If you want blazing acceleration with phenomenal handling, the 2013 BMW X5 M is the vehicle for you. There is only one engine, but you will find there certainly is no need for any other option, unless you are concerned with fuel-economy. A twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 pairs up with a six-speed automatic to scream 555 horsepower and 501 pound-feet of torque. Accelerating zero to 60 mph is done in 4.5 seconds. Pretty unbelievable for an SUV of this size, right? Well, don’t get too excited; gas mileage averages 12 mpg in the city and 17 mpg on the highway. Did you really expect anything better? If you have a load to tow, the X5 M can handle up to 6,000 pounds. Speaking of handling, the adaptive dampers and sport-tuned suspension allow this vehicle to handle better than most luxury sedans. Unfortunately, even though it handles like a sports car doesn’t mean it can take those narrow winding mountain roads at top speed. Keep in mind that this is a big and heavy vehicle that takes up more room than a little two-seater car.
• Sound System - The X5 M comes with a sound system that will blow you away. Powered by 600 watts, it has a CD player, MP3 capability, two subwoofers, USB connection, speed sensitive volume control and a phenomenal 16 premium speakers.
• Navigation - Find you way where you need to go with turn-by-turn directions from the hard drive, voice-activated system.
• BMW Assist - Roadside assistance, auto crash notification and stolen vehicle recovery are all provided by this emergency communications system.
• Rear Seat Entertainment - Optional on the X5 M is a rear seat entertainment with screens and wireless remotes and headphones.
Braking capabilities are about as impressive as acceleration, stopping from 60 mph in a remarkable 116 feet. That’s an impressive distance for a vehicle of this size. Also, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave it a “Good” rating in side and front-impact crash tests. One super thoughtful feature is the adaptive brake lights that flash under the vehicle’s taillights during extreme braking to get the attention of trailing motorists. Other safety features include:
• Brake drying
• Tire-pressure monitoring
• Whiplash protection system in front head restraints
• Emergency braking preparation
• Post-collision safety system
• Front seatbelt pretensioners
• Dusk-sensing headlamps
• Traction control
• Engine immobilizer
• Child seat anchors
• Stability control
• Antilock brakes
The X5 M certainly stand out in appearance from its immediate relatives. Brake calipers are painted blue, the wheels are a standard 20 inches and dual exhaust complements the rear spoiler for a fierce look from the back. In front, the grille turns black, rather than the traditional chrome, for a sportier appearance.
The X5 M offers about the most comfortable seats you are going to find anywhere. It is pretty much impossible to not be inspired to take the long way home when behind the wheel. However, like the regular X5, the second row is positioned a little too low for tall passengers to get comfortable. A third row is not an option, but if you see the third row in the X5, you know that you are not missing much. The cabin is refined with high-quality material. The only downfall is that nearly all electronic features are operated through the iDrive interface, which is not as user-friendly as one would hope.
Cargo space is average for this segment, but certainly generous enough to fit what you need. With this rear seat in place, there is 21.9 cubic feet, but fold the seat down and you are granted 75.2 cubic feet.