2023 BMW XM Review: Million Dollar Mean Green Machine

Ben Chia

BMW’s biggest and most powerful M car ever, the XM, lands in Singapore with a monstrous roar, and equally monstrous price tag

2023 BMW XM

Launched: March 2023 – Price S$1,003,888 with COE
Five-door, ultra-large luxury performance SUV, five seats
653hp 4.4-litre, plug-in hybrid, VES B, 1.6L/100km, 85km electric range

Looks like nothing else on the road
V8 sounds epic
Impressive drive
Well-appointed interior

Massive size 
Ride slightly on the firm side
Costs a million dollars

Photos: Ben Chia and Jay Tee


What does a million dollar BMW feel like? Well, incredibly stressful to drive for one. As with any expensive car that passes through our mere peasant hands, the pressure to keep it in pristine condition is real, lest we inadvertently empty our bank accounts through an unfortunate prang.

But it also doesn’t help too that the BMW XM is BMW’s biggest and most powerful car, ever. And it is big, measuring in at 5,110mm long and 2,004mm wide, which means that extra care is needed when piloting the XM around town, arguably more than usual as compared to other cars.

Derryn walks you around the XM, on video!

That said, the XM does exude plenty of presence on the roads. Passers-by turn and stare at it, with a mixture of curiosity, fascination and perhaps a little bit of fear. The car’s styling, with its aggressive bulges, squared-off fenders and large imposing grille with its illuminated rings certainly strikes an impression that’s rather in-your-face, and the effect is accentuated with the test car’s striking metallic green paintwork with gold highlights which only serves to draw even more attention to itself.

The interior too is a mass of luxurious opulence, with its diamond-patterned leather upholstery finished in the car’s exterior colour complemented by the brown interior trim. It is certainly eye-catching, much in keeping with the XM’s character, but it is also surprisingly comfortable, with plenty of space thanks to its extra long wheelbase (over 3 metres) and lots of neat tricks like the USB slots in the back of the front seats. Arguably the highlight of the interior is the textured headliner finished in Alcantara and lit up by 100 LEDs with dynamic lighting, giving the XM a pretty impressive and dazzling cabin ambience at night.

But the XM is not merely a case of all show and no go. Under the bonnet lies a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 that packs in 489hp and 650Nm of torque all on its own, which are already pretty impressive numbers in its own right. Clearly though, that’s not quite enough for BMW, and they’ve decided to add in a plug-in hybrid powertrain into the equation. With the electric drivetrain in place, the XM puts out a whopping 653hp and 800Nm of torque in total. That’s supercar slaying figures whichever way you look at it.

The result is a car that rockets from 0-100km/h in 4.3 seconds, despite weighing in at a pretty colossal 2,785kg. More than just outright speed though, it’s the way that the power is delivered that truly impresses. Obviously as a hybrid the initial takeoff bears the usual characteristics of how an electric motor pushes almost all the torque to the wheels near instantaneously to propel you forward. But when the V8 engine comes to life as you build up the boost, it almost feels like the car is about to unleash the Kraken, with its bellowing roar rumbling through in a wave of fury.

Fast as it may be, the XM also feels remarkably planted, perhaps in part due to its weight and sizeable track helping to add to the sense of stability at speed, or even in the corners. There’s plenty of tech at work too, with fancy bits like adaptive air suspension, active roll control and all-wheel-steering giving the XM an almost surreal sensation of poise and composure. It’s not ultra-agile, because there’s only so much physics that you can defy with a car like this, but it’s not cumbersome and clumsy either, which in itself is already a pretty impressive achievement.

The trade-off though is a ride that can be a bit rough, especially given the car’s massive 23-inch wheels, but that’s really par for the course for a performance-oriented machine like the XM. In any case, it already is an improvement over previous full-fat M SUVs like the X3 M, which often delivered rock-hard ride qualities that were nothing short of back-shattering.

The hybrid system too is more than just a token system for compliance purposes, and actually works reasonably well in the real world. BMW quotes an electric driving range of 85km, something which is eminently achievable if the car is driven (gently) in Hybrid or Electric mode. More impressively, in eControl mode, the engine actually helps recharge the battery through energy recuperation under braking (rather aggressively we might add), albeit at the expense of overall fuel consumption since you’ll be putting the V8 to good use as a sort of onboard charger.

In a lot of respects, the XM truly stands in a world of its own. Its price tag makes it a BMW unlike any other, and its mix of performance and efficiency is a combination that few other mega-performance SUVs in the market can match. True, a million dollars for a BMW does sound like a lot, but what you get for your money is a car that is guaranteed to stand out and make you the centre of attention, and for some, that might be a price worth paying.


Drivetrain typePetrol-electric plug-in hybrid
Engine4,395cc, V8, twin-turbo
Power489hp at 5400-7200rpm
Torque650Nm at 1600-5000rpm
Gearbox8-speed automatic
Electric Motor197hp / 280Nm
Battery (net)Lithium ion / 25.7kWh
System Power / Torque653hp / 800Nm
Top Speed4.3 seconds
Fuel Consumption1.6L/100km (WLTP)
Electricity Consumption29.5kWh/100km
Charging Time / Type7.4kW AC / 4.25 hours
Electric Range85km
VES BandingB / S$0
AgentEurokars Auto and Performance Motors Limited
PriceS$1,003,888 with COE
Verdict:Massively powerful and impressively engineered, with a mega price tag, the XM is a BMW unlike any other


bmw Hybrid plug-in hybrid SUV XM

About the Author

Ben Chia

CarBuyer's print editor went out to explore the Great Big World, including a stint working in China (despite his limited Mandarin). Now he's back, ready to foist upon you his takes on everything good and wonderful about the automotive world. Follow Ben on Instagram @carbuyer.ben

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