Likes

  • Immense levels of driving enjoyment.
  • Huge performance with all the practicality of an X5.
  • Almost all the tech and features you’d ever require.
  • Arguably peak BMW SUV.

Dislikes

  • Major reliability concerns.
  • Very expensive ownership, repair and maintenance costs.
  • Huge depreciation.
  • Asking a lot more than a lower-spec X5 for talents you’ll hardly ever use.

Stuff you should know

The X5 M is not only the very top-of-the-line X5, featuring not only all of the premium accommodation and practicality of a normal X5, it provides more bells and whistles than your local orchestra and it is also the most performance focussed variant of BMW’s original SUV model.

While the 2015 to 2018 F85 x5 M may look very similar to a normal run-of-the-mill X5, under its beautifully sculpted and muscular bodywork, things are quite different.

Engine-wise, the X5 M gets an M-tuned and enhanced 4.4-Liter twin-turbo V8 which at the time, made it the most powerful engine ever developed for an all-wheel-drive BMW.

To control this immense firepower through the corners, M sorted the suspension and brakes to suit, combined with the M-tuned xDrive all-wheel drive system, super sticky performance tyres and BMW’s Dynamic Performance Control systems.

But, if you’re thinking of buying an X5 M because you just must have a European SUV and the X5 M surely must be close to the pinnacle of German manufacturing, the X5 M is not made in Germany, it’s not even made in Europe. It is manufactured in a township called Greer in South Carolina, that’s in the United States. Interesting.

What goes wrong

Exterior:

Some owners have complained about excessive road noise entering the car from the driver’s side door due to poorly fitted insulation/sound fitting from the factory.

Panoramic sunroofs are known to suffer from leaks due to the drains clogging easily. When sorting this, it’s a good idea to make sure the drainage under the windscreen is clean too.

The reversing camera is known to have a few issues, with the display not being clear or the screen turning off when reverse is selected.

Hex screws attaching the underbody shields can come loose.

There is also a range of sporadic reports regarding various electronic issues, lights acting up, door lock actuators and window motors failing, although not what we’d call common but there can be issues.

Interior:

There are multiple reports of the steering wheel and steering wheel columns making harsh grinding or creaking noises.

The leather on the side of the driver’s seat is known to crack and split however, we question those owners’ techniques for getting in and out possibly more than the quality of the leather.

Also, like the exterior, there’s a long list of sporadic electronic gremlins that can occur which is a concern as the X5 M is loaded with interior electronics.

Mechanically:

The S63 twin-turbo petrol V8 is an evolution of the N63 and it should be noted, the early versions of the N63 are regarded as arguably one of the least reliable of all modern BMW engines.

Is the S63 any better? And have BMW fixed all the problems? Sort of. They have many of the same types of problems the early versions had albeit much less common, but still, plenty of problems.

The worst of them is con-rod bearing failure. If you hear any ticking or knocking sounds, it is too late and you’re up for tens of thousands of dollars worth of repairs.

The entire valve train is very complex and timing chain issues are not unheard of, but also expensive.

Problems with the VANOS solenoids are fairly common and luckily, relatively inexpensive to repair.

They are prone to oil consumption. BMW says this is normal but reports have shown, some can use up to 4 litres between 10,000km service intervals and that’s frightening in an engine that’s known to have big-end bearing failures when starved of oil.

Speaking of oil starvation, that’s what kills turbos and there are plenty of reports of that.

There are probably 30 different coolant hoses and if any of them become soft from oil leaking onto them (which they’re prone to do) be prepared to replace these hoses fairly regularly.

The ZF 8-speed transmission is considered reliable (when serviced properly) although they do have some oil

Exterior:

Some owners have complained about excessive road noise entering the car from the driver’s side door due to poorly fitted insulation/sound fitting from the factory.

Panoramic sunroofs are known to suffer from leaks due to the drains clogging easily. When sorting this, it’s a good idea to make sure the drainage under the windscreen is clean too.

The reversing camera is known to have a few issues, with the display not being clear or the screen turning off when reverse is selected.

Hex screws attaching the underbody shields can come loose.

