December 01, 2015 By Kevin C. Limjoco

2016 BMW X5 M

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Words: Kevin C. Limjoco – Photos: Isabel N. Delos Reyes

Setting outright fuel economy aside, the BMW X5 M must be the most complete premium vehicle on earth at the moment. I will even say that the very high acquisition cost is worth every cent especially with our fierce yet still flamboyant maximum-loaded Donington Grey Metallic test unit. A Range Rover is certainly better off-road and is more luxurious, the new Mercedes-Benz GLE 63S is a contender, while the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S is its closest rival in my book, but I still prefer the overall usability and aggressive character of the BMW X5 M. I was a touch worried that the 3rd generation X5-series would simply be a heavily face-lifted model with updated equipment, it is so much more than that. BMW built on extending perfection. Sure, the wheelbase is the same as before, and the exterior proportions grew very marginally, but everything else has upgraded. The interior is mind-blowing with the combination of all the new materials, switchgear, and the Mugello Red full Merino leather surfaces. The new X5 in general already feels substantially roomier, vastly quieter, more comfortable, and dynamically more profound than before, but the M-model sets completely new luxury and performance standards well above its more humble stablemates and even its competition on dynamic terms.

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So parsimony taken separately, like I mentioned earlier, the X5 M retains its versatility as an elegant, capacious 5-seater with the ability to be driven swiftly more often than in an M5 and M3. Both the M3 and M4 are obviously more superior on a closed race track, and the M5 sedan is even faster on more open roads, but the X5 M, with its exceptional visibility that encourages more natural confidence, allows a driver to not only see further and better, but also has the M-spec xDrive, ride height, adaptive suspension, and massive rubber to enable one to take on every practical road surface under all weather conditions.

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The suspension has an improved double-wishbone front setup with a standard self-leveling anti-roll rear with Dynamic Damper Control. So the adaptive compliance combined with the updated Dynamic Performance Control system (that actively distributes torque between the 21-inch M Double-spoke light-alloy wheels Style 612M, 21 x 10.0” front, 21 x 11.5” rear; and 285/35 front, 325/30 rear non-run-flat Michelin® Pilot Super Sport performance tires) creates a daily driver that is never punishing, you just get tenacious grip always with the athleticism to make every driving moment a repeatable joy. The X5 M creates the sensation that it is an indestructible force, thankfully the new brake system more than compensates for the thrust and weight, they also so happen to look fabulous and appropriately purposeful.

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The standard 16-speaker Harman Kardon® audio is already great, but our test unit had the even greater Bang & Olufsen 1,200-watt system to further complement the rest of all the new equipment that includes the 10.2″ high-resolution screen, 3-D maps, 200 GB hard drive with 20 GB consumer storage, crisp Head-Up display, soft-close doors, BMW Apps, very cool Ambiance lighting, deep array infotainment systems that display power and torque in real-time, and so much more.

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Competition in this supreme segment is very staunch and sales will thankfully be made through preference rather than clear superiority. All the vehicles in this segment are outstanding; I just prefer the BMW X5 M because of its very high standards, unique balance of utility, design, luxury, and performance. I was hoping that the new 8-speed gearbox would have been able to gain better fuel economy though.

Specification – 2016 BMW X5 M


Engine: V8, 4395 cc, dohc 32V, Twin Turbo, Double VANOS, Valvetronic, M Sport 8-Speed AT
Max power: 567 bhp @ 6000-6500 rpm
Max torque: 553 lb ft @ 2200-5000 rpm
0-100 km/h (0-62mph): 4.2 sec.
Top Speed: 250 km/h (156 mph) Governed
Fuel Mileage: 14 mpg City / 19 mpg Highway
Price as tested: US$ 115,450.00
C! RATING 10/10
+The greatest X5 is even more worldly, usable, and quicker than the M5
-Can be thirsty as hell though, has become exceedingly pricey

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