New hybrid BMW X5 xDrive45e: specs, prices and range

BMW has added plug-in hybrid power to its impressive X5 SUV range. Here are all the juicy details...

James Wilson
Dec 19, 2021

BMW has bolstered its hybrid SUV range with the addition of the new X5 xDrive45e plug-in hybrid (PHEV). Order books are open now with prices starting from £63,125. All-electric range is claimed to be up to 54 miles and official carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions come in at 39g/km.

Plug-in hybrid cars continue to be some of the most appealing options for buyers. They offer great economy and low emissions (provided owners plug them in regularly) but don’t bring the uncertainty of a pure electric vehicle.

For example, range concerns, longevity of batteries and even what happens to battery packs at the end of their lives are all big question marks over owning an all-electric car. Granted PHEVs have a battery as well, but the reassurance of an engine seems to put owners at ease.

Quick facts

  • Hybrid version of X5 SUV
  • Prices start from £63,125
  • Claimed range of up to 54 miles
  • Emissions of 39g/km
  • Total power output of 394hp
  • Order books open now

BMW is one of many car manufacturers ramping up its hybrid offerings, with a plug-in version of the smaller X3 recently announced and a plug-in version of the X1 due in the not too distant future.

Since the original X5’s launch back in 1999, BMW's largest SUV (the gargantuan X7 arrived to take on this mantle in 2019) has established itself as an excellent option for those who want BMW performance and build quality, but require more practicality than a 5 Series Saloon or estate can offer – seven-seats being one of the biggest advantages to the X5. That said, BMW’s X5 xDrive45e is only available as a five-seater – but lack of seating is far from the end of the story.

BMW X5 xDrive45e hybrid specs

BMW is offering its new X5 PHEV in a total of two trims: xLine and M Sport. Both are well equipped with all the tech you could ask for as standard, while BMW has done well to cater for two different styling tastes.

The more restrained xLine models come as standard with equipment such as DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity, LED headlights, automatic wipers, automatic headlights, automatic tailgate, heated front seats, parking assistant and 19-inch alloy wheels.

Those looking for more sporty styling can opt for M Sport models. These come with M Sport specific exterior styling, steering wheel, pedals, and floor mats. Also included are 20-inch alloy wheels and black roof rails.

BMW offers a long list of optional equipment bundled into packs as well (along with a large number of individual equipment options). For example, it offers a £4,750 Comfort Plus package, which brings soft-close doors, massaging front seats (which are also ventilated), temperature-controlled cupholder and sunblinds for the rear seats. There is also a £2,095 Technology pack, £1,595 Visibility pack and a £5,185 Bowers and Wilkins sound system on offer.

BMW X5 xDrive45e hybrid prices

While the BMW X5 range is far from what you'd call affordable, these new hybrid models are even less so. Prices start at £63,125 for xLine models and £66,665 for M Sport variants – both of which soon climb if you start getting busy with the optional extras list. Despite the high list price, company car buyers get off quite lightly thanks to low emissions.

All BMW X5 xDrive45e models come with a benefit-in-kind rate of 16%, which, assuming buyers are in the 40% income tax bracket, equates to a monthly company car tax of £337 for xLine models or £355 for M Sport variants – i.e. less than half that of petrol or diesel X5s.

BMW X5 xDrive45e economy and performance

Despite being a family-sized SUV, the X5 PHEV comes with a total output of 394hp and 600Nm of torque. This is made possible thanks to a 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol engine paired with an electric motor feeding power through an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

In a straight line, the BMW X5 xDrive45e is claimed to be able to sprint from 0-62mph in 5.6 seconds and hit a top speed of 146mph. Official CO2 emissions measure in at 39g/km and fuel economy is claimed to be between 188.3 and 235.4mpg. There is a range due to the impact certain equipment can have – larger alloy wheels are an excellent example of equipment that normally has a negative impact on economy, not mention the need to use all of your available electric energy to get anywhere close to that, so regular plug-ins will be necessary.

As a note, BMW has provided economy and emissions numbers which have been converted from WLTP figures to NEDC figures. These acronyms signify the European testing procedures new cars have to (or have had to) undertake, with WLTP being much more realistic than NEDC. The upshot is buyers should take the numbers above with a pinch of salt and shouldn’t expect to see anything like that in the real world.

