Choosing the right Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) is as exciting a prospect as it is daunting.
After all, it’s a dizzying checklist that includes plenty of variables such as versatility, space, design, technology, and performance. Picking out the perfect one that suits your every need is key to enjoying the high-riding luxury and comfort that an SUV is known for. For those in a bit of a rut, BMW offers a clear-cut selection of SUVs — or Sports Activity Vehicles as they like to call them – as part of their BMW X range. These snazzy rides not only advocate the brand’s signature driving performance but are also big on space and comfort, all while catering to different audiences with their unique traits and personalities.
The modern go-getter – X1
Any go-getter worth his Berluti briefcase or her Chanel tweed jacket would know just how important having a presence is. Thankfully, the second-generation BMW X1 knows just how to turn heads, especially now that it comes with more muscular curves, a bigger grille, larger air intakes and tailpipes, and even redesigned tail-lights. All that form isn’t without function though; the side air blades on the tailgate and Air Curtain integrated into the air inlets at the front serve as an aerodynamic boost while reducing fuel consumption.
The compact Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) makes as big an impact when driven. The marque’s new generation BMW TwinPower Turbo engine guarantees maximum driving pleasure with plenty of agility and outstanding responsiveness to spare. Its highly reliable Steptronic Sport transmission also means that you’ll be able to switch between comfortable cruising and dynamic driving effortlessly — perfect for both business and pleasure.
The adventure seeker – X2
The BMW X2 paints quite the thrilling picture even at a standstill. Distinctive for its dynamic contours and impressive proportions, the Sports Activity Coupé (SAC) is a crossover with big ambition, both in and out of the city.
With a profile that marries the slenderness of a coupé with the ruggedness of a BMW X model, the inimitable X2 is clearly made for young extroverts who value both individuality and functionality. Its highly precise handling is also considered to be one of the finest in its class. In the M35i Performance model, expect up to 306hp and 450Nm of push, which gives nothing short of a spine-tingling performance when allied to the enhanced suspension.
Climb inside the X2 and you’ll find a very typical BMW, only sportier. Standard technology is generous and the cabin is chockfull of premium materials, from leather upholstery to a lush dashboard. The crossover might be designed with city-friendly dimensions, but those who have plenty to cart around, such as gear for outdoor activities, will appreciate that the boot offers up to 1,355 litres of space, with 40:20:40 split configuration seats that can accommodate large items while still housing two rear passengers in comfort.
The family hero —X3
The BMW X3 is the ultimate vision of a family SAV. Now in its third generation. The X3 offers an impressive array of space and refinement. After all, there’s a reason why a whopping 1.5 million units have rolled off the assembly line in the first two generations alone.
The new X3 is no slouch when it comes to moving both passengers and cargo, making it perfect for family trips. The extra rear legroom at the back means that both kids and adults can sit comfortably, while the flexibility of having 40:20:40 folding rear seats enables up to 1,600 litres of space for prams, sports equipment, and even the groceries at the same time.
But the X3 isn’t just about space, it’s about sumptuous luxury and dynamic driving. It is a BMW, after all. Premium leather upholstery and materials blend harmoniously with state-of-the-art technology, keeping even the savviest family connected while on the go. Your occupants will not want to leave either, not when the car’s filled with plenty of bespoke handcrafted options and three-zone climate control.
Three petrol variants, including the X3 M40i, and one plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV), will be available here, offering customers the power of choice when it comes to the type of drivetrain that best suits their needs. The M40i has 354hp and 500Nm of torque to offer exhilarating drives at your fingertips, while the 288hp xDrive30e hybrid blends sporty acceleration with flexible range.
The design buff – X4
With defined and more angular haunches, an arching coupé-style roof, and a sweeping shoulder line, the X4 has a silhouette that would catch the eye of even the most discerning design enthusiast.
BMW has been known to make good looking cars both inside and out, and the X4 builds upon the marque’s extensive know-how in contemporary automobile design. Its hunkered down and sporty good looks continue within, where an impressive array of premium interior upholstery and trim materials can be specced, alongside bespoke hand-crafted options from BMW’s Individual Service. Even the cockpit has been intelligently designed with a driver-focused layout that marries elegance with its sporty driving experience at all times.
Still, the X4 isn’t just a pretty face. Its design flair is met with plenty of sporty tech and performance, courtesy of a range of TwinPower Turbo petrol engines. Its roofline might swoop down more dramatically than the X3’s but you’ll still get plenty of load space thanks to its well-shaped boot, which will swallow several large suitcases with ease whenever you’re heading out of town in search of inspiration.
Diehard gearhead – X5
With its breadth of capabilities, it’s not surprising that the X5 has earned praises from car enthusiasts all over the world.
Launched as a BMW that could handle off-roading with the same comfort and plushness as the marque’s world-famous sedans and coupes, the X5 went on to serve as the blueprint for the expansion of the Sports Activity Vehicle segment. More than 2.2 million examples have taken to the roads all over the world across its three model generations.
Almost 20 years since its launch, the X5 continues to be well-loved even in its fourth generation and it’s still making its presence known. The strong exterior design emits a muscular silhouette that only a BMW can purvey, while its striking kidney-shaped grille and large air inlets remind onlookers that it means business. Large rims also provide a sporty stance that few on the roads can match.