There is also a range of sporadic reports regarding various electronic issues, lights acting up, door lock actuators and window motors failing, although not what we’d call common but there can be issues.

Interior:

There are multiple reports of the steering wheel and steering wheel columns making harsh grinding or creaking noises.

The leather on the side of the driver’s seat is known to crack and split however, we question those owners’ techniques for getting in and out possibly more than the quality of the leather.

Also, like the exterior, there’s a long list of sporadic electronic gremlins that can occur which is a concern as the X5 M is loaded with interior electronics.

Mechanically:

The S63 twin-turbo petrol V8 is an evolution of the N63 and it should be noted, the early versions of the N63 are regarded as arguably one of the least reliable of all modern BMW engines.

Is the S63 any better? And have BMW fixed all the problems? Sort of. They have many of the same types of problems the early versions had albeit much less common, but still, plenty of problems.

The worst of them is con-rod bearing failure. If you hear any ticking or knocking sounds, it is too late and you’re up for tens of thousands of dollars worth of repairs.

The entire valve train is very complex and timing chain issues are not unheard of, but also expensive.

Problems with the VANOS solenoids are fairly common and luckily, relatively inexpensive to repair.

They are prone to oil consumption. BMW says this is normal but reports have shown, some can use up to 4 litres between 10,000km service intervals and that’s frightening in an engine that’s known to have big-end bearing failures when starved of oil.

Speaking of oil starvation, that’s what kills turbos and there are plenty of reports of that.

There are probably 30 different coolant hoses and if any of them become soft from oil leaking onto them (which they’re prone to do) be prepared to replace these hoses fairly regularly.

The ZF 8-speed transmission is considered reliable (when serviced properly) although they do have some oil leak issues and oil cooler complications.

The list of potential problems here is immense but the good news is, if you service them religiously (and we mean every 5000km) you’re less likely to have problems with it.

Yes, there are some lucky owners out there that have had very few problems but having said that anything over 150,000km is a ticking bomb.

Recalls:

  • 29 January 2021 – It was discovered that a fault during welding process meant a seam on the front axle wasn’t welded properly. This can result in complete separation of the right side tension strut. It affected 14 examples in the X5, X6 and X7 range.
  • 29 January 2021 – Foreign bodies were found to have entered the battery cells which could lead to a short circuit in a fully-charged high-voltage battery. This issue affected 62 examples across the 3 Series, 5 Series, 7 Series, X5 & MINI Countryman.

 

Exterior:

Some owners have complained about excessive road noise entering the car from the driver’s side door due to poorly fitted insulation/sound fitting from the factory.

Panoramic sunroofs are known to suffer from leaks due to the drains clogging easily. When sorting this, it’s a good idea to make sure the drainage under the windscreen is clean too.

The reversing camera is known to have a few issues, with the display not being clear or the screen turning off when reverse is selected.

Hex screws attaching the underbody shields can come loose.

There is also a range of sporadic reports regarding various electronic issues, lights acting up, door lock actuators and window motors failing, although not what we’d call common but there can be issues.

Interior:

There are multiple reports of the steering wheel and steering wheel columns making harsh grinding or creaking noises.

The leather on the side of the driver’s seat is known to crack and split however, we question those owners’ techniques for getting in and out possibly more than the quality of the leather.

Also, like the exterior, there’s a long list of sporadic electronic gremlins that can occur which is a concern as the X5 M is loaded with interior electronics.

Mechanically:

The S63 twin-turbo petrol V8 is an evolution of the N63 and it should be noted, the early versions of the N63 are regarded as arguably one of the least reliable of all modern BMW engines.

Is the S63 any better? And have BMW fixed all the problems? Sort of. They have many of the same types of problems the early versions had albeit much less common, but still, plenty of problems.

The worst of them is con-rod bearing failure. If you hear any ticking or knocking sounds, it is too late and you’re up for tens of thousands of dollars worth of repairs.

The entire valve train is very complex and timing chain issues are not unheard of, but also expensive.

Problems with the VANOS solenoids are fairly common and luckily, relatively inexpensive to repair.

They are prone to oil consumption. BMW says this is normal but reports have shown, some can use up to 4 litres between 10,000km service intervals and that’s frightening in an engine that’s known to have big-end bearing failures when starved of oil.

