Is the 2023 BMW X5 M now the best-looking super SUV?

22nd February 2023
Ethan Jupp

Hot on the heels of the conventional X5 and X6 now come the hopped-up M Competition versions, each sporting fresh mild-hybrid tech supporting a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8, for some proper supercar-rivaling power. The facelift seems to have improved the aesthetics of both models, too. In fact, is the X5M the best-looking car in its segment? We know that's tantamount to deciding which wart is the least gruesome but nonetheless, let’s take a look.


We’ll begin with the numbers shall we? No, this isn’t a full plug-in hybrid M car like the XM. That would encroach on that car’s performance territory which would be a dangerous thing in these lower-priced, vastly better-looking models. 

In this instance, the X5 and X6 M V8s get mild-hybrid tech – the first of their kind – allowing for 625PS (460kW) and 750Nm (553lb ft) of torque. In terms of performance, that means the new M SUVs will get from 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds, on the way to a limited 155mph top speed.


That power and performance are backed up with some minor revisions dynamically. It’s been stiffened, while the suspension, steering and diff have been fettled. There are closer ratios on the transmission that engage more sharply too.

The biggest difference of course is the looks, with a facelift in line with the updated non-M X5s and X6s. In the case of the M, as is with a number of M models at the moment, the ‘coupe’ face makes its way to the X5 with black cladding linking the kidney vents and bottom vent, with trapezoidal vents flanking. There’s revised lighting and surfacing all round and while the overall result isn’t exactly pretty, it’s a veritable pin-up sat next to the XM. 


On the inside the upgrades line up with the standard X5 and X6. That’s to say the biggest change is the addition of the new BMW Curved Display. Being M cars, they bring with them lots of carbon trim, flashes of red and special ‘M’ buttons and lighting. The aggressive M buckets from the M3 and M4 are omitted and that’s probably for the best.

So what will these new super SUVs set you back? The X5 M Competition and X6 M Competition will be priced from £123,350 and £126,050 respectively, with deliveries beginning this year. Hardly a bargain, though they do split the difference between the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and Turbo S, both on price and power. They’re performance SUVs, so there should be plenty of buyers for all of them.

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