offerings. The MSRP is $122,300, with options and taxes pushing the cost of the reviewed vehicle to 141,455.00.

It’s a dealbreaker except for diehard BMW enthusiasts whose needs include a family vehicle too powerful for its own good.

Article Last Updated: February 16, 2024.

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