Hybrids & Electrics

Enjoy Greater All-Electric Range With BMW’s 2020 X5 xDrive45e Plug-In Hybrid

A lot of gearheads would love to get their hands on a BMW. The automaker makes many powerful cars, like the I8 and the M2 coupe. BMW also has some more interesting models on the market, some of which are very rare. The sporty BMW Z8 can cost up to $200,000. Another interesting car in BMW’s lineup is the 2020 BMW X5 xDrive45e Plug-In Hybrid. BMW doesn’t sell many hybrids, though it probably wouldn’t hurt to offer more. Hybrids are typically more reliable than average cars, which has been as issue for other BMW models. What else does the new xDrive45e have to offer?

The BMX X5 xDrive45e’s big battery

The BMW X5 xDrive45e has the largest battery and the most range out of any other BMW hybrid. Directly under the trunk is a lithium-ion battery rated at 24 kWh, with 20.9 kWh of usable power. The car can drive anywhere between 41-54 miles on just electric power alone.

This car is also the fastest plug-in BMW offers. The automaker claims that it can jump from 0-62 mph in only 5.6 seconds. However, this new battery also has some drawbacks. There’s less cargo space, and the tank doesn’t hold as much fuel.

Updated hybrid drivetrain

RELATED: Why You Should Never Buy the 2011 BMW X5

According to BMW, the BMW X5 xDrive45e has gotten a lot of performance upgrades from the previous model. The electric motor is mated to a twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six engine. Altogether, it makes 394 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. The xDrive45e also has a few different driving modes.

In hybrid mode, the car’s computer automatically determines whether the car will operate on gas or electricity. For more adventurous drivers, the Sport mode allows them to reach the vehicle’s maximum speed and do some light off-roading. The Adaptive mode enhances the steering and suspension response depending on the road conditions

However, daily drivers will probably get the most use out of the electric-only mode. Given the long battery range, it’s entirely possible for city dwellers to commute without using a single drop of gas.

The BMW X5’s interior

Inside, the X5 xDrive45e is pretty much the same as its predecessor. It comes with a large touchscreen, smartphone integration, plenty of USB ports, and HD/satellite radio. The first two rows are roomy enough for adults, and they’re seated on comfy leather upholstery.

There are only a few small additions, like the Electric Driving mode and ‘Hold Charge’ buttons. The latter helps the driver to save more of the remaining battery power. When charging, it takes about 5 hours to reach 80 percent.

Better than the BMW X5 xDrive40e

The BMW X5 xDrive40e was released in 2016. It was the first plug-in hybrid ever offered by BMW, so it was a big deal at the time. However, compared to the latest model, the xDrive40e’s specs are underwhelming.

The BMW X5 xDrive40e can only be driven for 14-20 miles in EV mode. This is because of its smaller battery, which is only rated at 9.2 kWh. The xDrive40e also makes less power overall. With the battery and gas engine combined, the car is capable of 308 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque.

The xDrive45e is also the superior model in terms of speed. The xDrive40e’s 0-60 mph time is a whole second below the xDrive45e. The xDrive45e has a top speed of 87 mph in Electric mode, a big upgrade from the xDrive40e’s 75 mph.

The new xDrive is also much more efficient than the BMW xDrive40e. During Roadshow’s testing, the car averaged 34 mpg combined city/highway. In contrast, the older model only averaged 24 mpg combined. The only upside of the older model now is its reduced price on the used market. Still, we recommend saving your money for the more capable BMW X5 xDrive45e.