The motoring world is hurtling towards electrification and there’s little way of ignoring it.
Car manufacturers are certainly aware of it, with close to every brand incorporating electric technology in some form within its cars. BMW is no different and has electrified its ever-popular X5.
The snappily titled X5 xDrive45e combines the best of what BMW has to offer – excellent engine technology and efficiency with its latest electric know-how.
The main standout points surround that hybrid powertrain. Elsewhere, things are standard-fit X5, with the latest in-car technology and top-notch build quality combining in a car which used to stand alone in BMW’s range of SUVs but now sits alongside several other offerings.
The SUV segment is a hot one right now, that’s for sure, and there’s not only competition for the X5 from rival manufacturers but from within BMW too.
This latest generation X5 aims to emerge top of its class and it’s likely that this hybrid powertrain will only help to bolster its appeal.
There’s some clever stuff going on underneath this X5 hybrid. Up front, you’ll find a bread-and-butter BMW powerplant in the form of a turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six.
A feature in BMW models for decades, the straight-six has the edge over the piddly four-cylinder 2.0-litre that was found in the old X5 hybrid.
This is then combined with an electric motor and batteries for a combined output of 389bhp and 600Nm.
It makes the X5 genuinely brisk, with 0-60mph dispatched in just 5.4 seconds and, if you keep your foot flat, it will head all the way to 146mph.
Of course, this isn’t being pitched as a performance model, which is why the efficiency figures have been kept so strong, with BMW claiming 200mpg and emissions of 31g/km CO2.
Plus, because the X5 hybrid has been fitted with a larger-than-normal battery, it can go around 54 miles on battery power alone.
One of the greatest compliments you can pay this BMW is that it feels strikingly similar to a standard X5.
The changeover from electric to petrol power is barely noticeable and the engine is so well isolated from the cabin that you have to be quite harsh with the throttle to provoke it into making noise.
Around town, it’s quiet and serene, with the eight-speed automatic gearbox giving the car far more responsiveness than rivals in this segment.
Of course, keeping those batteries topped up is key. Fall back on petrol power alone and economy figures take a predictable dive.
The only drawback when it comes to charging is the standard cable provided by BMW enables a charging rate of just 3.7kw – tortoise speeds, by today’s standard – which results in a 0-80% battery charging time of more than five hours.
For context, a Nissan Leaf would take 11 hours to charge to 100% using the same speed of charge – but that would’ve added around 143 miles of all-electric range.
The X5 hybrid looks pretty much like any other X5. The interior is superbly well made, with high-end materials used throughout helping to give a real sense of occasion.
Of course, this is no cheap car – it starts from £64,475 without options – but the fit and finish that you get in the cabin does go some way towards justifying this.
There’s plenty of equipment on board in the X5 and more than enough technology to keep the savviest of button-pushers happy.
The main screen is 12.3 inches and this is bolstered by another 12.3-inch screen in place of where the dials would traditionally go.
It utilises one of the most intuitive systems around at the moment, with the option of either touchscreen or dial-operated controls giving you a bit more freedom about how you interact with it.
There’s plenty of space inside, too, though the boot has taken a bit of a hit as a result of the batteries – it’s down by 150 litres on the 645 litres you’ll find in the standard X5.
Oh, and there’s no seven-seat option here – the hybrid is a strict five-seater.
If you want a hybrid that seamlessly fits into daily life, then the X5 is likely to be a great choice.
Excellent running costs, a genuinely usable all-electric range and brilliant build quality all mean that this BMW will be an appropriate option for many. Expensive it may be, but the X5 hybrid is one of the most usable cars of its type.
We do wish that a quicker charging cable was provided, but it’s quite a small fly in the ointment.
Other than that, the X5 xDrive45e is easily one of the most well-rounded hybrid SUVs on sale today.
- Model: BMW X5 xDrive45e
- Price: £64,475
- 0 to 60: 5.4 seconds
- Top speed: 146mph
- Economy: 200mpg
- CO2 emissions: 31g/km