As a fusion of favor, luxurious, and velocity garnished with electrification, the 2023 BMW XM takes a while to digest. Being a plug-in-hybrid SUV, it is already an acquired style. But as the brand new flagship of the corporate’s M efficiency division—to not point out its first bespoke mannequin for the reason that M1 supercar of the Seventies—the XM has raised eyebrows because it debuted as an idea in 2021, and never just for its illuminated kidney grilles and dazzling physique jewellery. We have been anxious to pattern a manufacturing model ever since we drove a improvement prototype final 12 months. Now we now have, and we’re left questioning if there are just a few too many substances in its combine.
You will must abdomen a steep $159,995 base worth to dine with the XM. It is a fat-rich two-row SUV, weighing an estimated 6100 kilos, which is a number of hundred kilos greater than the final three-row X7 we examined. Mechanically associated to that mannequin and the smaller X5 and X6, the XM shares its 122.2-inch wheelbase with its bigger sibling but is 2.4 inches shorter, a smidge wider, and with a roofline 3.1 inches decrease. It is a massive automobile, although it manages its visible heft effectively, particularly for those who select a darker colour and forgo the no-cost NightGold Metallic exterior trim.
Regardless of its flashy photographs and vary of BMW Particular person paint choices, the XM can look attractively subdued in order for you. Staggered-sized summer time tires wrapped round huge 23-inch wheels, which additionally might be completed in gold, are normal, with 22-inchers non-compulsory. As on different M fashions, all-season tires are usually not provided.
Inbuilt Spartanburg, South Carolina, the XM at present comes just one approach: with a grand whole of 644 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, making it essentially the most highly effective BMW SUV out there. A extra unique Label Crimson model with a minimum of 735 horsepower and a $185,000-plus beginning worth can be added later this 12 months. For now, the recipe contains 483 horses from a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8, plus an extra 194 ponies through an electrical motor sandwiched between the engine and the eight-speed computerized transmission. All that kick routes via a variable, rear-biased all-wheel-drive system, and an electronically managed limited-slip rear differential. With the assistance of launch management, an estimated 3.8-second 60-mph time ought to make the XM about as fleet as an X7 M60i, which will get by with a mere 523 horses. As you’d anticipate of a contemporary BMW, you possibly can alter the XM’s flavoring via an array of settings for the powertrain, suspension, steering effort, and brake-pedal response.
Although many efficiency SUVs are faster nonetheless, few have the XM’s electric-only functionality. A big (for a PHEV) lithium-ion battery with 19.2 kWh of usable capability resides below the ground and needs to be good for round 30 miles of EV vary. EPA figures have but to be launched, however gasoline financial system will differ from thirsty to thrifty relying on the way you drive it. In Electrical mode (there’s additionally a default Hybrid setting plus an eControl mode that maintains the battery’s cost for later), we may briskly speed up away from stops and merge onto the freeway with out stirring the fuel engine. Prime velocity as an EV is a quoted 87 mph, in comparison with 155 or 168 mph at full chat, relying on whether or not you spring for the $2500 M Driver’s package deal. Regenerative braking has two settings—little or no and a few—with a lot of the vitality recuperation neatly blended into the pedal controlling the massive six-piston entrance and single-piston rear brakes. Neglect about one-pedal driving, however a minimum of the XM’s V-8 is not essential for brief journeys round city. The 7.4-kW onboard charger can replenish the battery from zero to one hundred pc in about three hours through a 240-volt outlet.
Pushed like an M automobile on twisty mountain roads, the XM adheres to household custom. We want extra new BMWs had such easy, progressive steering, with welcome suggestions and a mild buildup of effort in corners. Whereas the XM’s sheer mass retains it from feeling overtly racy, adaptive dampers, 48-volt energetic anti-roll bars, and rear-axle steering assist preserve it flat and poised round bends. General energy supply is robust in Sport mode, with the fast help of the electrical motor lending the XM further thrust out of tight turns whereas serving to to fill within the torque interruptions between the transmission’s shifts. These hoping for a deep, V-8 rumble could also be disenchanted, although, as its energetic exhaust emits a raspy growl extra befitting a V-6 (further V-8 sound results overlaid with an EV-like whir are piped via the stereo audio system).
