The X5 first hit American shores in the 2000 model year as BMW’s first-ever journey into the realm of SUVs. The German automaker followed it up with the X3, and now as we near the 2016 model year, BMW has grown a healthy selection of SUVs to choose from. A new addition to the X5 lineup is coming for 2016, in the form of the X5 xDrive40e plug-in hybrid, as BMW tries to stay ahead of the times with this fuel-sipping people-hauler.

Combining a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with an electric motor to create over 300 horsepower seems like a wonderful plan on paper. However, with a performance hybrid like the 2015 Cayenne S E-Hybrid already on the market, and the 2016 Audi Q7 e-tron 3.0 TDI set to deliver insane hybrid diesel mileage and performance to Europe, is the X5 xDrive40e too little too late?

Continue reading my full review on the 2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e to find out.

  • 2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    8-speed Steptronic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    313
  • Torque @ RPM:
    332
  • Displacement:
    2.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    6.8 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    130 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    63000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • car fuel:
  • body style:

Exterior

2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e High Resolution Exterior
- image 621514
2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e Emblems and Logo Exterior
- image 621513
2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e High Resolution Exterior
- image 621524

From the outside, the BMW X5 xDrive40e looks no different than any other X5, for the most part. There are no fancy aerodynamics, no wild colors, and no special wheels. A close inspection does reveal an access door for the plug receptacle on the front, driver-side fender, but that and the badges are the only way to tell what this vehicle really is.

Being based upon the X5 and carrying all of its features, this is one of the classier-looking SUVs on the market today. I personally feel that the X5 is one of the more timeless SUVs of this era, and BMW has done a great job at keeping it that way for many years. The X5 has aged gracefully, which makes it difficult to determine if one is just a few years old or a decade old.

For buyers who want their X5 xDrive40e to stand out from the crowd a little more, BMW does offer an M Sport package for it, or BMW Individual can customize it or you.

Exterior Dimensions

Length 4,886 MM (192.36 Inches)
Width 1,938 MM (76.29 Inches)
Height 1,762 MM (69.37 Inches)
Wheelbase 2,933 MM (115.47 Inches)
Track, front/rear 1,644 / 1,650 MM (64.72/64.96 Inches)

Interior

2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e Interior
- image 621516
2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e Interior
- image 621515
2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e High Resolution Interior
- image 621552

BMW laid low on interior details about the X5 xDrive40e, which leads me to believe that it will carry on with pretty much the same setup as the standard X5. There are a few noticeable differences in the plug-in versions, including the presence of an eDrive button that allows the driver to adjust the amount of electric intervention, the extra eDrive section on the center-mounted LED screen, and a hybrid-specific instrument cluster.

Additionally, there is one not-so-noticeable difference between the xDrive40e and the standard X5, unless you regularly fill up the cargo area, and that is the cargo area in the plug-in hybrid version can hold only 500 to 1,720 liters of cargo, which is 150 liters less than the standard X5.

The remainder of the cabin appears to be standard X5, but that certainly isn’t a bad thing. This means that the model features high-end leather seating, a premium audio system, upscale trim work, and plenty of options to custom fit your X5 xDrive40e to your liking.

Drivetrain

2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e High Resolution Exterior
- image 621520

The drivetrain is, of course, where the X5 xDrive40e really separates itself from the rest of the X5 lineup. On the fermented dino juice side of things, the X5 xDrive40e uses a 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder that produces 240 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The electric side of the equation includes a synchronous electric motor integrated into the eight-speed Steptronic auto transmission. This electric motor is good for 113 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of instantly available torque. As a whole, this drive system produces 313 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque.

The electric motor is fueled by a 9 kWh battery that you can charge via a standard household socket, a BMW Wallbox, or a public charging station. The battery takes 3 hours and 50 minute to charge up, whereas the Wallbox takes 2 hours and 45 minute to charge the battery.

The power routes through the aforementioned eight-speed transmission and to all four wheels for maximum traction. It’ll even run in all-wheel drive when you switch it into EV mode, which I’ll get into in just a bit.

