I have high hopes for the BMW X5 xDrive45e

BMW X5, News | September 7th, 2018 by 6
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One of the first-ever BMW iPerformance models was the BMW X5 xDrive40e. It was a plug-in hybrid variant fot he F15 BMW X5 and it …

One of the first-ever BMW iPerformance models was the BMW X5 xDrive40e. It was a plug-in hybrid variant fot he F15 BMW X5 and it was also one of the first press cars I ever tested. So I have fond memories of it even if, while a good car in its own right, it had its flaws and was never really felt worth the extra cost. However, BMW is at it again, with the new and upcoming G05-generation X5, giving this plug-in hybrid thing a second try and this time it boasts more power and more tech. This time, it’s the BMW X5 xDrive45e and I have high hopes for it.

Obviously, this new BMW X5 xDrive45e is based on the latest-generation G05 X5. What’s important to note, though, is that this new G05 X5 is built on BMW’s new CLAR platform, which was designed with hybrids in mind from the ground up. While a plug-in hybrid model was a bit of an afterthought for the previous-gen F15 X5, electrification was part of the new X5’s plans from the beginning.

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Not only is this new G05 BMW X5 xDrive45e a more well thought out car than the one it replaces but it also gets a bigger engine, more power and more range.

The old car used a 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, paired with an electric motor, and it was, admittedly, surprisingly quick. However, this new car gets a 3.0 liter turbocharged I6 engine, also paired with an electric motor. Just the engine itself makes 286 hp, making us think that it’s some sort of de-tuned B58 for fuel efficiency, and the electric motor makes 112 hp.

Combined system power output is 394 hp, up 86 ponies from its predecessor’s combined 308 hp. Torque is also up to 442 lb-ft, significantly higher than the previous car’s 260 lb-ft. According to BMW, that’s capable of getting the BMW X5 xDrive45e from 0-60 mph in just 5.6 seconds, a good sixth-tenths faster than the car it replaces. Admittedly, these are specs for European-market models, so we can’t guarantee power and performance specs will be the same in the U.S.

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While I always felt the F15-gen X5 xDrive40e was more than quick enough for real world driving, the extra power is welcome. More importantly, though, is the extra smoothness and refinement of the straight-six. While the old X5 xDrive40e was clever in how it switched between gasoline power and electric power on its own, there was always a bit of coarseness when the engine fired back up. We expect BMW’s increased experience since then, along with a smoother, more refined engine, to iron that wrinkle out in the new X5 xDrive45e.

Like most other plug-in hybrids, the BMW X5 xDrive45e is capable of driving entirely under electric power. The last-gen X5 hybrid was only capable of around 19-20 miles of pure electric range, thanks to its 9.2 kWh battery. This new car, though, is capable of 80-kilometers (49 miles), more than double that of its predecessor.

The previous-gen BMW X5 xDrive40e was a good car. It was quicker than most enthusiasts had anticipated, handled better than expected and was still as comfortable and luxurious as the standard car, while also boasting some all-electric range. Though, it was a flawed car, as its fuel economy was barely better than the straight-six powered X5 xDrive35i alternative and its all-electric range was reduced to barely 10 miles in the real world.

This new BMW X5 xDrive45e, though, seems to be a significant upgrade over the old car in every single way. It gets a bigger engine, more power, more electric range and even better fuel economy. Not to mention that it’s a more cohesive package, having been in BMW’s plans since the beginning of the G05’s development. So while it’s not much different than the car it replaces, in terms of target and scope, I have high hopes for the G05 BMW X5 xDrive45e. It’s poised to be an excellent all-around hybrid SUV and one that actually makes sense to buy over its traditional I6-powered alternatives.

6 responses to “I have high hopes for the BMW X5 xDrive45e”

  1. Arunabh says:

    Very nice article !!

    I too feel that this car will start as segment topper and until something drastically outstanding comes up, it will remain that way.

  2. Ted Ankrum says:

    This is it. I was on the fence about replacing my X5 40e with another BMW, given the new all-electric SUV’s coming. I would have put an ICE as second in the stable for long trips; but this car will serve for 100% of my daily driving in electricity and long trips also. My X5 40e yields about 15 miles of electric range in Houston’s climate, for about 50% of my wife’s local driving, and just completed a 6000 mi road trip at 35MPG, with no en route charging. I need a vehicle with a 20″, or so, fording depth because my wife’s usual coming home route gets 12″ of flooding 3 or 4 times/year with Houston’s heavy rainstorms and poor drainage (we stay home for the Hurricanes). The X5 40e has been a very good choice. Compared to the X3, it’s a limo. I just had the opportunity to see the new X7 in a sneak preview and if the new X5 has anything like that cars interior and road presence, it will truly warrant BMW’s nickname “The Boss”. One thing I would really like to see is stronger regenerative braking. Either put a “B” in the shift quadrant like the Volvo PHEV, or give us the option in the software settings. I really miss the “one pedal” driving of my i3. Having this car for my wife means I can splurge on a really “fun” car for the second (my) car with no regard for practicality–like the new M340i or M40iX2. She will be so happy with the new X5, I’ll be able to get whatever I want (even if it’s a Guilia QV).

    • Glad to hear you’re enjoying your current ’40e. I haven’t driven it in awhile but I remember it being a good car. I suspect the new ’45e will be quite a bit better. I also have a feeling you’re really going to like the new X5’s interior :)

  3. Wout says:

    It fits nicely within most European tax incentives so it will be seller here in EU. I like the all wheel drive, a normal size fuel tank and plenty of power for normal driving even without electrical support. Combine it with a wireless charging pad at home and you have a very capable, usable and hassle free hybrid solution.

  4. Pictor says:

    Very happy to see it get the I6. I know reviews of the F15 with the I4 engine were good, I couldn’t do it. The G05 with the I6 plug-in finally looks compelling.

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