The BMW X5 M is a performance SUV of staggering pace and dynamic poise.

It feels like the efforts of engineers who have had to watch as their rivals at Porsche seized the sporting initiative with the Macan and current Cayenne – before aiming one almighty haymaker of their own.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Editor-at-large
BMW's X5 M is hugely fast and capable, and now a better all-rounder. Its engine is still the star, though.

The X5 M is a much more serious performance machine than the model it replaces. Its handling rivals that of any Cayenne and even some super-saloons at the same price. It is similarly uncompromising in other ways, from cabin design to rolling comfort.

However, you can’t escape the feeling that this car is the product of the tunnel vision of individuals too concerned with how fast it goes and not sufficiently concerned about how it goes fast. Even in full cry, the X5 M’s motive character is always a bit clinical for our liking.

And ultimately, there are better ways to combine the last word in speed, capability, luxury and desirability.

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