Review: 2023 BMW XM – Fit for a Sith Lord

The BMW XM is what it is. You're either going to get it or you're going to stare at it in disbelief.

The XM is a big, stylish, very luxurious SUV. Its powertrain is a juxtaposition of piquant power and electrified efficiency. In black or white, the XM’s styling is everything a Sith Lord could want. It’s a combination of everything that is happening in the luxury full-sized SUV market, but with a Bimmer twist.

The BMW XM is what it is. You’re either going to get it or you’re going to stare at it in disbelief.

The 2023 BMW XM is the first generation of what the German automaker says is a “luxury-performance SUV.” It’s definitely that. Under the hood is a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and a plug-in hybrid system. The EPA says that the all-electric range for the XM is about 30 miles. That’s pretty optimistic. 20 is more in the realm of reality. This is a three-ton SUV and most of its 644 horsepower comes from that massive V8.

But the EV range doesn’t matter here. The XM is about power. The hybrid bits are more about adding torque while the V8 spins up than they are about efficiency. When you get into a six figure sport utility, you aren’t pinching pennies at the pump. 16 mpg is an afterthought.

And no, there are no options for this high-end BMW. The XM comes in one setup. You choose from a few colors. That’s it. And that’s how it should be. Because the XM already comes with everything. There’s nothing to add.

The XM has a configurable digital instrument cluster, a big infotainment screen, carbon fiber and quilted leather, and a host of driver assistance, advanced safety, and comfort items on top. The only stuff missing are things that would have the word “bespoke” as an adjective. Stuff that doesn’t appear in vehicles that aren’t largely handmade.

Like other vehicles it will inevitably be compared to, like the GMC Hummer, the Cadillac Escalade V, and the Range Rover Sport SV, the BMW XM is faster than its bulk would suggest. It sprints to 60 mph in just 4 seconds, despite it’s 6,000+ pound weight. Its quarter mile time is about 12 seconds. Meaning you could take the gigantic BMW XM to the drag strip and be competitive on an amateur level. And it turns surprisingly well for such a bulky machine, thanks to rear wheel steering and some well-done stability control.

Outside of its $160,000 price tag, the 2023 BMW XM is a beautiful machine. Some might hate its looks or think that the idea of a PHEV made purely for power output is ludicrous, but we think it’s brilliant. Fit for a Sith Lord.

Aaron Turpen
An automotive enthusiast for most of his adult life, Aaron has worked in and around the industry in many ways. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP), the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA), and freelances as a writer and journalist around the Web and in print. You can find his portfolio at