June 20, 2024
Wheels

BMW X5 M60i packs a wallop with addition of mild hybrid

Twin-turbo V8 pushes up cost but delivers big excitement

The 2024 BMW X5 M60i adds additional 'pop' with mild hybrid addition.

The X5 has been around long enough to establish high expectations that BMW has always tried to improve on with each new variant – and in most cases, they have succeeded. The 2024 X5 I recently spent a week in met all my expectations, though the price will be an eye-opener.

Let’s get into this pricing right out of the box. My X5 M60i tester had a base price of $89,300 that climbed more than $15,000 after adding in a slew of options like Ruby Red Metallic paint ($5K), Ivory White Merino Leather ($1,950), Driver Asst. Pro Pkg ($2,100), and M Sport, Parking, Executive and Climate Control packages ($4,250). Add in the awesome-looking 22-inch M Sport rims and you start closing in on the final price tag – $105,745.

More and more of the vehicles I’m testing in the luxury class can easily get their prices into six digits. Sure, you don’t have to opt for the top-end of every package available, but if you do – it will cost you. I’m not saying it’s wrong or even a turnoff for the most luxurious and highest-performing SUVs, but it is still sticker shock for someone who has been testing vehicles for almost three decades.

The really good part about the 2024 X5 M60i’s story is, as you might expect from a BMW, the performance. Yes, my tester was the top-tier M60i featuring a mild hybrid system in addition to the already-rocking twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8. The X5 is rated 17 mpg city and 22 highway.

Since I chose to lead with the high-end cost, let’s ask ourselves: How much of the $15K-plus in options is worth the huge 523 horsepower and 553 torque rating? While everyone is different, I’d have to say that the experience of jumping to the top end of highway speed with a mere twitch of the accelerator is exhilarating.

The M60i includes adaptive suspension, sporty M brakes (14.7-inch vented discs front, 14.6-inch in back), and all-wheel drive. Handling on the X5 was precise. As you might expect, BMW engineers have put sport sedan-like handling into their SUV – and it feels like it is capable of handling whatever maneuvering you might have in front of you. Add in the throaty exhaust note in the Sport setting and you have a for-real performance SUV inside and out.

Inside the cabin, the M experience continues with over-the-top quality materials, precision fit and finish, and a gorgeous M steering wheel, with grippy leather accented by red and blue stitching.

The Ivory White Merino leather seats and the door trim add a rich level of refinement, as does the subtle satin silver trim with real carbon fiber on the doors, console and dash.

Front and second-row seating is outstanding with sculpted seats, firm support and front-row power controls that can get seating positions exactly how you want them with a memory feature to find the position once again. There’s plenty of room behind the second-row seat for cargo.

Front seats are heated and cooled; rear seats are heated. The steering wheel and front armrests are heated as part of the $1,000 climate comfort package that includes heated seats and four-zone climate control.

The most distinct design element in the front is the single curved panel that features two digital screens, one 12.3-inch screen is the driver’s instrument panel and the larger 14.9-inch infotainment screen.

A dial on the console makes it easy to select the home screen, radio and individual menus. My tester featured a massive panoramic sunroof and power shade that is controlled by overhead buttons.

Going back to that $2,100 Driving Assistance Pro package, it does offer a semi-autonomous driving system that, while it requests you to hold the steering wheel, is pretty impressive. The $900 Parking Assistance package with 360-degree 3D camera and parking sensors seems like a lot of cash for something relatively easy to do as a driver.

Overall the X5 M60i is all you might expect from a BMW: It is luxurious, comfortable in every sense, and a beast on the pavement with its mild-hybrid-assisted twin-turbo V8. Yes, it’s expensive, but it will stand out in a crowd and it will propel you to the front of the pack in almost any company.

John Stein is a freelance journalist based in Chicago. He has more than 25 years of experience driving, testing and writing about the automotive industry, its latest innovations and new vehicles.