BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear
Advertisement feature
View the latest news
Car Review

BMW X5 M Competition review

£108,420 - £125,420
Published: 30 Nov 2020


What is it like on the inside?

BMW has struggled in the past to make its M car interiors feel as expensive as they ought to. The X5 M, however, feels right on the money. Its million-way adjustable seats, complete with motorised bolsters, are swathed in expensive-smelling, well-padded leather. Tough headrests, mind you.

Still, there’s several massage functions, heated armrests, the steering wheel telescopes so far out of the dash you could let back seats passengers take over, and the fit and finish is pleasingly snug.

Advertisement - Page continues below

M-bespoke accoutrements include a new gearlever with the shift speed toggle and assorted mode buttons, the M1 and M2 shortcut keys on the steering wheel modelled on a chihuahua’s tongue, and tri-colour stitching around the steering wheel. The dials offer a new M-spec mode with two rev counter gauges for no good reason. Some simple clocks would be ace please, BMW.

As per the standard X5, iDrive now supports touchscreen interference, but is brilliant as ever when you stick to the tactile clickwheel. The ‘hey BMW’ voice command is effective, but praise be BMW hasn’t yet followed Audi through the common sense hole and binned physical buttons for climate control and volume. This is not a minimalist cabin my any stretch, but on the move it’s just miles simpler – and safer – to operate than say, an Audi RSQ8’s smeary hall of screens.

Of course, you can spend £3,000 more to own this very powertrain in the hideous X6 bodystyle, but you shouldn’t. The X5’s generously proportioned rear seats with 60:40 folding and split tailgate combine for a versatile cargo bay that gives this hopelessly vulgar horsepower palace a valuable dollop of utilitarian common sense.

Advertisement - Page continues below

Subscribe to the Top Gear Newsletter

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, you agree to receive news, promotions and offers by email from Top Gear and BBC Studios. Your information will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

BBC TopGear

Try BBC Top Gear Magazine