At full capacity, the X5 xDrive40e can hit 62 mph in a respectable 6.8 seconds and top out at an electronically limited 130 mph. On the EU cycle, this plug-in hybrid SUV can get 83.1 to 85.6 mpg combined while emitting just 77 grams of CO2 per 100 km.

As I mentioned earlier, this plug-in hybrid can run in EV mode only. It can travel up to 19 miles in this mode, and will top out at 75 mph.

To allow the driver to fine-tune the system, there is an eDrive button on the dashboard. The default setting on the eDrive system is “Auto eDrive,” which allows the engine and motor to work in tandem. In this setting, the electric motor handles take-off and the gasoline engine chimes in at around 44 mph, or whenever the driver gooses the throttle a little. The “Max eDrive” setting is for full-electric driving. The final setting is “Save Battery,” which allows the vehicle to store the battery’s charge for later use. This final setting would likely be used on the highway when you know you’ll be entering a zero-emissions area (Europe only) later in your trip.

Like the standard X5, this plug-in version also features the Driving Experience Control, which allows the driver to switch between three driving modes. “Comfort” and “Sport” modes adjust throttle mapping, damper settings, steering response, and the shift pattern to match the style of driving. ”Eco Pro” mode, on the other hand, optimizes the electronics in the vehicle to increase fuel economy, plus it features a coasting function that shuts off the engine when possible at speeds of up to 100 mph.

This drivetrain is the future of BMW, as it provides great performance and awesome fuel economy, and it allows the driver to tailor the driving experience to his liking. This system will only get better through the years.

Drivetrain Specifications

Drive system
Drive concept Full hybrid drive, permanent torque vectoring to all four wheels from one or both units via BMW xDrive
System output 313 HP
Combustion engine
Config./No. of cyls./valves In-line / 4 / 4
Engine technology BMW TwinPower Turbo technology: TwinScroll turbocharger, High Precision Injection, fully variable valve control (VALVETRONIC), Double VANOS variable camshaft control
Effective capacity cm³ 1997
Bore/stroke mm 90.1 / 84.0
Compression ratio :1 10.0
Fuel grade min RON 91
Output 245 HP @ 5,000 – 6,500 RPM
Torque 258 LB-FT @ 1,250 – 4,800
Electric motor
Motor technology BMW eDrive technology: synchronous electric motor integrated in 8-speed Steptronic transmission, generator function for energy recuperation for the highvoltage battery
Max. output 113 HP @ 3,170 RPM
Rated output 75 HP @ 5,000 RPM
Torque 184 LB-FT
Recuperation output kW 20

Prices

2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e High Resolution Exterior
- image 621519

Pricing on the X5 xDrive40e is not available yet, but it will hit European dealers in the fall of 2015. There is no mention of its U.S. release, but I fully expect it to hit U.S. dealers at the same time, given BMW will build it in the Spartanburg, SC plant. I expect pricing to fall somewhere between the $56,200 xDrive35i and the $70,100 xDrive50i, so look for it to land around $63,000.

Competition

Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid

2015 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid Exterior
- image 570261

The Porche Cayenne S E-Hybrid is a more performance-tuned hybrid, but given it is currently (as of 3/17/2015) the only midsize plug-in hybrid luxury SUV on the market, X5 xDrive40e shoppers may take a look at it. Under its hood, the Porsche carries a 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 that combines with an electric motor to produce 416 horsepower and 435 pound-feet of torque. This output allows for a 5.4-second sprint to 60 mph and a 151-mph top speed.

On the EU cycle, the Cayman is rated at 47 mpg-e and it emits 79 grams of CO2 per 100 km. Additionally, it can travel up to 14 miles on electricity only.

The 2015 Cayenne S E-Hybrid checks in at $77,200, making it a good bit more expensive than I expect the X5 to be.

