A bevy of super SUVs have arrived on the market in recent years as European sports car makers prioritize profits. BMW has decided to cash in on the trend with its flagship model, the XM. I had the chance to explore the plug-in hybrid SUV at the 2024 Bangkok International Motor Show in March, alongside a range of new electric vehicles. Here are my thoughts on whether the BMW XM lives up to the hype.


The 2024 BMW XM is one of the most aggressive SUVs on the market today, though I have to add that it doesn’t earn that title in the most elegant way. While not as large as the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, the XM is still notably sizable for a five-seater. Its concave front end strikes a distinct, albeit unconventional, impression. For me, it is the daytime running lights which steal the show in this angle. These ultra-slim, crisply defined lights are the most impressive I’ve seen on any BMW.

I like how the roofline slopes down in a straight line, adding to the many sharp design details of the SUV. Flared wheel arches, pronounced shoulders, and commanding 23-inch wheels exude strength. In contrast, the rear, featuring slim tail lights, seems mismatched against the XM’s robust design.

I’m still on the fence whether the BMW XM is too aggressive or downright outrageous, yet it’s undeniably appealing, particularly in the Black Sapphire Metallic color—a free option that lends it a devilishly alluring look. In daylight, this color makes a bold statement, yet it blends into the shadows at dusk. In my view, the Black Sapphire Metallic XM is unlike any other BMW.


On the inside, the BMW XM looks sumptuous and expressive. While its design might not be uniquely distinctive, it feels more upscale than other BMW SUVs. I believe this heightened sense of luxury stems largely from smart color coding and excellent craftsmanship.

BMW XM interior dashboard live image
I think the BMW XM’s interior, unlike its exterior, doesn’t offer enough exclusivity.

The interior of the 2024 XM feels extravagant, particularly with the Deep Lagoon and Vintage Coffee color scheme, complemented by contrasting brown tones. However, I was disappointed by the absence of crystal glass applications on the center console and door cards, which I believe would have elevated the cabin’s luxury feel further. Much to my surprise, I learned that they’re not even an option even though the 2024 XM is the most expensive BMW on the market (excl. armored vehicles).

I’ve used the familiar 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 14.9-inch touchscreen in other BMWs, so the experience wasn’t any different in the 2024 XM. My favorite part of the interior is the sculptural headliner, which features a 3D prism structure and is laterally illuminated by the ambient lighting system. That, unfortunately, means that the 2024 XM doesn’t have a panoramic glass roof. Due to the same reason, BMW missed the bus on the entertainment front, too, skipping the 31-inch roof-mounted cinema screen it offers in the BMW 7 Series (incl. the BMW i7).

BMW XM front seats live image
My favorite feature of the XM’s interior is its exquisite headliner.

The BMW XM provides easy ingress and egress from both front and back. I’m 5’7”, and from my experience in the driver’s seat, I can say that it has excellent under-thigh support and great lumbar support in the front. The latter is adjustable, meaning customers of almost any build would find themselves comfortable here. I had approximately 6 inches of headroom in the highest position and 8-9 inches of headroom in the lowest position. Outside visibility from all angles was good, too.

The steering wheel was grippy with standard push-type buttons. Although the BMW iDrive system functions smoothly, its interface could be more visually appealing. A standout feature is the luxurious headliner—rich and classy to both look at and touch. The cabin boasts soft-touch materials throughout, reflecting the vehicle’s high-quality craftsmanship.

In the back, I had about six and a half inches of headroom. The backrest wasn’t reclinable, but its default angle was comfortable enough for me, and I experienced good lumbar support. The under-thigh support wasn’t bad either. The center position of the bench wasn’t comfortable because there was a noticeable hump in the central area of the floor.

BMW XM rear seat live image
The BMW XM is comfortable for the most part, in both front and rear.

Driving impressions

The BMW XM has a plug-in hybrid powertrain that clubs a 4.4-liter gas engine with an electric motor built into an 8-speed transmission. With 644 hp and 590 lb.-ft. of torque available from this setup, it can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds and keep going further until 155 mph (168 mph with the M Driver’s Package option). In pure-electric mode, it achieves a top speed of 87 mph and deliver a range of up to 31 miles.

With a curb weight of over 6,000 lbs., the XM is particularly heavy, also due to its 29.5 kWh battery pack, of which only 19.2 kWh is usable. From what we know, and what owners will also tell you, it’s a hoot to drive, as it doesn’t show much body roll and handles quite well around the bends. The steering has enough weight to inspire confidence in the driver, and on top of that, it gives a good amount of feedback, too. Bringing such a heavy SUV from full throttle to a standstill is no easy feat, but the XM has plenty of stopping power.

BMW XM charge port door live image
The BMW XM delivers an EPA-estimated electric range of 31 miles.

The XM may be a hoot to drive, but it’s not perfect. For example, its gearshifts could’ve been smoother. BMW has used steel springs instead of an air suspension system in this model, as it would’ve compromised its driving dynamics and stability. Thus, it doesn’t glide over rough patches on the tarmac like some other BMW SUVs. Customers who don’t want to compromise on ride quality might find themselves happier in the X5 M Competition, in which air suspension is available.


BMW XM side profile live image
Prices of BMW’s wildest SUV start at USD 159,000 (excl. USD 995 destination and handling fee).

In the United States, the 2024 BMW XM retails at USD 159,000 before options and excluding a USD 995 destination and handling fee. A more lethal 2024 BMW XM Label Red is also available in the U.S., packing 738 horsepower and priced at USD 185,000. It takes just 3.6 seconds for a 0-60 mph sprint.

TopElectricSUV says

The BMW XM guarantees exclusivity, offers phenomenal performance, has exceptional driving manners for a large SUV, and features a lavish interior. It is not the most comfortable SUV of its kind and could have offered more luxury. However, for driving enthusiasts who usually prefer to get their wheels from Munich, it’s the ultimate family car.

Also Read: First Look Review: The BMW iX delivers performance, quality & practicality

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