2024 BMW X5 M Competition Quick Review: A Practical Monster

Fast SUVs used to be the laughing stock of the enthusiast world, vehicles deemed silly and pointless, but they’ve been a hot topic for well over a decade now. The first BMW X5 M launched in 2010, a time when a performance-oriented family hauler meant tradeoffs galore for a mediocre outcome, but the vehicle has undergone a serious transformation over time, its 4.4-liter V8 now good for 617 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque, its chassis and suspension and accompanying tech readying for battle. I (happily) spent a week (to my surprise, thanks guys!) with the 2024 X5 M Competition and fell in love with the thing.

Quick SUV, quick review

This is a Quick Review, and chances are that if you want to know deep details about the X5 M Comp. you already know them or will seek them out, so let’s get to my impressions. I’ve long been a sucker for the fast so-called “SUVs,” even going back to the 5.9 Grand Cherokee that helped start all of this utterly pointless nonsense. The X5 M Competition is the, at least as of this writing, ultimate manifestation of the formula on the BMW side of things (please ignore the X6).

A glorious part of the X5 M Comp’s being is that it’s perpetually ready to hoon, regardless of the drive mode. In its standard setting the gas pedal is a willing and eager friend, but toggle to Sport, Track, or an M Mode of your choosing and it’s loaded with potential energy, forever ready to explode. And explode it does, the thing rocketing to 60 MPH in a claimed 3.7 seconds and demolishing the quarter mile in just shy of 12 seconds, which is pretty fantastic for a vehicle just shy of 5,500 pounds.

I could blabber on and on about the performance, but the X5 M Competition really is the full package. It’s practical, comfortable, reasonably high-tech, easy to use every day, and overall just a pleasure to spend time in. Sure, the gas mileage is terrible, it bounces over bad surfaces, it’s quite expensive, and the newest iDrive system is less intuitive than its predecessor. But who cares? Buyers seeking out the X5 M Competition want a fun, rowdy SUV that can still do SUV duty while keeping up with some of the best sports and supercars out there. This is a hell of a vehicle, and one that’s executed beautifully.


Ferocious power and glorious soundtrack; corners like it weighs less than it does; direct steering; beautifully tuned throttle input; athletic and responsive in a way only a modern performance SUV can be; calm and collected when you want it to be; split tailgate; still a very usable X5 at heart


Fuel mileage; iDrive 8 houses more controls in the touchscreen than is ideal; not-so-grateful-dead steering feel; rides stiff over potholes and bad tarmac; overkill on the interior lighting front (and it likely won’t age well); stereo isn’t great for the added expense; tire replacement can bring bankruptcy

The Takeaway

The 2024 BMW X5 M Competition performs like a true M vehicle and does daily duty like a modern SUV, only showing its limitations when you hit bad tarmac or consider how thirsty it is for premium fuel. Still, the level of performance the X5 M Competition achieves given its size and weight is remarkable, and those with families or the need to haul people and stuff more comfortably than is possible in an M3 are going to adore this thing.

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