The BMW X5 is the first in a new generation of plug-in hybrids, offering longer-range electric running. with the potential to cover up to 54 miles of electric range without even bothering the six-cylinder petrol engine. it could make plug-in power much more relevant to a lot more buyers.
It could seem a bit perverse the X5. because it is a 389 BHP, 3-liter turbocharged 6-cylinder petrol-powered SUV.
Battery and Range
So it doesn’t seem at first to have all the on-road environmental sensitivity of a coal-fired power station. but it is thanks to the size of this car that BMW can fit a 24 kWh battery in it and that of course is what gives it that 54 miles of range. and that is also what gives it CO2 emissions of around 40 grams per kilometer.
So while this is, of course, an expensive car of 63,000 pounds (around $81,000). and upon company car tax, you can have this seen from around about 200 pounds per month even as a 40% taxpayer.
Of course, there are a lot of rivals not least the Tesla Model X. there’s also the Volvo XC90 T8. with this excellent 7 seat interior and Mercedes has a diesel plug-in hybrid GL e coming out with an even longer electric range on the plug-in hybrid powertrain than this offers. so a lot is going on in this class.
So let’s go out and see whether the BMW X5 is the first of a new era of a plug-in hybrid.
The BMWs long electric range comes courtesy of a 24 kWh battery. the maximum charging rate is capped at 3.7 kW. so if you plug into a home charger with the standard 5-meter type 2 cable provided. it’ll take around 7 hours for a full 100%.
The domestic 3 pin socket charger will do the same in around 11 hours. it is a real shame that the BMW doesn’t offer faster charging. while most plug-in hybrids charge at similarly slow rates. with such a big battery the charge time could be a pain in the BMW X5.
We’d certainly like to see charging speed raise to at least the 7.4 kilowatts that the Mercedes GLE gets which would half the charge time from a dedicated car charger.
It’s also disappointing that BMW only warranties its batteries for 6 years and 60,000 miles. as opposed to the 8 years and 100,000 miles offered by most rivals.
Once you are out of that electric running in BMW X5. then the petrol engine which is a joy to use. it’s not the most efficient though. so we’re seeing around about 26 mpg. like I said, it’s not been a great test in terms of efficiency. so I think you could see 30 mpg out of this car. and I don’t think most people would be that disappointed because this is 2.5 tons weight performance SUV.
If you do want to make the most of the efficiency, then obviously the powertrain does offer all the options you’d expect. if you put the route that you’re on in the Sat Nav then it will automatically shuffle between those two power sources to get the best possible economy.
Also, you can hold the battery charge just by pressing a button. or you can charge up the battery as well. and you can choose what percentage you want the battery to be charged up to or you can just stick it in hybrid mode so it’s a clever system in that respect.
Aso the way that it just controls the integration between the electric and petrol motor is very nice. it’s very smooth. you barely notice it. to be honest, all helped out by this lovely 8-speed automatic gearbox.
Exterior and Handling
On which note this is a great car to drive. it’s a fantastic cruiser. ride comp it’s really good even on 21-inch wheels so it’s got a dap Tver suspension all round regardless of trim.
You can select the right height on the car. it’s got everything you would expect. and although there is a lot of body lean I think the comfort levels in this car are well worth it. and of course, you can stick it in sport and you know what it lives up to the X5 reputation a properly nice car to drive. it’s not as good as a KN. it doesn’t have an as pointy front end as the KN. it doesn’t feel as overt sort of on its tiptoes as a KN does.
But it is quite good fun this car. you can chuck it into a corner. it’s got masses of grip you can feel when it’s moving about a little bit. the steering is a little bit light but even so for what it is I mean this is great fun. and not only that. but probably more relevant to most BMW X5 owners than the fact that it’s really good to drive down a decent road.
BMW X5 Towing Capacity
The fact that this can tow up to 2.7 tons. so that makes this one of the best-electrified tow cars that you can buy. so well done BMW on that front.
All of which means that it’s just a complete package. it’s so lovely to drive I mean it’s a motorway cruiser it’s hard to fold. and it’s also good fun it’s a great tow car you can even go off-roading it if you want. not sure how many x5 owners are going to do that. it does everything you would expect of a BMW X5 plug-in hybrid or not. probably better than you might expect. and not only that but it completely redefines what you expect of a plug-in hybrid in terms of electric range. so you can’t ask for more than that can you.
The interior of the BMW X5 where to start well. standard equipment I suppose it’s pretty generous. so you only get two trim levels in the X5.
- M Sport
- X line
Now even the base trim of the X line is pretty well equipped. so you get front and rear parking sensors climate control ambient lighting auto wipers and LED lights and you get all of this touchscreen tech. including this excellent screen and also the digital drivers’ readout.
M Sport gets 20-inch alloy wheels. you get different styling kit and various other upgrades as well. so it’s the slightly sporty one a slightly more expensive. now I would add that this test car that you see here has got some 10,000 pounds worth of optional equipment on it. including the BMW Individual seats. and including this glass finish gear lever, and the mirrored rotary thing is just the whole car in here. feels incredibly lavish. I mean it does feel I mean it feels up there with you know the Bentley Ben Tiger and things like that so credit to BMW for that.
A Luxurious SUV
But I would add I mean you know how SUVs have been getting more and more luxurious over the last few years and you sit in this and you just think what happens with the next x5. this was a normal large family SUV a few years ago. and now I mean it feels like some kind of aristocratic real estate. what’s next is it’s gonna be like I don’t know retractable chandeliers or something on the next-generation X5. it’s just it’s almost a bit too much you know.
BMW X5 Interior
Even so, having said all of that it is a lovely interior comfy seats. and this touch screen technology is pretty much the best in class. the graphics are excellent. it’s got everything you would want on there as standard as well. it’s even got the fancy BMW gesture control thing. which I don’t like but it’s there it’s got all the functionality you’d want including apple car play. although there is no Android also that’s the only big downer. but it does have everything else you’d want in terms of the connectivity .the services it offers and it’s just great to use.
The BMW X5 is sure to be a great family car with a big 500-liter boot and massive rear passenger space to keep everyone happy. however, it does lose a little boot space to those batteries compared to and a diesel and petrol x5s.
If you do want more space or a seven-seat layout with electric running. you’ll have to look to the Volvo xc90 or the Tesla Model X.
You cannot downplay how important the electric range is on this car. it does give plug-in hybrid technology. a whole new relevance to a big audience. there is a lot of people out there who can’t run a pure electric car right now for very good reasons. that this might appeal to.
Yes, I suspect a lot of them might be company car users but given how good the x5 is to drive to sit in just the general finish of it you don’t feel short-changed despite the high price. I would add that we’re going to have to drive rivals like the GLA in the UK to decide if this is the best large plug-in hybrid out there. but right now I’d say it’s going to be exceptionally hard to beat.
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