July 18, 2024

“Hideous.” “Ghastly.” “Obnoxiously designed.” “BMW needs to fire their design team immediately.”
That’s just a smattering of the social media reactions to the new XM SUV unveiled by BMW on Tuesday.
The upcoming model is remarkable in many ways: It’s a hybrid, it costs $159,995 (before options), and it speeds to 60 mph as fast as a sports car — but its unique looks are what garnered the strongest reactions online. 
Large and imposing, the XM features dramatic angles, chunky wheels, slim headlights, and an enlarged take on BMW’s iconic kidney grille. Buyers can add flashy, gold-colored trim that runs down the sides of the vehicle. 
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The daring design proved a bit much for some people.
“Looks like it was drawn by a 10 year old somehow,” one person said on Twitter. “I think BMW has lost their way,” another said. Even the car-buying and advice site Edmunds piled on, saying “the 2023 BMW XM is an all-new $160k hybrid SUV that unfortunately looks like this.”
Many lobbed critiques at the XM’s front end, comparing it to a pig snout. Several recent BMWs, like the X7 SUV and the electric iX, have faced blowback over their growing grilles, which people have likened to beaver teeth and gaping nostrils. 
Still, BMW is leaning in to the new design direction, and the XM’s grille is framed by light rings. BMW, for its part, says the XM’s front end exudes “confidence” and reflects its “remarkable performance.”
To be sure, the reactions online weren’t all negative, with some Twitter users praising the model’s styling. “Very handsome,” one person tweeted
The XM is the first hybrid model from BMW’s M performance division, which is best known for sporty sedans like the M3 and M5. More precisely, it’s a plug-in hybrid, meaning it has a larger battery pack than a traditional hybrid like a Prius and can travel an estimated 30 miles on electric power only, assuming a full battery. 
A turbocharged V8 engine and electric motor working in tandem will produce 644 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, propelling the XM to 60 mph in a brief 4.1 seconds, according to BMW.
That’s astonishingly quick for a 6,000-pound SUV. An even more powerful XM Label Red will launch next summer with a base price tag of $185,000. 
The XM hits US dealerships in early 2023. 
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