The standard X5 gets a turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine with a whopping 340hp, but a PHEV variant is also available for discerning drivers looking for efficiency both in and out of the city. The latter has a navigation system that pre-empts the driver when the vehicle’s battery should be charged and when the optimum time for using the electric motor is based on the route.
Inside, things are as luxurious as ever for all seven occupants, with supple leather, beautifully-finished wood, and high-quality soft-touch materials enveloping the cabin.
Spacious, luxurious, capable, the X5 is so much more than a great all-rounder. Its abilities and charm make it want to be driven again and again. Living true to the BMW motif, the X5 truly is the petrolhead’s X model of choice.
The tech enthusiast – X6
One of BMW’s biggest selling points is the fact that every car is treated to copious amounts of tech within. Of the lot, the X6 stands out for having but a few tricks short of matching up to the USS Enterprise, complete with all the details that would please even the most eagle-eyed of drivers.
Blending the agility and versatility of a SAC with the svelte, head-turning lines of a coupe, the X6 is a dream car for entrepreneurs who understand that the devil’s in the details. Being 26mm longer and 6mm lower in height than its predecessor means that visually, the X6 already stands out with its stretched proportions and muscularity. The large, single-frame kidney grille also lends an unrivalled presence to the car.
Functionality is key to this mid-sized, five-passenger SAV, and its interior is geared to deliver the most dynamic driving experience possible. Again, details are everything here; the clean, modern cabin and cockpit sees new designs that puts even more convenience and comfort in the driver’s hands. On the M50i variant, glass applications for selected controls and the Ambient Air interior fragrancing package comes as standard.
Two powerful petrol engines define the X6 as a force to be reckoned with on the roads. The model line-up is spearheaded by the M50i model, which sees a V8 that churns out 530hp. The straight-six petrol unit in the xDrive40i variant has 340hp, and is outfitted with the same M Sport exhaust system that delivers the same aural presence. An eight-speed Steptronic transmission is also paired with intelligent all-wheel drive system to maximise traction and agility, but can adopt a rear-wheel bias quickly in the interest of efficiency.
An extensive selection of standard and optional driver assistance systems also makes the X6 an exceptionally innovative SAC. Cruise Control, Collision and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking function — which also alerts the driver when a cyclist is detected — is available as standard, but drivers who tick the box for the Driving Assistant Professional will enjoy a complete package that incorporates all the safety- and comfort-enhancing technology that BMW has come to be known for.
Of course, connectivity is key to every tech entrepreneur’s success, and the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant within the Live Cockpit Professional is always there to ensure that every ride is as seamless and stress-free as possible.
M Competition options
For those invested in the thrilling and spine-tingling business of rapid SUVs, BMW has an entire segment dedicated to these potent driving machines. With outstanding motorsports genes pumping through its every pipe, cylinder and wire, it’s easy to see why the M Competition series has long been the epitome of superior performance within the industry.
The X3 M Competition unites the adventurous spirit of the X3 with plenty of athleticism, thanks to a TwinPower Turbo 3-litre rev engine that’s primed for 510hp, 600Nm of torque and a century sprint in 4.1 seconds. It makes a powerful first impression too; the front end sports powerful air intakes for a more authoritative look, while its muscular proportions and M design elements radiates sheer dynamism, even at a standstill.
The X4 M Competition channels its passion for power on the roads with an impressive balance of performance and comfort. The high-revving 3.0-litre biturbo engine within is good for an impressive 510hp and a massive 600Nm of torque, pushing the car from 0-100kph in only 4.1 seconds. The over-achieving crossover has plenty of visual flair to offer too. Expect dramatic styling in the form of larger wheels, blacked-out exterior features, and exclusive design elements from the M Carbon exterior package, which extend from the side air inlets in the front bumper via the mirror caps through to the rear diffuser.
Those who want a car that’s just as thirsty for adventure should look no further than the X5 M Competition. The full-fat performance variant of the X5 M is always revved up to unleash superiority on the roads with not only its powerful proportions, but also extroverted driving dynamics. Equipped with the most powerful of all engines in BMW’s standard production vehicles, the car produces 625hp and 750Nm to complete the 0-100kph run in only 3.8 seconds. Keep your feet on the pedal and you’ll hit 200kph in 13.4 seconds. Inside, the BMW X5 M Competition is a technological tour de force, with high-quality finishing and enough M branding to keep the racing dream alive.
The X6 M Competition is clearly big on brawn, but this extroverted dominance is also served with an equally generous portion of driving dynamics and agility for an adrenaline-pumping ride every single time. As the the ultimate expression of a BMW SUV, the car is outfitted with a mighty 4.4-litre biturbo engine that has been tweaked with motor racing in mind. Expect to hold on your hats with its 0-100kph time of 3.8 seconds, thanks to its powerful 625hp and 750Nm of torque.
The BMW X range is all about exploration and pushing the boundaries. This year, the marque wants to encourage you to do the same by teaming up with F45 Paya Lebar for six X-themed virtual workouts that are designed to keep your adrenaline filled and your heart pumping. Simply book or register your interest for any BMW X model and opt in for a complimentary F45 training session via Zoom. Find out more about BMW and the virtual workouts here.
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Singapore.
(Main and featured image: BMW)