Driven: 2024 BMW X5 XDrive M60i

While some manufacturers have pushed all their chips to the center of the table, betting on electric vehicles. BMW is taking a more balanced approach. In addition to developing a robust line of BEVs including the i7, iX, i4, and i5, they’re still committed to improving their dinosaur-powered cars and SUVs. Exhibit A is the 2024 X5 xDrive M60i.

New tailights and quad exhausts highlight the M60i’s restyled rear end

A Powerful Statement

At the heart of this performance SUV is what BMW describes as a newly developed twin turbo 4.4-liter V8 with a 48-volt mild hybrid system. Though total output is unchanged from the 2023 X5 M50i, 523 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of torque, BMW says efficiency is improved thanks to a reinforced crankshaft drive, refined turbocharging with a blow-off valve, a new oil pump, and a lower weight oil sump. You can hit 60 miles per hour from a dead stop in 4.2 seconds thanks to the power being distributed to all four wheels via their always excellent 8-speed Steptronic transmission. And while the EPA estimates MPG at 17 city (a 1 MPG improvement over last year) and 22 highway, my lead-footed hooliganism meant I averaged just over 13 MPG in my week with this beast.

Driving dynamics are excellent with the electric motor providing smooth take-off, even with the start/stop feature activated. The transition from electric to gas is almost imperceptible. Put the M60i in sport mode and the exhaust opens up with a classic V8 growl while the throttle becomes more responsive, steering tightens up, and the shifts happen more quickly holding the engine closer to the red line. As with the previous generation X6 M, the M60i has no business handling as well as it does, but somehow BMW’s engineers manage to make this high-bodied vehicle corner like a sports car thanks to torque vectoring, adaptive suspension, and a dose of magic.

Designed To Impress

Exterior styling has been updated as well. The kidney grille features a double bar pattern with the M logo sign signifying the power behind the badge. Lighting has been updated with new arrow shaped DRLs that point outward. Vents on the outer edges of the fascia help smooth the airflow around the vehicle, improving overall aerodynamics. Overall, the X5 maintains a handsome, chiseled look, differentiating it from the Mercedes GLE and Genesis GV80 which are softer and more rounded.

A full digital cockpit is at the center of the redesigned interior

A Technological Step Forward

Inside you’ll find big changes to the interior and technology. The first thing you’ll notice is the curved display that’s comprised of a 12.3-inch instrument screen and massive 14.9-inch center screen. The iDrive system has been upgraded and is now available in version 8.5. It is lightning quick and operates via either the controls on the center console, touchscreen, or voice. The tiles make setting shortcuts easy, and the natural voice commands work as well as any system I’ve ever tested. All the commands I tried executed without fail. While this system is every bit as advanced as the competition, it looks right at home in this more purposeful interior.

Beautifully executed stitching and supple leather provide hours of comfort
Unfortunately rear seat legroom leaves a bit to be desired

The Inside Story

The interior fit and finish of the X5 xDrive M60i is first class. My test car was equipped with Ivory white Merino leather which looked and felt fantastic. The front seats are heated and ventilated and the arm rests are heated as well, something I appreciated on the cool Wisconsin winter mornings. And though rear seat leg room isn’t the X5’s strong suit – both the GLE and GV80 have more – you do get plenty of creature comforts with heated seats, zoned climate control, and a massive panoramic moonroof overhead.

33.9 cu.-ft. of luggage space meets what most families are looking for

Cargo volume is competitive and offers plenty of room for luggage for each passenger. I’m not sure why, but like the rear clamshell opening with its mini tailgate. It shortens the liftgate and provides a handy little ledge for your condiments when you’re pre-gaming in the stadium parking lot.

The Rest of the Line Up

For 2024, all X5 models are electrified. The 3.0-liter Inline 6 now has the 48-volt mild hybrid system boosting output significantly to 375 horsepower and 389 pound-feet of torque. Available in both rear and all-wheel drive, acceleration is plenty satisfying at around 5 seconds 0-60. There’s also a plug-in hybrid model, the xDrive e50i, which combines the I6 with an electric motor that’s integrated between the engine and transmission. Using a 29.5 kWh lithium-ion battery, it’s good for 483 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, while delivering up to 40 miles of all-electric range.

Eye-popping performance at a price to match.

Price Ranges Widely

The X5 comes at a premium no matter which trim you choose…

  • X5 sDrive40i               $65,200 + $995 destination and handling
  • X5 xDrive40i                $67,500 + $995 destination and handling
  • X5 xDrive50e              $72,500 + $995 destination and handling
  • X5 M60i xDrive            $89,300 + $995 destination and handling

My test car with premium paint, leather seats, carbon fiber trim, and every available option package came to $102,695 including destination. That puts it on par with a comparably equipped Audi SQ7 and falls in between an AMG GLE 53 and the more powerful 63. The GV80 doesn’t offer a performance model, with the V6 equipped version starting at $64,600, which puts it on par with the xDrive40i trim.

The Verdict

If you’re looking for a 5-passenger mid-size SUV that offers exhilarating performance, the X5 xDrive M60i delivers the experience we’ve come to love from BMW with an interior that delivers the tech and premium features buyers in this price point demand. Both the Mercedes and Genesis feel more glitzy so if you’re in it for the show as well as the go, you’ll want to check out those options. But BMW delivers everything those other vehicles do with style and grace in just a bit more understated manner.

With excellent seats and state of the art tech, every mile in the X5 is time well spent
BMW’s iDrive interface is well sorted and one of the best in the industry

This review was first published by our automotive partner, Rides & Drives


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