The BMW X5 was redesigned for 2019, kicking off the fourth generation. The previous generation had a plug-in hybrid option, but it took two years for this version to be added to the fourth generation. Once it’s available in the U.S. in July, will the 2021 BMW X5 plug-in hybrid, called the X5 xDrive45e, be worth its expensive cost? Here’s a look at some of its features.
Performance and the 2021 BMW X5 plug-in hybrid
According to MotorTrend, this new 2021 BMW X5 plug-in hybrid is expected to be more powerful than the version available in the past generation. This generation will have a new 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine, an upgrade over the previous generation’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder one.
The new engine combined with the single electric assist motor will produce 389 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. This is an increase of 81 hp and 111 lb-ft of torque. Power reaches the wheels through the eight-speed automatic transmission.
It will also have double the EV-only range due to a larger, 24-kWh battery. It’s much bigger than the previous X5 plug-in hybrid, which had a 12-kWh battery pack. This will give it a range of approximately 30 miles, up from 14 miles. The gas engine will spring into action once needed after that.
The top speed when in electric mode has increased as well, jumping from 75 MPH to 84 MPH. It’s also able to go from zero to 60 MPH in 5.3 seconds, or 1.2 seconds faster than the earlier version.
Green Car Reports did raise a question about how the fuel efficiency will turn out to be. This is especially an issue when owners aren’t good about charging their vehicles.
The many features of the 2021 BMW X5 plug-in hybrid
MotorTrend says the BMW X5 plug-in hybrid it tested last year was “quite comfortable” and “pretty practical.” It offers nearly as much cargo room as the gas-powered BMW X5, with just 0.8 cubic feet less. When the rear seats are folded down, it loses a bit more at 1.1 cubic feet less. The battery located under the floor cuts into some of the cargo space.
The interior is comfortable too. It comes standard with leatherette seats with heating in the front seats. It also has a panoramic sunroof and adaptive LED headlights.
The infotainment system has a 12.3-inch screen and is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The advanced safety features include daytime pedestrian warning, frontal collision warning with city collision mitigation, rear collision preparation, lane departure warning, blind-spot detection, and rear cross-traffic alert.
There are several packages available with more features. One provides active cruise control with stop and go, an advanced traffic jam assistant, and more.
Other packages include a parking assist package, the M Sport package, the Premium package that has a head-up display and gesture controls, and the Executive package that has glass controls and Laserlight headlights. When equipped with the factory-installed hitch, the X5 xDrive45e is able to tow up to 7,200 pounds.
The expensive price
The 2021 BMW X5 xDrive45e is a pricey vehicle, with a starting price of around $66,395. The gas-powered X5 starts at $58,900.
MotorTrend points out that the new plug-in hybrid is also several thousand dollars more than the previous generation X5 plug-in hybrid. The increases in EV-only range, acceleration, and top speed may make this plug-in hybrid more appealing to buyers who want to be able to operate their everyday vehicle without using any gas.
Many buyers may not be willing to pay an extra $7,495 for the plug-in hybrid, but there are likely others who don’t mind, especially given the performance upgrades over the previous BMW X5 plug-in hybrid.