BMW has bolstered its plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) range with a more powerful, six-cylinder version of the popular X5.
BMW wants you to to both possess your sweet baked goods and consume them too. That’s the message it’s sending with the latest member of the X5 family anyway. Meet the 2021 X5 xDrive45e, which promises more power and more fuel efficiency than a regular six-cylinder crossover.
Yes, you read that right: unlike the last X5 PHEV, this one uses BMW’s smooth inline-six for the internal combustion side of the equation. In addition, BMW has dropped in a high-voltage battery double the previous capacity, now up to 24 kWh. Combined, that results in a hearty 389 hp, a full 81 hp more than the previous model. Torque is up even more, by 111 lb-ft, to a max 443 lb-ft. BMW quotes an improved 0–60 mph time of 5.3 seconds. What’s more, the PHEV will even tow up to 7,200 lb when properly equipped.
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The larger battery allows the X5 to run up to 30 miles on nothing but electrons, according to the EPA. Its electric-only top speed is also up, now sitting at 84 mph. The xDrive45e offers three selectable drive modes as well. “Hybrid” is the default setting, which leaves the balance of gas and battery power up to the X5’s electronics. “Electric” does as you’d expect, sticking to battery power only for as long as possible. Lastly “Sport” keeps the inline-six running at all times and maximizes re-gen from braking for a more aggressive drive.
There are admittedly some trade-offs. BMW has had to sacrifice a bit of storage space to fit the battery pack, but we’re only talking 0.8 cubic feet with the rear seats up, and 1.1 cubic feet with them down. The X5 is also a bit of a chunker, tipping the scales at 5,672 lb—or two entire E30 M3s.
No doubt contributing to that weight figure is a generous level of standard features. The xDrive45e comes with 19-inch wheels (20- and 21-inch items are optional), a panoramic sunroof, and full LED exterior lighting. Air suspension is also standard, offering 3.2 inches of adjustable height for highway or off-road duties. It also features BMW’s Live Cockpit Professional (“hey BMW”), and two 12.3-inch digital displays; one for the infotainment, and the other for the instrument cluster. Heated, powered, faux-leather seats are standard, with cooling and leather available in the options list. Various optional packages include things like a panoramic “Sky Lounge” LED roof, blingy glass shifters, four-zone climate control, a head-up display, wireless charging, and a Harman Kardon surround sound system.
A standard driver safety assist suite includes the usual emergency automated braking, pedestrian warning, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, blind spot detection, and speed limit info. The Driver Assistance Professional Package adds adaptive cruise control with full-stop abilities, lane-keep assist, and Extended Traffic Jam Assistant, which offers potential hands-free driving under 40 mph.
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Like the new 4 Series, the X5 also offers a video recording feature that pulls from the various cameras on the SUVs exterior for up to 40 seconds. These videos can be saved and exported, and are recorded automatically in the case of an accident.
The 2021 BMW X5 xDrive45e will begin showing up at US dealers next month. It will start at $66,395, including destination.