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BMW updates X5 M and X6 M Competition

BMW has refreshed its X5 M and X6 M models, giving the sporty SUVs some cosmetic changes, more safety tech and a mild-hybrid boost

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The BMW X5 M Competition SUV and X6 M Competition coupé-SUV have both received mild mid-life facelifts, including exterior styling updates, additional driver assistance tech as standard, and some extra engine power in the form of 48V of mild-hybrid assistance.

Both on sale since 2019, the performance-enhanced X5 M and X6 M are still only available in the top-spec ‘Competition’ guise here in the UK. These high-riding performance cars are practically identical, apart from their rear-end styling – the X5 M has a boxy SUV tailgate, while the X6 M has a sloping rear roof-line.

Starting with the cosmetic tweaks, both models now have slimmer matrix LED headlights with daytime running lights in the shape of chevrons that also act as turning signals. The re-shaped kidney-grilles finished in black, as are the wing mirrors, and the air intakes and spoiler lip on the front bumper.

The rear lights that stretch across the boot lid have also been re-designed, with different designs for both models. A black diffuser plate juts out of the lower rear fascia of both SUVs, sitting above four exhaust pipes finished in black chrome.

The updated models sit on 21-inch alloy wheels in the front and 22-inch alloy wheels in the rear. BMW has also added three further exterior paint colours to the options list.

Moving on to the powertrain, the X5 M and X6 M are powered by the same 4.4-litre V8 petrol engine as before the facelift, but with the addition of a small electric motor and a 48V battery that adds 12hp of extra power and aids the SUVs when setting off or in low-speed traffic.

BMW’s M division engineers have also tweaked and swapped out a few of the engine’s components to lower emissions. The engine can now muster a maximum of 635hp, meaning that the X5 M and X6 M can complete a 0-62mph sprint in 3.9 seconds. This acceleration is actually a fraction of a second slower than the outgoing versions.

The top speed is electronically limited at 155mph – if you opt for the optional ‘M Driver’s pack’, this is extended to 180mph.

The eight-speed automatic gearbox has also been slightly modified – BMW reporting that gear shifting is now sharper than before, and that this transmission is more efficient and can better handle high temperatures caused by pushing the engine to its limit. The dampers in the suspension system have been tweaked to provide more on-the-road comfort.

Stepping inside, the interior of both SUVs is nearly identical after the update. The seats, steering wheel, dashboard and doors are trimmed in the same leather as before, though BMW has added an additional white and grey colour scheme to the options list.

Behind the steering wheel, BMW’s ‘iDrive’ curved display juts out of the dashboard, combining a 12-inch digital instrument cluster and a 15-inch infotainment touchscreen. A new ambient light bar features on the front passenger side of the dashboard, and the paddle shifters on the steering wheel are now made of carbon fibre.

Four-zone climate control comes as standard, as does electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, and wireless smartphone charging. Soft-close doors, a heated steering wheel, and heated armrests are available for an extra fee.

In addition to the adaptive cruise control, a front collision warning and lane keeping assistance, the X5 M and X6 M now also come with BMW’s ‘parking assistant professional’ package as standard, which includes a rear parking camera and takes care of parking manoeuvres into and out of spaces either parallel or perpendicular to the road.

Manufactured in the brand’s plant in South Carolina, USA, the facelifted X5 M Competition and X6 M Competition are now available to order here in the UK. Pricing for the X5 M begins at just over £123k, while the latest version of the X6 M now costs £126k.

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Sean Rees
Sean Rees
Sean is the Deputy Editor at The Car Expert. A enthusiastic fan of motorsport and all things automotive, he is accredited by the Professional Publishers Association, and is now focused on helping those in car-buying need with independent and impartial advice.