Audi Q7 e-tron

2016 Audi Q7 e-tron 3.0 TDI quattro High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 619494

While Europe will enjoy a 3.0-liter TDI engine in its version on the Q7 e-tron, here in the U.S. we will eventually get one with a gasoline engine in place of the diesel. There is no mention of when the U.S.-spec model will arrive or its specifications, but the European-spec model is absolutely insane.

In Europe, this model produces 373 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, which will allow it to hit 62 mph in just six seconds. The power will travel through all four wheels via Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive system. Altogether, this thrifty SUV will consume just 1.7 liters of diesel fuel per 100 km, which converts to 138.4 mpg in the U.S. There’s no way that the U.S.-spec model will touch this rating, but we can dream, right?

Conclusion

2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e High Resolution Exterior
- image 621521

With fuel getting increasingly expensive and SUVs continuing to sell well, manufacturers needed to adjust in order to keep fuel economy high. This new influx of plug-in hybrid SUVs from BMW, Porsche and soon Audi are just one way to deliver high fuel economy while maintaining good performance. Personally, I would prefer to see more performance-oriented diesel engines, but I also understand that diesel engines tend to be significantly more expensive and they are still not very popular here in the U.S. The 2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e is a nice alternative though.

  • Leave it
    • * Those fuel economy numbers won’t hold up in U.S. testing
    • * Performance is a good bit behind the Cayenne S E-Hybrid
    • * Not much of a difference between charging on a household plug and a Wallbox

Press Release

The first plug-in hybrid production car from the BMW core brand is a Sports Activity Vehicle. Permanent all-wheel drive and the BMW EfficientDynamics eDrive technology endow the BMW X5 xDrive40e with sensational sportiness and supreme poise on the one hand and outstanding efficiency on the other. With a total system output of 230 kW/313 hp generated by a four-cylinder petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and a synchronous electric motor, the BMW X5 xDrive40e achieves a combined fuel consumption of 3.4 – 3.3 litres per 100 kilometres (83.1 – 85.6 mpg imp) and a combined electricity consumption of 15.4 – 15.3 kWh over the same distance. CO2 emissions come in at 78 – 77 grams per kilometre (figures according to EU test cycle for plug-in hybrid vehicles, may vary depending on the tyre format specified).

2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e High Resolution Exterior
- image 621520

The use of BMW eDrive technology for exceptionally efficient performance as well as all-electric mobility with zero tailpipe emissions as and when required ushers in a whole new form of commanding driving experience in a sports activity vehicle. At the same time, the BMW X5 xDrive40e reaps the benefits of the technology and know-how transferred from the debut of the BMW i cars. The BMW i8 blazes a trail for sustainable driving pleasure with plug-in hybrid drive power, which can now also be enjoyed for the first time in a model from the BMW core brand.

Lithium-ion battery with flexible charging options, typical SAV versatility and an exclusive ambience.
The energy for the electric motor integrated in the 8-speed Steptronic transmission is drawn from a lithium-ion battery, which also supplies power to the low-voltage battery for the 12V electrical system aboard the BMW X5 xDrive40e via a voltage transformer. It can be recharged by connecting to any standard domestic power socket or a BMW i Wallbox, as well as at public charging stations. To save space the high-voltage battery is housed underneath the luggage compartment floor, where it is also particularly well protected in the event of a crash. With 500 – 1,720 litres of luggage space, a three-part folding rear backrest and a luxuriously designed interior, the BMW X5 xDrive40e also boasts the high versatility associated with a large sports activity vehicle but blended with an exclusive ambience.

2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e High Resolution Exterior
- image 621521

Intelligent powertrain control and eDrive button for intense hybrid driving and mobility with zero local emissions.
The actual driving experience is likewise characterised by versatile and effortless performance. The intelligent hybrid powertrain control ensures that the engine and the electric motor act in unison in a way that optimises efficiency while also catering perfectly to the driver’s wishes. The eDrive button on the centre console allows the driver to adjust the hybrid drive’s operating mode. In the AUTO eDrive basic setting, the engine’s power is boosted to noticeable effect when accelerating or during quick bursts of speed by the electric drive, whose full torque of 250 Newton metres (184 lb-ft) is on tap from standstill for instantaneous power delivery. The BMW X5 xDrive40e completes the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.8 seconds.

