The moose test is one of the great equalizers of the automotive kingdom. Many cars and SUVs have failed because it's one of the toughest handling tests a car can be subjected to. Most don’t do well, and most folks would look at the 6,000-pound BMW XM and assume it'd be the next addition to the list of failures. Well, you would be wrong: The XM did shockingly well.
The BMW XM is one of the easiest new cars to dunk on. "Polarizing" is the kindest adjective to describe its exterior. The thing weighs three tons, and relies on all sorts of electronic tricks to perform like an M car rather than like an overweight SUV. It probably doesn't help the vehicle's case with Bimmer enthusiasts that it's the company's first fully-fledged M-only product since the venerated M1.
Put that altogether, and you can bet there are many BMW diehards praying for the chiseled SUV's downfall. And yet, in a testing video by km77.com, the XM triumphed in the infamous gauntlet. The SUV actually exceeded the expectations of the testers, who hypothesized that the vehicle's weight and height would make it particularly unsuitable for the moose test.
Despite physics working against the XM, it beat an Audi RS3 Sportback in the slalom. And, much to the driver's shock during the run, the big M car was extremely controllable and easily avoided hitting the simulated moose. This, folks, is highly unexpected.
I would never look at an XM and say it looks graceful, but the hulking thing seemed reasonably poised during the entire test. Sometimes it understeered, and other times it gently oversteered, but it didn’t nearly roll over or hop around. It just worked. The XM now belongs to an elite group of production vehicles that have aced two different kinds of moose tests: Avoiding a moose, and looking like one, too.
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