Speaking of oil starvation, that’s what kills turbos and there are plenty of reports of that.

There are probably 30 different coolant hoses and if any of them become soft from oil leaking onto them (which they’re prone to do) be prepared to replace these hoses fairly regularly.

The ZF 8-speed transmission is considered reliable (when serviced properly) although they do have some oil leak issues and oil cooler complications.

The list of potential problems here is immense but the good news is, if you service them religiously (and we mean every 5000km) you’re less likely to have problems with it.

Yes, there are some lucky owners out there that have had very few problems but having said that anything over 150,000km is a ticking bomb.

Recalls:

  • 29 January 2021 – It was discovered that a fault during welding process meant a seam on the front axle wasn’t welded properly. This can result in complete separation of the right side tension strut. It affected 14 examples in the X5, X6 and X7 range.
  • 29 January 2021 – Foreign bodies were found to have entered the battery cells which could lead to a short circuit in a fully-charged high-voltage battery. This issue affected 62 examples across the 3 Series, 5 Series, 7 Series, X5 & MINI Countryman.

 

Should you buy it?

For most of us, sorry but it’s a no.

However, if you’re in the incredibly fortunate position that you can ignore the running and maintenance costs, you can somehow justify the depreciation and you can afford the very best legal support when it comes time to fight for your licence in court, sure, yes buy an X5 M because, when ignoring some of the unfortunate realities, even used it is still a phenomenal SUV.

But even ignoring the cost of premium tyres and brakes and the fuel it will swallow because trust us, you will be flexing that right foot more often than not, for the X5 M to achieve its immense set of skills, it requires its highly strung mechanical and electrical package to be hugely complex when this complexity is mixed with heat, vibration and the harsh Australian climate, things will eventually begin to fail, which then requires repairs, which is a premium BMW, can cost a substantial amount of money.

So, for those of us in, let’s say, a more conservative financial position, again no, you should not buy a used X5 M.

For most of us, sorry but it’s a no.

However, if you’re in the incredibly fortunate position that you can ignore the running and maintenance costs, you can somehow justify the depreciation and you can afford the very best legal support when it comes time to fight for your licence in court, sure, yes buy an X5 M because, when ignoring some of the unfortunate realities, even used it is still a phenomenal SUV.

But even ignoring the cost of premium tyres and brakes and the fuel it will swallow because trust us, you will be flexing that right foot more often than not, for the X5 M to achieve its immense set of skills, it requires its highly strung mechanical and electrical package to be hugely complex when this complexity is mixed with heat, vibration and the harsh Australian climate, things will eventually begin to fail, which then requires repairs, which is a premium BMW, can cost a substantial amount of money.

So, for those of us in, let’s say, a more conservative financial position, again no, you should not buy a used X5 M.

Should you buy it?

For most of us, sorry but it’s a no.

However, if you’re in the incredibly fortunate position that you can ignore the running and maintenance costs, you can somehow justify the depreciation and you can afford the very best legal support when it comes time to fight for your licence in court, sure, yes buy an X5 M because, when ignoring some of the unfortunate realities, even used it is still a phenomenal SUV.

But even ignoring the cost of premium tyres and brakes and the fuel it will swallow because trust us, you will be flexing that right foot more often than not, for the X5 M to achieve its immense set of skills, it requires its highly strung mechanical and electrical package to be hugely complex when this complexity is mixed with heat, vibration and the harsh Australian climate, things will eventually begin to fail, which then requires repairs, which is a premium BMW, can cost a substantial amount of money.

So, for those of us in, let’s say, a more conservative financial position, again no, you should not buy a used X5 M.

Need help with finance?

What is the car's build year?

2020

Loan Amount

$5,000

Finance estimate ~

$30

Per week*

8.49%

Comparison rate p.a#

Models, pricing & features

BMW X5M-1

X5 M

Price when new: $185,225 - $189,010

Price used: $56,850 - $92,200

Arriving in Australia in 2015, the X5 M was equipped with a 4.4 litre twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine.

