For 2023 BMW updated the X5 slightly, but mostly it’s the same SUV. Luckily, it’s still making the plug-in hybrid version of the X5, the X5 xDrive45e. This year, however, the price difference for the all-wheel-drive PHEV version compared to the regular xDrive40i is just $1,800. For most manufacturers, adding a plug-in hybrid option increases the price significantly.
That means there are several reasons why you should consider spending the extra $1,800 for the PHEV version.
They’re the same SUV, just one is a plug-in BMW X5
The BMW X5 has stayed one of BMW’s best-selling SUVs because it provides a lot of utility, good looks, sporty handling, and the all-important BMW badge. The 2023 BMW X5, in whatever version you pick, has all the luxury options that you’d expect in a luxury SUV of this class, from multi-zone climate control and power seats, to leather, wood, and the BMW ConectedDrive Services.
The only difference is that the battery takes up some of the payload carrying ability and takes up about one cubic inch of cargo room in back in the plug-in BMW X5. The regular SUV can be ordered with a third row, for seven seats, while the PHEV X5 can’t be because of that battery.
The X5 PHEV plug-in BMW X5 is more efficient
The regular X5 xDrive40i gets 21 in the city and 25 on the highway, according to the EPA. The EPA hasn’t rated the 2023 version, but the 2022 (with the same powertrain) gets a combined 50 MPGe, with its 31-mile electric range. A better comparison would be to compare how much gas it takes to drive 100 miles, which is four gallons in the gas version and just 0.1 gallons in the xDrive45e, according to the EPA.
It still won’t beat the all-electric iX, however.
It’s only $1,800 more
The X5 sDrive40im or two-wheel drive starts at $61,600 and will hit 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. The X5 xDrive40i, or all-wheel drive, has the same performance numbers but costs $63,900. The $65,700 X5 xDrive45e plug-in version gets to 60 in 5.3 seconds, too, but because it weighs more it needs 389 horsepower to do it. But, for $1,800 you still get all-wheel drive and the same quickness.
The X5 xDrive45e comes with a 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline 6 that makes 282 horsepower. The electric motor adds 111 horsepower. That’s a lot of tech for $1,800.
You get the smooth B58 engine
BMW nerds will wax poetic about the smoothness of BMW’s inline six-cylinder engines. It’s a hallmark of the brand. The B58 version, in the 3.0-liter displacement, means that you get one of BMWs most satisfying engines ever in the X5. It was named one of the best engines by Ward’s AutoWorld when it debuted in the M340i. The best part about the PHEV version is that you get to add the electric boost.