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2023 BMW XM quick review: The first true M in nearly a half-century

Picture of Scott Wasser

Scott Wasser

2023 BMW XM

If you’ve got a need for speed, a taste for luxury and exclusivity, and a checkbook balance well into six figures, you may want to hustle over to BMW of Westbrook (Maine). “Hustle” is the key word here because the all-new $160,000 BMW XM is destined to be as difficult to acquire as one former president’s tax returns.

The XM is BMW’s first M-only model since the M1 debuted in 1978. In other words, it is not an invigorated version of the X5 or X7, although its styling and engineering clearly received a bit of inspiration from both.

2023 BMW XM
Photo: Kevin Nguyen

But that’s about it for the similarities. Look no further than under its hood for proof of that. The XM is BMW’s most powerful SUV ever, deriving its motivation from a plug-in hybrid powertrain that melds a 4.4-liter BMW M TwinPower Turbo V-8 with a high-performance electric motor. According to the manufacturer, the two power sources combine to deliver up to 644 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque.

The automaker also states that those numbers help launch the XM from a standstill to 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds. Given its get-up-and-go, an equally impressive number might be its ability to travel up to 30 miles on electric propulsion alone, according to BMW.

2023 BMW XM
Photo: Kevin Nguyen

Its handling and luxury should also elicit oohs and aahs from anyone who has the good fortune (defined in this case as both luck and financial well-being) to wrap their fingers around the new XM’s thickly padded steering wheel. But that’s something you’ll have to prove to yourself since we haven’t had the opportunity to take it to the tarmac.

If you’re suitably impressed, quick to act, and have the wherewithal to drive an XM home, BMW is convinced you’ll have acquired something more than sizzling performance and copious luxury. That something is the knowledge that you no longer have to envy the neighbors’ Mercedes-Benz AMG G63 or Lamborghini Urus, two vehicles BMW set out to surpass while developing its first M-only since Ronald Reagan was president.   

2023 BMW XM
Photo: Kevin Nguyen

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