Nevertheless, the choice to go together with typical coil springs fairly than extra compliant air springs—a name that favors chassis precision over consolation—is problematic for a automobile that additionally includes a spacious again seat that BMW refers to as an M Lounge. Although removed from harsh, the XM’s trip is busy over small, high-frequency bumps, even in Consolation mode on the sleek Arizona pavement of our drive route. Sprawled out on the comfortable rear bench (particular person captain’s chairs are usually not out there) with its throw pillows and expansive 40.3 inches of legroom, we may really feel a jitteriness filtering up via the chassis, spoiling the ambiance. Equally, the flat rear seat’s lack of lateral assist means you may must brace your self in case your driver decides to have enjoyable behind the wheel.
That is to not say the XM’s superbly completed cabin does not ooze wealth. There are clever types, gentle leather-based, and out there contrasting colour schemes that tastefully stream from the seats to the door panels and as much as the geometrically sculpted headliner ringed by ambient lighting. Luxurious facilities encompass the cosseting entrance seats, and each driver-assist characteristic in BMW’s arsenal is current, as is the corporate’s curved sprint show for the newest iDrive 8 infotainment system with tandem 12.3- and 14.9-inch screens below a single pane of glass. Open the hatch (notice the BMW roundels etched into the rear window), and there is a respectable 19 cubic ft of cargo area behind the rear seats.
But, the shortage of consideration to element within the second row highlights the XM’s compromises. Whereas heaters for the outboard rear seats and armrests are normal, there is no seat adjustability, therapeutic massage perform, side-window privateness shades, or devoted leisure system available. The faraway local weather controls at the back of the middle console seem borrowed from a mass-market X5. And in contrast to just about each different big-dollar luxurious SUV, you possibly can’t customise the XM’s inside past the 4 normal color-and-trim combos.
We think about the XM’s meant clientele—80 % of which BMW expects to search out within the U.S. and China, with many being new prospects to the model—will not really feel too miffed about it not being as fast and sybaritic because it may very well be. The XM’s many indulgences, together with its respectable EV functionality, might be had for hundreds lower than, say, a Bentley Bentayga or a Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid. However as the head of the M model, the XM is much less a delicacy and extra a mash of options that leaves a complicated aftertaste. We might await the fancier Label Crimson mannequin earlier than making reservations.
2023 BMW XM
Automobile Kind: front-engine, front-motor, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon
twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 32-valve 4.4-liter V-8, 483 hp, 479 lb-ft + AC motor, 194 hp, 207 lb-ft (mixed output: 644 hp, 590 lb-ft; 19.2-kWh lithium-ion battery pack; 7.4-kW onboard charger)
Transmission: 8-speed computerized
Wheelbase: 122.2 in
Size: 201.2 in
Width: 78.9 in
Top: 69.1 in
Passenger Quantity, F/R: 57/54 ft3
Cargo Quantity, Behind F/R: 64/19 ft3
Curb Weight (C/D est): 6100 lb
PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)
60 mph: 3.8 sec
100 mph: 9.2 sec
1/4-Mile: 12.2 sec
Prime Velocity: 155–168 mph
EPA FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST)
Mixed/Metropolis/Freeway: 19/18/20 mpg
Mixed Gasoline + Electrical energy: 45 MPGe
EV Vary: 30 mi
Mike Sutton is an editor, author, check driver, and basic automobile nerd who has contributed to Automotive and Driver‘s reverent and irreverent ardour for the car since 2008. A local Michigander from suburban Detroit, he enjoys the outside and complaining concerning the climate, has an affection for off-road autos, and believes in federal safety for naturally aspirated engines.