These days there is a BMW M car for pretty much every model line, but back in 2009 the hallowed M badge was used much more sparingly. So the first M-badged X5 was a bit of a departure for Munich. It was also the first M car to feature four-wheel drive, along with its close cousin, the X6 M.
Over its three iterations since 2009, the X5 M has stuck to a similar format: a twin-turbo V8, and huge amounts of power to offset a rather chunky kerb weight (almost 2,500kg in the first-gen car, which is the heaviest of the three). That power ranges from 560hp in the first-gen car to a punchy 625hp in the third-gen G05 X5 M Competition.
The criticism of the fastest X5 has always been the same, too – it seems a bit of an absurdity to make a two-tonne-and-change SUV into a performance car. Partly as a result of this, the X5 M has always felt a bit remote by the usually hugely involving standards of BMW M division. And yet, there is something hilariously alluring about a large SUV with near-supercar straight-line performance. If that appeals to you, the X5 M is hard to beat.