Additional features include 21-inch alloy wheels, a larger “M” brake package, 10mm lower ride height, BMW’s Dynamic systems: performance control, damper control and body roll mitigation as well as a panoramic glass sunroof, M Sports seats upholstered in Merino leather and Digital TV reception.

Additional Features:

21-inch alloy wheels
Larger “M” brake package
Painted brake callipers
10mm lower ride height
Dynamic performance control
Dyanmic damper control
Dynamic Drive body roll mitigation
Comfort, Sport and Sport+ settings
Panoramic glass sunroof
M Sports seats
Merino leather upholstery
Digital TV reception

April 2016 updates:
Soft door close
10.2-inch multifunctional driver’s display

X5 M Black Fire Edition

Price when new: $205,900

Price used: $78,600 - $95,800

Arriving in 2017 with just 15 examples available in Australia, the X5 M Black Fire Edition was a special edition that added a black sports pack to the X5 M, which featured: 21-inch black alloy wheels, Sapphire Black paint, dark carbon-fire mirror caps, black grille, Alcantara headliner and steering wheel, piano black high lights, Black Fire bading throughout, red contrast stitching throughout the interior and fine-grain Merino leather upholstery in black and Mugello red.

Additional Features:

21-inch black M light alloy wheels
Sapphire Black paint
Dark carbon-fire mirror caps
Black grille
Alcantara headliner
Alcantara trimmed the steering wheel
Piano black highlights
Black Fire badging throughout
Red contrast stitching throughout the interior
Fine-grain Merino leather upholstery in black and Mugello red

Tech specs

Body Style:

5-door SUV

Engines:

2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel (sDrive25d, xDrive25d) – From 2014
3.0 litre inline 6-cylinder turbo diesel (xDrive30d)
3.0 litre inline turbocharged 6-cylinder petrol (xDrive35i) – From 2014
3.0 litre inline 6-cylinder twin-turbo diesel (xDrive40d) – From 2014
2.0 litre turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol & 9.2kWh electric motor (xDrive40e iPerformance) – From 2015
3.0 litre inline 6-cylinder triple-turbo diesel (M50d)
4.4 litre twin-turbo V8 petrol (xDrive50i, X5 M, X5 M Black Fire Edition)

Power:

160kW – 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel
190kW – 3.0 litre inline 6-cylinder turbo diesel
225kW – 3.0 litre inline turbocharged 6-cylinder petrol
230kW – 3.0 litre inline 6-cylinder twin-turbo diesel
230kW (combined) – 2.0 litre turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol & 9.2kWh electric motor
280kW – 3.0 litre inline 6-cylinder triple-turbo diesel
330kW – 4.4 litre twin-turbo V8 petrol (xDrive50i)
423kW – 4.4 litre twin-turbo V8 petrol (X5 M, X5 M Black Fire Edition)

Torque:

450Nm – 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel
560Nm – 3.0 litre inline 6-cylinder turbo diesel
400Nm – 3.0 litre inline turbocharged 6-cylinder petrol
630Nm- 3.0 litre inline 6-cylinder twin-turbo diesel
350/250Nm – 2.0 litre turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol/9.2kWh electric motor
740Nm – 3.0 litre inline 6-cylinder triple-turbo diesel
650Nm – 4.4 litre twin-turbo V8 petrol (xDrive50i)
750Nm – 4.4 litre twin-turbo V8 petrol (X5 M, X5 M Black Fire Edition)

Transmission & drivetrains:

8-speed automatic, rear wheel drive (sDrive25d)

Body Style:

5-door SUV

Engines:

2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel (sDrive25d, xDrive25d) – From 2014
3.0 litre inline 6-cylinder turbo diesel (xDrive30d)
3.0 litre inline turbocharged 6-cylinder petrol (xDrive35i) – From 2014
3.0 litre inline 6-cylinder twin-turbo diesel (xDrive40d) – From 2014
2.0 litre turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol & 9.2kWh electric motor (xDrive40e iPerformance) – From 2015
3.0 litre inline 6-cylinder triple-turbo diesel (M50d)
4.4 litre twin-turbo V8 petrol (xDrive50i, X5 M, X5 M Black Fire Edition)

Power:

