Brash styling, heavy weight, enormous price ticket and energy specs that appear to exist to bluntly pound that weight into submission; the 2024 BMW XM appeared like a car I might despise on paper. And after my very first impression with the comparatively stiff trip and huge dimension, I started feeling grouchy. However the longer I drove it, the extra I found some glorious facets of it that turned my temper round. It shortly confirmed that it was greater than only a highly effective engine, with a outstanding chassis and a few well-implemented hybrid options. I even discovered myself appreciating the stunning design.
Word, these impressions apply to simply the usual BMW XM. It has a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 and an electrical motor making a mixed 644 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. Energy goes to all 4 wheels by a handy guide a rough and clean eight-speed automated transmission.
There’s truly an much more critical XM Label Pink mannequin that brings output as much as 738 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque because of a extra highly effective V8 and barely extra electrical energy. It drops the 0-60 mph time from 4.1 seconds to three.7, and will increase the out there prime velocity from 168 mph to 175. That is nice for bragging rights, although we’re undecided the driving expertise can be totally different sufficient to benefit the additional $26,000 it calls for.
With that, let’s get onto our driving impressions.
For all of the adventurous paths taken by BMW in exterior design over time, it has stubbornly refused to mess with its inside design. Which is why I am so grateful that the XM (together with the iX and i7) goes slightly gonzo. The leather-based colours out there vary from typical black to way more distinctive weathered brown and even a darkish teal inexperienced, and huge sections of the sprint are lined in it. The roof, whereas missing a glass panel, will get a wild, geometric liner that is edge lit with LEDs. Whereas including a splash of colour, the sunshine casts shadows that add nifty distinction. After which the rear seat is designed in order that it seems as if it wraps into the doorways. It offers a lounge-like vibe that you simply will not discover in anything on this phase.
In fact, one of many main points of interest of the XM is its sheer thrust. With 644 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, the XM is unsurprisingly fast. Admittedly, the 4.1-second estimated run to 60 mph is not earth-shattering, however it feels extra spectacular than it’s due to the ability supply. The 194-horsepower electrical motor helps fill within the backside finish of the ability band, offering on the spot response and clean supply till the twin-turbo V8 is absolutely spooled up. It signifies that you are neither ready for energy on the backside such as you would possibly with some fuel powertrains, nor are you operating out of prime finish as with electrical autos. It merely has a great deal of energy in every single place and on a regular basis, with excellent management.
Wonderful dealing with
Now this got here as an actual shock. Sure, BMW’s M division could make astoundingly succesful efficiency autos. However the XM is actually heavy; 6,094 kilos. And I’ve pushed quite a few EVs which might be a bit lighter, and nonetheless really feel mighty heavy attempting to run by corners. However by some means, the XM feels extremely fast on its toes. It has monumental grip, aggressively fast and correct steering, and a stiff however unflappable disposition. The steering even has a touch of suggestions, which is greater than you’ll be able to say for lots of contemporary Bimmers. Mixed with the responsive powertrain, it is an SUV that wishes to be pushed tougher and tougher.
Genuinely usable electrical mode
Aha! You in all probability anticipated that subhed to say “superb” once more, did not you? Nicely, not this time, since it is not fairly applicable for the XM’s EV mode. However with an estimated vary of 31 miles, this plug-in hybrid actually can be utilized in full electrical mode regularly. It will even keep in EV mode as much as 85 mph, so you’ll be able to keep gasoline-free on the freeway, too.
The catch right here is identical as with many PHEVs, and that is the truth that driving in full-electric mode means you are maintaining your self from having fun with all the pieces the automotive has to supply. All you get are 194 ponies in electrical mode, and that is not a lot for six,000 kilos of SUV, significantly heading up on-ramps. And it feels unbecoming of BMW’s flagship efficiency SUV. Granted, if you happen to’re in bumper-to-bumper site visitors in your commute, or largely cruising round city, it would not matter. For anything, it seems like a little bit of a penalty for attempting to be kinder to the earth.
About that styling
As with many new BMWs, the design of the XM hasn’t been significantly well-received. And that may fluctuate from individual to individual. I am actually warming as much as it. I admire that its still-large kidney grilles are extra horizontally oriented, avoiding the bucktooth look of a few of its cousins. The massive blistered fenders remind me of traditional sizzling hatches, and I like that it goes the chop-top route for the roofline, relatively than the fastback design. It seems decrease and wider, and it retains extra cargo area. And particulars just like the vertically stacked exhaust suggestions and twin BMW badges on the again are enjoyable. If nothing else, it stands out like virtually no different SUV in its phase, and that is in all probability precisely what XM patrons are searching for.