t’s the M division’s first plug-in hybrid and takes the form of a large SUV – maybe not the car you’d expect from BMW to celebrate a landmark birthday, but it’s full of technology.

The steering isn’t particularly communicative, but there’s a good level of grip and more agility on offer than you might expect in a car this big and heavy. Rear-wheel steering helps here too.
However, the suspension set-up is quite firm to deliver this trait, so even in the adaptive dampers’ softest setting, on our car’s 22-inch wheels (23s are available as an option) the XM felt firm. Sport and Sport Plus further tighten up vertical body movement, offering even more stability, but they also further compromise the ride quality to the point where our (admittedly pre-production) test car did react harshly to some lumps and bumps.

This is a shame because BMW says it’s also focused on delivering comfort. While the ride might not hit the mark, the seats do; even in the rear, the M Lounge seat bases are soft and absorbing, while there’s masses of legroom and even good headroom despite the tapering roofline towards the rear.

Our first taste of the XM highlights the M division’s future direction, and there are many positives when it comes to the integration of petrol and electric power, providing a lifeline for larger engines such as BMW’s V8. The XM offers plenty of space inside and we’re sure the tech will match up, but it’s not the most dynamic car to ever wear an M badge, while the ride is on the firm side.

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2023 BMW XM Prototype Review-M-Azing OR MEH?

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