160kW – 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel
190kW – 3.0 litre inline 6-cylinder turbo diesel
225kW – 3.0 litre inline turbocharged 6-cylinder petrol
230kW – 3.0 litre inline 6-cylinder twin-turbo diesel
230kW (combined) – 2.0 litre turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol & 9.2kWh electric motor
280kW – 3.0 litre inline 6-cylinder triple-turbo diesel
330kW – 4.4 litre twin-turbo V8 petrol (xDrive50i)
423kW – 4.4 litre twin-turbo V8 petrol (X5 M, X5 M Black Fire Edition)

Torque:

450Nm – 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel
560Nm – 3.0 litre inline 6-cylinder turbo diesel
400Nm – 3.0 litre inline turbocharged 6-cylinder petrol
630Nm- 3.0 litre inline 6-cylinder twin-turbo diesel
350/250Nm – 2.0 litre turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol/9.2kWh electric motor
740Nm – 3.0 litre inline 6-cylinder triple-turbo diesel
650Nm – 4.4 litre twin-turbo V8 petrol (xDrive50i)
750Nm – 4.4 litre twin-turbo V8 petrol (X5 M, X5 M Black Fire Edition)

Transmission & drivetrains:

8-speed automatic, rear wheel drive (sDrive25d)
8-speed automatic, four wheel drive (all other models)

Fuel consumption:

3.4 – 11.1L/100km

Length:

4880 – 4886mm

Width:

1938 – 1985mm

Height:

1754 – 1762mm

Kerb weight:

2030 – 2350kg

Towing (braked/unbraked):

2700/750kg

Body Style:

5-door SUV

Engines:

2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel (sDrive25d, xDrive25d) – From 2014
3.0 litre inline 6-cylinder turbo diesel (xDrive30d)
3.0 litre inline turbocharged 6-cylinder petrol (xDrive35i) – From 2014
3.0 litre inline 6-cylinder twin-turbo diesel (xDrive40d) – From 2014
2.0 litre turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol & 9.2kWh electric motor (xDrive40e iPerformance) – From 2015
3.0 litre inline 6-cylinder triple-turbo diesel (M50d)
4.4 litre twin-turbo V8 petrol (xDrive50i, X5 M, X5 M Black Fire Edition)

Power:

160kW – 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel
190kW – 3.0 litre inline 6-cylinder turbo diesel
225kW – 3.0 litre inline turbocharged 6-cylinder petrol
230kW – 3.0 litre inline 6-cylinder twin-turbo diesel
230kW (combined) – 2.0 litre turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol & 9.2kWh electric motor
280kW – 3.0 litre inline 6-cylinder triple-turbo diesel
330kW – 4.4 litre twin-turbo V8 petrol (xDrive50i)
423kW – 4.4 litre twin-turbo V8 petrol (X5 M, X5 M Black Fire Edition)

Torque:

450Nm – 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel
560Nm – 3.0 litre inline 6-cylinder turbo diesel
400Nm – 3.0 litre inline turbocharged 6-cylinder petrol
630Nm- 3.0 litre inline 6-cylinder twin-turbo diesel
350/250Nm – 2.0 litre turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol/9.2kWh electric motor
740Nm – 3.0 litre inline 6-cylinder triple-turbo diesel
650Nm – 4.4 litre twin-turbo V8 petrol (xDrive50i)
750Nm – 4.4 litre twin-turbo V8 petrol (X5 M, X5 M Black Fire Edition)

Transmission & drivetrains:

8-speed automatic, rear wheel drive (sDrive25d)
8-speed automatic, four wheel drive (all other models)

Fuel consumption:

3.4 – 11.1L/100km

Length:

4880 – 4886mm

Width:

1938 – 1985mm

Height:

1754 – 1762mm

Kerb weight:

2030 – 2350kg

Towing (braked/unbraked):

2700/750kg

Warranty & servicing

Warranty:

3-year/unlimited km

Servicing:

12-months/15,000kms

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Disclaimer

Please note that pricing information is subject to fluctuations in the automotive market.

Information correct as of February 3, 2023.

The advice provided on this website is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this advice, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.

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