After driving the current BMW X5, I was pleasantly surprised with how it drove. In fact, the new one is so good it may be the best driving X5 ever, with the possible exception of the original E53-gen car. What surprised me the most, though, was its acceleration. The model I tested was the X5 xDrive40i, with the 3.0 liter B58 turbocharged I6 and never once did I want for more power. Unless, however, that additional power was given by way of an electric motor, such as it is in the BMW X5 xDrive45e.
Powering the new hybrid X5 xDrive45e, is the same B58/hybrid setup that powers the BMW 745e and it works brilliantly in that big luxury bruiser. But of course it does; the B58 engine is a masterpiece of a six-cylinder and when you pair it to an electric motor that adds a bit of extra low-down torque, it gets even better. More importantly, that electric motor and batteries add all-electric range. In the BMW X5 xDrive45e, that all-electric range is 30 miles, which is more than double the 14 miles of the previous-gen X5 hybrid.
Even better than adding some EV range, though, is its additional power. The standard BMW X5 xDrive40i, with just the B58 3.0 liter turbo-I6, makes 335 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. It can hit 60 mph in about 4.8 seconds (as per Car and Driver), which is seriously fast. The new hybridized BMW X5 xDrive45e makes a very healthy 389 horsepower and 411 lb-ft. Admittedly, its 0-60 mph time actually goes down, doing the deed in a claimed 5.3 seconds. Thank its added heft from the batteries, which give the the X5 hybrid a shocking curb weight of around 5,600 lbs, for that.
However, despite the added ticks to its 0-60 mph time, the BMW X5 xDrive45e is the X5 to get simply because it’s the silkiest, creamiest of all the X5’s powertrains (if we use the 745e with the same powertrain as a reference), it still packs a wallop and it provides all-electric range and better efficiency than the standard ’40i car.
Sure, it’s more expensive, costing $66,395 to start after destination. That price tag buys you the most sophisticated powertrain in BMW’s lineup, though, gives you more flexibility in how you use your car and allows you to challenge some real sports cars in stop light drag races but then switch over to EV mode to embarrass them once you’ve won.