The new plug-in hybrid BMW X5 xDrive45e promises up to 54 miles on electric power and over 140mpg, but does it deliver?
Verdict 4 stars
The new BMW X5 xDrive45e will actually be the best version of the X5 for many potential buyers. This is a very accomplished plug-in hybrid SUV with plenty of premium appeal, and it doesn’t stick out on price list. For many considering a conventionally powered X5, this is an option they’ll be able to afford. If you can deal with slowly recharging it overnight, this is a model worth thinking about.
Plug-in hybrid power is back on the menu for the BMW X5, but with a key difference this time around. BMW is aiming to make the new xDrive45e version of its long-running Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90 rival more than just a niche choice; it is hoping this new, six-cylinder petrol-assisted option will shape up as the X5 to buy for more people than ever before.
Compared with the previous-generation plug-in X5 (the xDrive40e), the biggest change is the adoption of two more cylinders. The 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder petrol engine links up with an electric motor attached to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Total system power stands at 389bhp, but more importantly, the electric motor is fed by a 24kWh battery pack located under the rear bench. That’s a large battery for a plug-in hybrid car; for context that’s as big as the cell found in the previous-generation, fully electric Nissan Leaf. But in the BMW application it has six-cylinder shove to fall back on when necessary.
The size of that battery means that the X5 xDrive45e boasts a big range on electric power only. BMW says it’ll do between 42 to 54 miles at up to 83mph, according to WLTP standards. Those numbers easily beat out the maximum electric ranges of other large plug-in rivals like the new Audi Q7 TFSIe and Volvo XC90 T8. Only the upcoming, diesel powered Mercedes GLE 350de with its enormous 31.2kWh battery and 61-mile claimed range looks like it’ll outgun the BMW for electric running.
Read more: Auto Express