2023 BMW XM Review: To the X-TreMe

Derryn Wong

The XM is the largest, heaviest, most powerful and most expensive car BMW M has ever made and it goes where no M car has gone before

2023 BMW XM

Expected launch Q2 2023 – Price: S$900,000 without VES, CAT B COE, options
Five-door, Extra-large luxury SUV, five seats
653hp 4.4-litre, plug-in hybrid, TBC VES, 1.6L/100km, 85km electric range

Stirring V8 drama and drive thrills
Electric range redemption 
Sporty, upmarket interior
No direct competitor as yet

It’s yuuuuuge, and heavy 
Huge wheels = jiggly ride

Arizona, USA 

The BMW XM is the largest, heaviest, and most expensive* car that BMW M has ever made, and only the second car to be developed from the ground up by M – and it’s an SUV.

It’s also the most powerful full-production car from BMW M, its total 653hp eclipsing the previous record holder, the 626hp BMW M5 CS.

Purists will scream, but just remember that we live in an era where Ferrari is making an SUV. So realists, and those deep of pocket and in the market for a mega soft-roader, will rejoice because as far as huge, luxurious, high-performance SUVs go, the XM sets a high bar for driving performance, delivers more space, and for less obscene price tag to comparable cars.

*Counting only full-production M cars not one-offs or limited editions like the M4 CSL.

What the X?!

But what exactly is an XM anyway? If ‘XM’ is its official, scientific name, then its common name is pretty much ‘X8 M’. We weren’t able to confirm how much of its running gear it shares with the X7, but it’s patently obvious that the two cars share a platform, at the very least, with similar dimensions and an identical wheelbase.

1979 BMW M1 Art Car by Andy Warhol

The difference, though, is that BMW M says the XM is only the second car it’s completely developed from the ground up, with the first being the M1. This is opposed to a ‘regular’ full M car – like an X5 M, for example – which uses the production X5 as the development base.

Styling and Appearance

The XM makes a big impression because it is big. Very big. It’s 5,110mm x 2,005mm x 1,775mm, which means it’s bigger than pretty much all other SUVs in Singapore. On the road in America it seems almost normal in size, but that certainly won’t be the case back home. The front track, for example, is 1,726mm – not far off the total width of the BMW 1 Series. 

The XM is a car that looks far more interesting in person than it does in photos – the low stance and bulging fenders immediately imply M-ness, but it’s also very obviously designed to be a ‘loud’ car, if you want it to be. 

There’s an emphasis on its overt M-ness, so visually it is hard to confuse the XM with an X7. For one, it’s coupe-ier, since the XM is a coupe SUV. The footprint and wheelbase are the same, but it’s 30mm less tall than the X7. 

While the front end features the split-style lights now seen on upper-class BMWs (7 Series, X7) it looks radically different, all angles and aggro. You can see that in the bulge-filled bonnet – the BMW logo sits in the ‘valley’ like the M3/M4, the front and rear aero details. It also does things differently with touches like the  stacked hexagonal tailpipes.

There’s also considerable optical differences buyers can choose from. For example, we spied the car in red paint with gold accents, or blue with gold accents, while our test car was a more muted grey with predominantly gloss black highlights. In wheel terms, you can naturally spec 23-inch monster rollers, while our test car wore 22-inchers. BMW Singapore also says it’s likely to offer the LED-bordered Iconic Grille for the XM, which means it’ll also come to the 7 Series eventually.

For M historians, there are also two visual cues to the BMW M1 : the black accent strip that sits near the car’s shoulder-line (just under the windows), and the dual BMW badges on the upper rear windscreen – aping the ‘tail badges’ of the M1. History aside, the XM is very much the Future Chapter of M when it comes to driving. 

  1. Introduction / Styling & Appearance
  2. Driving Experience
  3. Interior and Features / Space and Practicality
  4. Competition and Conclusion

Pages: 1 2 3 4


5 door 5 seat bmw BMW M electric EV extra large high performance large luxury PHEV SUV XM

About the Author

Derryn Wong

CarBuyer's former chief editor was previously the editor for Top Gear Singapore and a presenter for CNA's Cruise Control motoring segment.

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