When BMW gave the X5 a comprehensive Life Cycle Impulse last year, it replaced the xDrive45e with the xDrive50e. Power went up by 94 hp and 73 lb-ft (99 Nm) to 483 hp and 516 lb-ft (700 Nm), but more importantly for a plug-in hybrid, the battery pack got a huge upgrade. Its capacity went up by nearly 25%, reaching a usable energy content of 25.7 kWh.

A new real-world test shows how the BMW X5 xDrive50e performs in city driving with the inline-six combustion engine turned off. We’ll remind you the plug-in hybrid version of the luxury SUV has a WLTP rating in electric mode of 94 to 110 kilometers (58 to 68 miles). It managed to comfortably beat those official numbers by covering 121.4 kilometers (75.4 miles) without sipping any gasoline.

The onboard footage reveals that the electrified X5 had to navigate through busy city streets, encountering numerous stop-and-go sequences. The xDrive50e was also driven on adjacent roads where there were higher speed limits, with the SUV exceeding 100 km/h (62 mph) at one point in the test. However, most of the journey was done at speeds of 50 km/h (31 mph) or below, which is usually the case in an urban jungle.

It might not be the most efficient PHEV out there, but the result is more than decent considering the X5 xDrive50e is a heavy vehicle with a six-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive. It tips the scales at 2,420 kilograms (5,335 pounds). Despite its heft, it managed to average 21.4 kWh / 100 kilometers. Of course, a plug-in hybrid only makes sense if you regularly charge the battery. Before this test, it was fully juiced up.

Otherwise, you’re running on gasoline while having to carry the extra weight of the battery for nothing. It’s actually worse than driving in an equivalent gasoline-only car since a pure ICE model would be less heavy after removing the electric motor, battery pack, and the other hybrid-related components. Less weight equals lower fuel consumption, so if you’re buying a PHEV, you’d better charge the battery to maximize efficiency.

Source: 1001cars / YouTube