BMW 118i M Sport is available on BMW Select PCP.
BMW’s new Plug-in Hybrid powertrain for the latest X5 has made a dramatic improvement in both battery capacity and drivetrain efficiency. That’s why the new X5 xDrive 45e has an arresting set of statistics; electric-only range of more than 50 miles, up to 188mpg on the WLTP cycle, 0-62mph in 5.6 seconds. On top of all that, it’s an X5 with all that means – a capable, spacious, luxurious SUV that’s great to drive.
The new-look X5 features a sculptured bonnet leading down to a large BMW kidney grille that’s subtly tweaked to a more hexagonal outline. The side profile features a striking new side contour, overhangs both front and rear are short, and the design is noticeably more upright and assertive than the previous generation. Apart from the side charging port there’s little to distinguish the PHEV version, though inside the luggage capacity is marginally down (still a generous 500 litres, down from 550) due to the need to accommodate the larger battery and rear electric motor. For the same reason the X5 xDrive 45e is only available as a five-seater. When the rear seats are folded down, luggage volume grows to 1,720 litres. Two trim levels are available, xLine and M Sport.
A large luxury SUV with a zero to 62mph time of 5.6 seconds and fuel economy of 188mpg sounds like science fiction – and in real life, the mpg figure you achieve will depend on the kind of driving you do and how much use you make of the electric drivetrain. On the other hand, if you drive less than 50 miles a day, and charge the X5 xDrive 45e every night, you could make a tank of petrol last months. Quoted electric-only range is 54 miles. How is all this achieved? By combining a 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder petrol engine (specifically designed for PHEV application) with a 24kWh lithium-ion battery and a 113hp electric motor. Peak power output of the combined petrol and electric motors is 394hp with a maximum torque of 600Nm. CO2 emissions are just 37 g/km, giving a company car user BiK rating of just 8 per cent.
The new X5 features the latest BMW Operating System 7.0 that integrates vehicle functions through gestures, speech, a 12.3” Control Display touch screen and iDrive controls. A 12.3" digital instrument panel presents driver information, and the new Intelligent Personal Assistant learns and remembers driver behaviour. Ambient interior lighting and 2.5-zone automatic climate control are also standard across the range, as are a Wi-Fi hotspot and Bluetooth hands-free phone operation with wireless charging.
All X5 models feature Active Guard Plus, a package of safety systems including front collision warning with brake intervention and pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning and speed limit assist. The Attentiveness Assistant monitors driver fatigue and warns if there are signs that attention is waning, while another standard feature, Parking Assistant, can take over the steering function for perfect parallel parking every time.
With its 54-mile EV range, the new X5 xDrive 45e leaps to the head of its class. Yet there’s no sacrifice involved, beyond connecting the BMW to a wallbox every evening. Power is effortless and the electric motor’s instant torque makes the big X5 even more responsive to the throttle. The low CO2 emissions and EV capability reduce Benefit in Kind tax for company car users to just eight per cent (2020/21). Taken together, these qualities make it a hugely impressive luxury SUV.