Upgraded Plug-In Hybrid Favorite: BMW X5
We’re big fans of the BMW X5 plug-in hybrid here at GreenCars. The BMW X5 is one of our favorite luxury SUVs. It’s spacious, versatile, great to drive, and has intuitive, easy-to-use tech. The X5 is also one of the most innovative luxury trucks, with an available plug-in hybrid powertrain. One of the best-selling plug-in hybrid vehicles in the U.S., the X5 plug-in currently provides up to 30 miles of all-electric driving range, along with standard all-wheel drive and excellent dynamics.
Now, the X5 is getting a major upgrade for the 2024 model year, with electrification across the line. The headliner is an even better plug-in hybrid model with more than double the electric range, as well as significantly more horsepower.
BMW X5: More Horsepower and Electric Range
The plug-in hybrid X5, previously known as. The xDrive40e, becomes the xDrive50e, reflecting the vehicle’s massively increased performance and efficiency. The latest generation X5 continues to combine a turbocharged six-cylinder gasoline engine and an electric motor.
The gasoline engine’s output of 313 hp is a 27-hp jump from the 286 hp of the previous model while the electric motor’s output of 197 hp is an 84-hp jump over the 113 hp produced by the old model’s electric motor. Total system output is now a whopping 490 hp, a 96-hp increase; this despite the fact that the electric motor is now more compact than it was before. There’s also a new “pre-gearing” function to further increase the torque produced by the electric motor to provide more responsive performance. Acceleration to 62 mph takes just 4.8 seconds.
Even better, the improved electric motor in the X5 xDrive50e is combined with a larger battery. It’s now 25.7 kWh – a 25 percent increase over the xDrive40e – and can charge on a Level 2 charger at up to 7.4 kW. Range on electric power alone increases massively – BMW claims a maximum of 68 miles on the European WLTP cycle (EPA ratings are not yet available).
Electrification All Around
There are other engine options in the X5 lineup, including conventional gasoline six- and eight-cylinder engines; a full-electric drivetrain is not available, but that is what the iX SUV is for. All gasoline engines now feature 48-volt mild hybrid technology to improve their fuel economy.
This across-the-board application of electrification comes thanks to a new electric motor integrated into the eight-speed transmission. The motor generates an output boost of up to 12 hp and a very impressive 147 lb-ft of torque, helping the gasoline engine deliver a smooth, speedy drive along with high efficiency. BMW’s xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system is also standard on all models.
Get an X5 Digital Makeover
Inside, digital technology is the focus of the new X5’s interior. Everything now runs on BMW Operating System 8, operated by the latest generation of the company’s iDrive controller, or via touch or voice. A new curved display combines a 12.3-inch instrument cluster behind the steering wheel and an infotainment and control display that measures 14.9 inches.
Thanks to the new screens, and the integration of climate controls into the displays, the number of buttons and switches in the X5’s interior has been significantly reduced, making the interior simpler and more elegant. A new feature is an ambient light bar across the interior with LED backlighting, and there are also touch-sensitive controls on the center console and a new, compact gear selector lever.
Optional features include a new comfort package which not only heats the seats, but surfaces like the armrests, and heated and cooled cupholders. There is a new “sky lounge” panoramic glass sunroof with LED illumination, glass control surfaces, and a new Bowers & Wilkins Diamond surround-sound audio system.
In addition to offering the option of real leather upholstery, BMW is also launching a new leather-like material called “Sensafin,” which is composed of recyclable and sustainable materials.
On the exterior, the X5 has a new look defined by a re-shaped front end with slimmer headlights and arrow-shaped daytime running lights, which also serve as turn signals. Digital LED headlights have adaptive control, and can mask out part of the headlight’s beam when oncoming traffic is detected. The giant grille can now be lit by LEDs as well.
All in all, it’s a pretty comprehensive update for the X5 – which was already one of our favorite luxury SUVs. The upgraded plug-in hybrid model is a meaningful upgrade, and should help it capture a greater share of total sales. And all models will be built in America in BMW’s facility in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Further details and American pricing will be announced for the new model later in the year.