This one is sure to enrage the penny pinchers who usually frequent this column in search of advice on good deals. After all, it isn’t every day that an SUV with a sticker price the better part of a quarter-million dollars
is referred to in the same breath as a ‘base’ car. Let’s call this one “Ace of Base”, then.
Anyone who grew up in the ‘90s will appreciate that reference.
Back to cars. BMW has set tongues wagging with their styling experiments over the last few years, and the XM is certainly not immune to these conversations. An alarming snout adorns a face only a mother could slug, leading the way on a vehicle which comes with gold window trim as standard equipment. That’s right – BMW will charge you the princely sum of $1,500 for a Black Exterior Contents package to delete the offending metal and replace it with something a bit more subdued.
Six different exterior colours are on offer for $0, as they should be on a machine costing $245,580 before taxes. If you’re hellbent on searing the retinas of everyone on yer street, be sure to select Toronto Red and pair it with the no-charge gold accents. For maximum effect, a set of gold-trimmed 23-inch wheels are on the options docket for a cool $2,000. The standard 22-inch double spokes are on show here.
Under the hood is a twin-turbo V8 tag teaming a hybrid system, responsible for summoning 664 horsepower and 590 lb.-ft of torque. BMW claims a 0 – 100 km/h acceleration time in the mid-4-second range, sufficiently fleet of foot to blur the scenery and whisk this SUV out of sight of offended strangers. A sport automatic transmission with paddle shifters will assist your exit, as will all-wheel drive.
The interior of this XM has been gifted numerous items from the BMW toybox, including a "sculptural roofliner" crafted from Alcantara and featuring a 3D prism structure with ambient lighting. It’s tough to describe absent a live demonstration but suffice it to say anyone working at Ripley’s Aquarium will feel at home. Typical tech such as an enormous curved dashboard display, BMW’s digital cockpit professional, and head-up display are all present in this cabin. Also on tap are massaging front seats, quad-zone climate control, a Harman Kardon surround sound system ready to belt out everything from Adele to ZZ Top.
What We'd Choose
If the standard H/K stereo isn’t sufficient for the audiophiles in your life, BMW will gladly rectify that for $5,500. This nifty sum nets a Bowers & Wilkins Diamond surround sound system which is capable of banging out 1,475 watts from 20 speakers – four of which are hiding up in the aforementioned roofliner, playing along with a pair of subwoofers underneath the front seats (don’t tell BMW we call ‘em butt thumpers, ok?). For extra theatre, the system features illuminated elements in case your passengers missed the look-at-me exterior styling.
Hey, in this age of rampant inflation and skyrocketing interest rates, one might as well display their wealth if it is available. After all, it might not be yours much longer. Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em, folks.
Every week, wheels.ca selects a new vehicle and takes a good look at its entry-level trim. If we find it worthy of your consideration, we'll let you know. If not, we'll recommend one - or the required options - which earns a passing grade.