Also, in BMW speak ‘xDrive’ means four-wheel drive, and as all X5 PHEVs come with xDrive two-wheel-drive is therefore not an option. Unlike some hybrids, the X5 is four-wheel drive even when driving under battery power alone.

BMW X5 xDrive45e electric range

All-electric range is claimed to be between 49 and 54 miles (again specs influence the figures). Such range is possible thanks to a 24.0kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which, BMW claims will charge from 0-80% in under five hours using a 16 amp supply. This is fine, but UK domestic plugs are typically 13 amp, so will take longer unless a more powerful charge point is used/installed. BMW does include a five-metre charging cable as standard, though.

Unlike economy and emissions figures, the BMW X5 xDrive45e is quoted with all-electric range numbers gathered under WLTP test conditions, meaning the values are more indicative of what is possible in the real-world.

BMW X5 xDrive45e rivals

BMW does not have the midsize hybrid SUV market to itself, marques such as Volvo, Porsche and Range Rover all offer plug-in SUVs that target the same buyers who will be attracted to the X5 xDrive45e.

The Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine hybrid is just one of a number of excellent PHEVs the Swedish car manufacturer is currently selling. Prices start just under £67,000 and for that buyers get a refined driving experience, upmarket cabin and enough battery power to travel up to 26 miles without using a drop of fuel. Official fuel economy and emissions are claimed to be 94.2mpg and 66g/km respectively.

Another European option is the Porsche Cayenne hybrid, which starts from around £68,000. For this buyers get a maximum of 22 all-electric miles (spec dependent). Official economy is up to 72.4mpg with CO2 emissions claimed to be as low as 70g/km. What sets the Cayenne apart from many of its rivals is the fact it offers a genuinely engaging driving experience despite being a rather large SUV.

Finally, there is the Range Rover Sport P400e hybrid which is priced from around £73,000 and promises an all-electric range of up to 26 miles. Emissions are claimed to be as low as 69g/km and official economy is up to 75.3mpg (spec dependent). On top of this, the Range Rover Sport PHEV is comfortable, relatively good to drive and of course, it is handy off-road, too.

Neither the BMW X5 xDrive45e or its rivals are particularly cheap, yet all offer an upmarket car with seemingly green credentials. For all, it is important to keep in mind drivers will likely get nowhere near official economy and emissions figures unless they charge their car very regularly.

BMW X5 xDrive45e technology

All BMW X5 xDrive45e models come with air suspension front and back. This means they use compressed air to smooth out bumps in the road rather than metal springs – this is quite common in high-end vehicles. BMW also offers something it calls ‘integral active steering’ (as an option) which allows the rear wheels to turn ever so slightly when driving helping improve manoeuvrability.

Furthermore, the X5 PHEV emits a noise when driving at low speeds under battery power alone so that pedestrians are made aware of the vehicles presence. BMW has also included three electric driving modes, Auto eDrive, Max eDrive and Save Battery which help decide whether an X5 xDrive45e is getting its power from its battery pack or its engine. Naturally, Auto leaves it up the car to decide which one is best, Max goes for maximum battery use and Save Battery tries to do just that.

Finally, much like other car manufacturers, BMW is pushing the connected services available with the X5 hybrid via its ConnectedDrive suite of features. These include being able to remotely lock your car, turning on the climate control and set destinations all from your smartphone.

BMW X5 xDrive45e design

If you are familiar with the interior and exterior of petrol or diesel powered BMW X5s then you will be familiar with the interior and exterior of hybrid models as they are the same. This means up front there are two large grilles, long bonnet and large alloy wheels. Whereas at the back there is a two section tailgate and twin exhausts.

Inside buyers will find a 12.3-inch information and media display in the centre of the dashboard and a relatively clutter-free collection of vents, buttons and dials. Instead of traditional dials there is a digital display feeding drivers key information such as speed and range.

BMW X5 xDrive45e dimensions

The BMW X5 xDrive45e is no small car. It is 4,922mm long, 2,218mm wide (including wing mirrors) and 1,745mm high. This helps make its 500 litre cargo area possible – non hybrid models come with a 550 litre boot. With the rear seats folded luggage area increase to 1,720 litres.


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