What if you wanted to get to Home Depot to pick up a bunch of stuff for your project but wanted to get there really fast. May we recommend the BMW X5 M Competition? It is one of those vehicles that defies explanation. People will ask why and the best answer is because you can. Why else would you want an SUV that can carry 1080 pounds of payload and has room for five people to travel in luxury at 177 mph?
The 2020 X5 M is the third generation of the X5 M. It is a good thing that the model is based on the X5 which is a very attractive and practical vehicle to start with. The regular X5 is a fantastic family vehicle and has plenty of power to keep things interesting with 335hp and a 0-60 time of 5.3 seconds.
But some people may want more and that is where the X5 M comes into play. The X5 M is of course faster and more agile than the regular X5 but it is more about the expression of individuality for the owner.
Power in the new X5 M comes from the twin-turbocharged S63 V8 engine generating 600 hp @ 6,000 rpm and 553 lb-ft of torque. This is an increase of 33 hp more than the outgoing second generation X5. Our X5 M Competition brings the horsepower number up to 617 hp. Working with the eight-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive system with active differential, the traction allows the X5 M Competition to sprint from a standstill to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds.
Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph, which increases to 177 mph with the optional M Driver’s Package which also includes an invitation for driver training at BMW’s Performance Center East (in Greer, SC) or West (in Thermal, CA).
The BMW S63 eight-cylinder engine features indirect, highly-efficient liquid-to-air intercooling, a cross-bank exhaust manifold to improve gas-flow out of the cylinders and into the turbochargers, direct injection operating at 5,076 psi and variable-valve timing. The block is of a closed-deck design with sleeveless cylinder walls and a forged crankshaft.
A dual exhaust system, designed specifically for the X5 M, offers an enticing sound emanating from the pair of 100 mm tailpipes with electrically controlled flaps. The exhaust note can be softened or increased via a button in the center console. The engine sounds so good that we wish that the exhaust could be even louder.
The cooling system has been designed to handle the highest demands which may be placed upon the vehicle by the driver or environment. A central front radiator is joined by a secondary cooler in the front, passenger-side wheel opening. Liquid cooling is also there for the engine oil, transmission oil and turbochargers. A secondary oil sump is installed for when lateral or longitudinal forces place extra demands on the engine oil supply.
Agility is the cornerstone of the new X5 M and is imparted by carefully tuned suspension components, extra chassis bracing, stiff engine and suspension mounting points and increased front camber. The front suspension features a double-wishbone setup with forged upper control arms while the rear suspension is a five-link design.
Unlike many high-performance vehicles, the engineers’ goal was to tune the suspension so it delivers predictable and linear responses imparting confidence to the driver over varied road conditions.
Our Competition X5 M came with staggered 21-inch front and 22-inch rear wheel/tire combination with 295/35ZR21 front and 315/30ZR22 rear tires. The huge sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires provided an astonishing amount of grip and the suspension tuning was superb with great balance and predictability that allowed the driver to push hard without worries.
The interior of the X5 M is full of great luxury touches. Unfortunately, as is common these days luxury means lots of gadgets which can be distracting to the driver. The interior fit and finish and the materials are first class and everything feels like it belongs in a car of this price level. The front seats are typical BMW, firm but very supportive and feature heating, cooling and massage. The massage feature gives you a ton of options so that you can get exactly what you want.
The car also gives you specific Competition features such as a Track mode which reduces the amount of information available on the displays and reduces the intervention of driver assistance systems, such as active braking and steering to a bare minimum or turns them off altogether.
You can also use the vehicle cameras to record your laps and view them later. Speaking of cameras, we should also mention the BMW 3D system which is amazing and works better than anything used by other manufacturers. With the 3D system, you feel like you are walking around the car looking at everything while you are driving the X5.
With everything good, there is almost always a bad side. In this case, the X5 M Competition does not come cheap. The base X5 starts out at $59,400 and is already a great vehicle that can make you very happy. Move up to the X5 M and the price for all the extras jumps up to $105,100.
Add in the Competition package and you need to write a check for $114,100. Our car also had a few other options such as Driver Assistance Package ($1700) and the Executive package ($3600) which brought out the total to $128,245.
That’s a big number but then this a special vehicle that can do it all and with style and there are not many other vehicles like this.
PRICE STARTING AT $106,095
Vehicle EPA Classification
Standard Sport Utility Vehicles 4WD
Engine Type and Required Fuel
Twin Turbo Premium Unleaded V-8
Displacement (liters/cubic inches)
Gasoline Direct Injection
Maximum Horsepower @ RPM
567 @ 6000
Maximum Torque @ RPM
553 @ 2200
Number of Transmission Speeds
First Gear Ratio (:1)
Second Gear Ratio (:1)
Third Gear Ratio (:1)
Fourth Gear Ratio (:1)
Fifth Gear Ratio (:1)
Sixth Gear Ratio (:1)
Seventh Gear Ratio (:1)
Eighth Gear Ratio (:1)
Reverse Ratio (:1)
Final Drive Axle Ratio (:1)
Fuel Economy and Range
CO2 Emissions, 15K mi/year (tons)
Range, city/highway (miles)
291.20 / 403.20
EPA Fuel Economy, combined/city/highway (mpg)
15 / 13 / 18
Fuel Capacity / Gas Tank Size
Width, without mirrors (inches)
Front Track Width (inches)
Rear Track Width (inches)
Minimum Ground Clearance (inches)
Rear Door Opening Height (inches)
Rear Door Opening Width (inches)
Liftover Height (inches)
Passenger / Seating Capacity
Cargo Area Dimensions
Cargo Space/Area Behind Front Row (cubic feet)
Cargo Space/Area Behind Second Row (cubic feet)
Cargo Space/Area Behind Third Row (cubic feet)
Steering Ratio (:1)
Turns, lock to lock
Turning Diameter / Radius, curb to curb (feet)
Turning Diameter / Radius, wall to wall (feet)
Front Suspension Type
Rear Suspension Type
Front Brake Rotors, diameter x thickness (inches)
Rear Brake Rotors, diameter x thickness (inches)
Rear Drums, diameter x width (inches)
Wheels and Tires
Front Wheel Size (inches)
21 X 10.5
Front Wheel Material
Front Tire Size
Rear Wheel Size (inches)
21 X 11.5
Rear Wheel Material
Rear Tire Size
Spare Wheel Size (inches)
Spare Wheel Material
Spare Tire Size
Maximum Towing Capacity (pounds)
Maximum Trailer Weight, dead weight hitch (pounds)
Maximum Tongue Weight, dead weight hitch (pounds)
Maximum Trailer Weight, weight distributing hitch (pounds)
Maximum Tongue Weight, weight distributing hitch (pounds)
Base Curb Weight (pounds)
Total Option Weight (pounds)
Maximum Payload Capacity (pounds)
Cold Cranking Amps @ 0° F
Maximum Alternator Capacity (amps)