Alternatively, the MAX eDrive mode can be engaged, enabling the BMW X5 xDrive40e to run purely on electric power – when driving in urban traffic for instance – resulting in zero local emissions. When the high-voltage battery is fully charged, the vehicle has a range of up to 31 kilometres (approx. 19 miles) in the all-electric drive mode with a limited maximum speed of 120 km/h (75 mph). The SAVE Battery mode can also be activated at the touch of a button, causing the high-voltage battery’s state of charge to be maintained or allowing energy to be accumulated again, e.g. by means of recuperation, if capacity is low. In this way, electrical energy can be deliberately conserved for all-electric driving later in the journey.

2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e High Resolution Exterior
- image 621522

Regardless of the setting chosen with the eDrive button, the power stemming from both drive sources is permanently transmitted to the road via the intelligent all-wheel-drive system, BMW xDrive. The various vehicle set-ups that can be selected with the Driving Experience Control switch – COMFORT, SPORT and ECO PRO – are also available in all drive modes.

Hybrid-specific products and services from BMW ConnectedDrive and BMW 360° ELECTRIC.
All of the driver assistance systems and mobility services from BMW ConnectedDrive offered as standard or as optional extras for the BMW X5 are also available to provide enhanced driving pleasure in the model variant with eDrive technology. An intelligent energy management function is also offered as a special model-specific feature that can be used in conjunction with the Navigation system Professional which is fitted as standard in the BMW X5 xDrive40e. Whenever route guidance is active, data on the route profile is factored into powertrain control along with real-time traffic information. When driving medium to long distances, the system can therefore ensure it is possible to drive purely on electric power on urban sections by using Brake Energy Regeneration and managing the high-voltage battery’s energy reserves in a targeted and efficient manner.

The hybrid-specific version of the BMW Remote app makes it possible to check the high-voltage battery’s state of charge, locate public charging stations or call up efficiency evaluations for the BMW X5 xDrive40e on a smartphone. The auxiliary heating and ventilation functions can also be activated remotely.

The BMW i Wallbox Pure and BMW i Wallbox Pro , including installation service, are available for home charging as part of the BMW 360° ELECTRIC concept, offering customers a particularly fast and convenient means of recharging the high-voltage battery while parked. Model-specific assistance services are also available. The ChargeNow service provides cash-free access to an extensive partner network of charging stations and billing of the charging costs with the ChargeNow card. The mobility service ParkNow Longterm, meanwhile, makes it easier to find a parking space or locate and book a parking spot with charging facilities.

2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e High Resolution Exterior
- image 621523

Wide-ranging equipment options.
The comprehensive standard specification of the BMW X5 on the plug-in hybrid model is extended to include the Navigation system Professional as well as an auxiliary heating and ventilation system. This is powered by electricity from the high-voltage battery or from the mains supply while charging. The BMW X5 xDrive40e additionally comes equipped as standard with the Adaptive Suspension Package Comfort including rear air suspension and Dynamic Damper Control.

Beyond this, practically all the optional extras offered for the BMW X5 can also be specified for the plug-in hybrid model. The Design Pure Experience and Pure Excellence packages for the exterior and interior are also available for the BMW X5 xDrive40e, as are the M Sport package and the bespoke features from BMW Individual.

2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e High Resolution Exterior
- image 621526

Further information on official fuel consumption figures, specific CO2 emission values and the electric power consumption of new passenger cars is included in the following guideline: “Leitfaden über Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO2-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch neuer Personenkraftwagen” (Guideline for fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and electric power consumption of new passenger cars), which can be obtained from all dealerships, from the Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH (DAT), Hellmuth-Hirth-Str. 1, 73760 Ostfildern-Scharnhausen and at http://www.dat.de/en/offers/publications/guideline-for-fuel-consumption.html. LeitfadenCO2 (GuidelineCO2) (PDF ‒ 2.7 MB)

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: