2020 BMW X5 M Competition SAV Test Drive

“2020 BMW X5 M Competition SAV”
An Exercise in Glorious Excess


What happens when you take an outstanding SAV (Sport Activity Vehicle) and add the manufacturer’s legendary performance package and then factor in a competition version that goes a step further in terms of performance?

The answer is simple – you get the BMW X5 M Competition model SAV. It is the quintessential exercise in “Glorious Excess”. Add sumptuous luxury to the equation and you have a vehicle that definitely lives up to BMW’s “Ultimate Driving Machine” mantra.

This SAV is like no other even though it is based on the regular BMW X5 SUV (whoops – SAV). It has four doors and a horizontally split rear gate and seats five adults comfortably.


At the heart of this beast is a longitudinally front mounted 4.4-liter M version DOHC, 32-valve twin-turbo, intercooled V8 with Variable Valve Control (Double Vanos and Valvetronic) and high precision direct fuel injection. The awesomely healthy mill pumps out 617 horses at 6,000 rpm while also producing 553 pound feet of torque at 1,800 rpm. Motive energy is delivered to all four wheels via BMW’s xDrive AWD system through an eight-speed M Sport automatic transmission with Drivelogic, Sport and Manual shift modes and steering wheel mounted paddle shifters and Launch Control. The incredibly smooth transmission pairs with the transformative all-wheel-drive system featuring a dedicated rear-drive mode. The X5 M Competition has a towing capacity of 1,653 pounds.

In spite its hefty 5,425 curb weight, this high-riding SAV delivers nearly the same level of cornering grip and handling capability of the lighter and equally powerful regular BMW X5, while providing considerably more cargo space in its luxuriously crafted interior. There may be some consumers that find the X5 M Competition’s blistering acceleration and stiff ride on the intimidating side, while others will rejoice at its “over-the-top” performance prowess.


The latest model X5 M Competition will offer some new optional features, while deleting several standalone options.
Android Auto is now offered as standard fare along with a one-year subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio with 360L. The previously optional roof rails and exterior trim in satin aluminum, night vision with pedestrian detection, and the rear-seat entertainment system have been eliminated. BMW has also changed the Competition designation from a model to a package.

The performance-enhancing Competition package is definitely the way to go. In addition to the additional horsepower, it provides a more pleasing raucous and melodious quad exhaust note, an exclusive Track mode, as well as larger-diameter rear wheels and tires. Also featured is nicer, plush leather upholstery, with added padding on the center console sides to prevent knee discomfort during spirited maneuvering.


The BMW X5 M Competition projects a sinister image with its elevated ride height. 21-inch wheels and adaptive dampers come as standard equipment, but, those who want a staggered set of donuts with 22-inchers out back have that option. The larger rear wheels come standard with the Competition package.


The cabin of the X5 M Competition comes with exquisite appointments and is fitted out with a host of highly desirable features. A 12.3-inch fully digital gauge cluster resides behind the leather-wrapped steering wheel that also provides a pair of paddle shifters and two red “M” drive-mode buttons. There’s ambient interior lighting, a large head-up display, a heated steering wheel and front armrests, and race oriented materials are all standard. Want fancier leather upholstery, massaging front seats with heated and cooled cushions, heated rear seats? They’re available for extra green. Passenger space in the front and rear seats is more than ample, and the cargo area is big enough to hold 11 carry-on suitcases aft of the back row.


Each X5 M comes with countless connectivity features. and a loaded infotainment system and the BMW iDrive software is displayed on a 12.3-inch touchscreen that may be controlled by hand gestures, voice commands, and a rotary controller on the center console. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a Harman/Kardon audio system are standard fare, with a Bowers & Wilkins sound system available as a standalone option.


In addition to standard driver assisted technology such as forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking, the X5 M Competition provides other key safety features including: standard blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, standard lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist, and available adaptive cruise control.


My test BMW X5 M Competition model began with a base price of $114,100., which was elevated to a final sticker totaling $128,245. After factoring in the Tanzanite II Blue metallic paint, the Driver Assistance Pro Package, the Executive Package, the M Competition Package, the Bowers & Wilkins sound system, the M Driver’s Package and the Destination charge. The Exterior finish of Tanzanite II Blue Metallic appeared as almost black until bathed in light. The interior was a tasteful mix of Ivory and Blue full Merino leather.

The 2020 BMW X5 M Competition SAV is a blend of elevated luxury and heightened performance. The price tag matches its other qualities. The handling characteristics are superb – more pure sports car than SUV or SAV-like. It is a finely tuned machine with specially tuned suspension componentry from BMW’s M Division along with oversized tires and powerful engine with horses and torque to spare.

Acceleration allows reaching incredible speeds with seemingly little effort and cornering stability is mind boggling. The red steering wheel mounted “M” switches boost the overall performance and handling attributes of the X5 M and surprisingly deliver a smoother and more comfortable ride quality than the comfort mode.


The BMW X5 M Competition is a superior SAV if you can afford it. It is without doubt, definitely money well spent. Does anyone need a vehicle of this caliber? Probably not, but need isn’t the issue here, where desire or want take over the senses. Add BMW’s competitive warranty and complimentary scheduled maintenance coverage and it becomes even more attractive. The limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles, the power train warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles, and complimentary maintenance is covered for 3 years or 36,000 miles.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2020 BMW X5 M Competition

Base Price: $114,100.
Price as Tested: $128,245.

Engine Type and Size: 4.4-liter, DOHC, 32-valve Twin turbo, intercooler V-8 with Variable Valve Control (Double Vanes and Valvetronic) and high precision direct fuel injection.

Horsepower (bhp): 617 @ 6,000 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 553 @ 1,800 rpm

Transmission: Eight-speed M Sport automatic with Drivelogic, Sport and Manual shift modes and steering wheel mounted paddle shifters and Launch Control.

Drive Train: Longitudinally front mounted engine / xDrive variable AWD system.

Suspension: Front – Double wishbone with anti-roll bar.
Rear – Multilink with anti-roll bar.

Brakes: Power-assisted four wheel discs with ABS

Tires: Michelin Pilot Sport 4S- P295/35YR21 front / 315/30 ZR 22 Mounted on 5-“V”-spoke grey metallic painted alloy wheels.

Wheelbase: 117.0 inches
Length Overall: 195.0 inches
Width: 79.3 inches
Height: 68.9 inches
Curb Weight: 5,425 lbs.
Turning Circle: 42 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 22.4 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 13 mpg city /18 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: 0.37
0 – 60 mph: 3.7 seconds – maximum speed 177 mph

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