The redesigned BMW X5 has been out for well more than a year, and now, the plug-in hybrid version is finally arriving. It might be worth the wait, considering it’ll deliver more power and achieve significantly better EV-only range than its predecessor. Oh, and when the 2021 BMW X5 xDrive45e arrives in U.S. dealerships this July, it won’t be cheap, either.
The big news under the X5 hybrid’s hood is an engine swap. In place of the previous X5 PHEV’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine sits a 3.0-liter six-cylinder. That move helps the new X5 xDrive45e push out a total of 389 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque between its gas engine and electric assist motor, increases of 81 ponies and 111 lb-ft from the old four-cylinder version. BMW also installs a larger battery, which increases the SUV’s electric-only driving range from an estimated 14 miles to 30 miles, at which point the gas engine kicks in and the powertrain behaves like a normal gas-electric hybrid’s. Top speed in Electric mode has increased from 75 mph to 84 mph, although toying with that limit is probably not the best way to eek out more electric miles. Between the increased EV-only range and the higher operating speed range, the X5 should prove more attractive to a wider swath of moneyed commuters, more of whom may be able to reach their offices or run daily errands without using a drop of gas.
When we drove the new plug-in hybrid X5 last year, we found it to be quite comfortable. It’s also pretty practical, considering that it gives up a negligible 0.8 cubic feet of cargo space to the regular X5. With its rear seats folded, the plug-in loses 1.1 cubic feet compared to the standard model, but again, that’s likely to go unnoticed in an SUV this large.
2021 BMW X5 xDrive45e Prices
You’ll pay at least $66,395 for the new plug-in hybrid X5. That’s a significant price premium over the base X5, which starts at $59,895, and a few thousand bucks more than the old X5 xDrive40e PHEV.
Fortunately, the new plug-in X5 comes with a decent list of standard features. These include leatherette seats with heating up front, a panoramic sunroof, adaptive LED headlights, two 12.3-inch displays, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. A standard safety suite gets you blind spot detection, lane departure warning, daytime pedestrian warning, frontal collision warning with city collision mitigation, rear collision preparation, and rear cross-traffic alert. Making long drives more comfortable, an optional package includes active cruise control with a stop-and-go function, an advanced traffic jam assistant, and other features. There are plenty of other packages, too, including a parking assist package, M Sport package, Premium package with head-up display and gesture controls, and an Executive package with glass controls and Laserlight headlights.
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