2013 BMW X5 M Review

X5 M

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Avg. Price: $72,347

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2013 BMW X5 M Overview

2013 BMW X5 M

Need an impractical luxury SUV that’ll cruise at over 100 mph? Check out the 2013 BMW X5 M. Occupying a distinctly unique niche, this princely 5-passenger conveyance sure looks a lot like the traditional midsize SUV. Beemer’s heady hauler is, however, a ute with a need for speed, surprisingly un-SUV-like agility, a decently compliant ride, full-time all-wheel drive (AWD) and enough bells and whistles to keep the most dedicated cabin connoisseur completely comfy. Some incremental tweaks for this year’s edition see the X5 M sporting redesigned headlight bezels, LED taillights and a slightly wider grille, with blue brake calipers and upgraded leather upholstery also added. M-style light alloy wheels are now available for no charge, while those new headlight surrounds can be fitted with available LED elements for a state-of-the-art night-driving experience.

As this over-the-top SUV is one of a kind, it’s offered in a single trim, euphemistically known as the “Base.” But a ton of options and packages allow it to evolve beyond mere decadence to positively Nero-esque status. On the more practical side, cargo area is maxed out at a respectable 75.2 cubic feet with the rear seats folded, and with the proper equipment, the V8-equipped X5 M will tow some 6,000 pounds of trailer. That ought to relieve some of the stress in getting the ponies to the polo grounds. Finally, that uncanny nimbleness and curiously cushy ride are the result of such infernal machines as Dynamic Drive, Adaptive Drive and Dynamic Performance Control. The former two allow driver-selectable Sport and Normal engine/transmission modes for a more engaging drive and electronic suspension damping for a smoother ride. The latter evens torque distribution to the two rear wheels, giving folks the feel of a rear-wheel-drive sports car in 5,300-plus pounds of all-wheel-drive sport ute.

Meanwhile, expect the 2013 X5 M’s variable-valve-timed (VVT) twin-turbo V8 powerplant to pound out 555 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque when mated with the Sport-Select 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission with its steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Furthermore, this over-adorned SUV-ish Beemer comes with xDrive intelligent AWD technology that distributes power constantly to all 4 wheels then switches torque seamlessly from the wheels that slip to the wheels that grip. Needless to say, mileage estimates for this elegant beast are a usurious 12 mpg city/17 highway.

Little effort—and expense—is spared in providing appearance goodies and creature comforts suitable to the rich and famous. A rear spoiler, roof rack, rear power liftgate, power sunroof and 20-inch alloy wheels decorate the exterior, with the interior redolent of leather upholstery, leather and alloy cabin accents, and heated, power-adjustable sport front seats. The X5 M is also delivered with remote power door locks, power windows and heated power-adjustable reverse-tilt mirrors, not to mention dual-zone automatic climate control, a universal remote garage door opener, cruise control and BMW Assist directions and communications, as well as telescoping tilt-wheel steering and driver memory settings. Entertainment is via a 600-watt system with single-CD player, 16 speakers, auxiliary iPod/iPhone integration and a USB port, while standard hard-drive-based navigation and Bluetooth hands-free technology and real-time traffic alerts also adorn this M-designated ute.

Options, many in the form of various packages, include keyless entry, automatic soft-close doors, a head-up windshield display, 6-CD changer, satellite radio, rear-seat entertainment system and, of course, BMW Apps, which allow access to web music broadcasts, Twitter checking and Facebook accessability. Full LED headlights and a side-view camera are also available to the 2013 X5 M, as are the Cold Weather Package with a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats, perforated leather packages and the Rear Climate Package, with four-zone climate control and rear side window shades.

This brawny Beemer shouts safety with 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), as well as traction and stability control, bolstered, of course, by the Dynamic Performance Control feature. Front and rear head airbags, front side-mounted airbags and front head restraint whiplash protection also come standard on the 2013 X5 M, as do daytime running lights, adaptive, self-leveling, high-intensity-discharge HID headlights and a Post-collision safety system. Finally, standard safety equipment also includes BMW Assist emergency services and stolen vehicle recovery technology.

Updated

Have Laptop, Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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