It’s no surprise where the world is heading in terms of mobility. EVs are becoming hugely popular, with Tesla leading the way in the campaign, with other mainstream automakers following suit. Despite the electric infrastructure, the idea of an EV being a cross-country tourer is still a little far-fetched.
The reason? Reach fear. Of all EVs under $60k, only the Tesla Model 3 has the most usable range of less than 360 miles, which isn’t bad. But for someone who wants to go further, it’s a game of finding charging stations and waiting for the battery to charge.
And mind you, if you don’t have a Tesla, finding a charging station other than your own supercharger network is still a time-consuming event.
What if you had an EV to paddle around town that doubles as a comfortable passenger car for a 600-mile trip? And all without having to worry about range and charging stations – the best of both worlds, shall we say.
Well, the answer is plug-in hybrids. If you’re looking for a mid-sized luxury PHEV with excellent build quality, performance, range and technology, the 2022 BMW X5 45e might just be the best in the business. This is why.
2022 BMW X5 xDrive45e offers 30-mile EV range
Yes, that’s the head of the 2022 BMW X5 45e. What you get is a 282 horsepower 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine with an electric motor between the engine and the 8-speed torque converter. Per Car and driverthe combined power stands at 389 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque† Enough for a 0-60 sprint in just 4.2 seconds; of an SUV weighing over 5,600 pounds!
It’s not just about performance, the X5 45e is also about efficiency. The SUV gets a 17.1 kWh battery and offers an electric range of 30 miles (the official EPA rating is 50 MPGe).
However, the X5 45e sold in Europe will get a larger 24 kWh battery and can drive up to 84 miles in electric mode alone† BMW chose not to equip the same battery pack for the US could have something to do with compliance and regulations. Hopefully BMW will find a way around them and bring the higher-capacity model to US shores.
The BMW X5 Hybrid Looks and Feels a Million Dollars
There are no visual cues (other than the 45th badge on the rear) that differentiate the plug-in X5 from its petrol counterparts. That said, the design is sleek and, unlike the new 7-series, a lot less polarizing. Opting for the $5,500 M sports package adds sporty bumpers front and rear, along with a set of 20-inch rims. 21-inch wheels are also available.
Inside, it’s just like any other X5. Quality is top, just like fit and finish. There are soft-touch materials across the board, with the main highlight being BMW’s i-Drive system. It is hands down the best infotainment system in the automotive industry. Everything feels intuitive and falls right into place. Unlike Mercedes and Audi, BMW has stuck to traditional buttons in the X5, making life easier than having to fiddle with the finicky touchscreen controls.
There is adaptive air suspension on all four corners with adjustable ride height. Overall ride comfort, even when fitted with the optional 21-inch wheels, is simply luxurious and relaxing.
Who is the BMW X5 PHEV designed for?
The plug-in hybrid X5 is not cheap. The 2022 X5 xDrive45e starts at $63,700, and is eligible for a full federal tax credit of $7,500. But the SUV is not for everyone.
The X5 xDrive45e is designed for a customer base with mainly short daily commutes. People who stay pretty much within city limits most of the time, but occasionally take long trips where electric vehicles aren’t quite reliable yet.
While the X5 45e is a good mix of the present and the future, it’s also arguably the worst of both worlds. As in, the electric range could have been better had there been no engine in the front. The combustion engine could have delivered better efficiency if it hadn’t carried the extra weight of the battery.
But the argument dies off halfway through, as the whole point of a PHEV is to bridge the gap between efficiency and range anxiety. Plug-in hybrids are significantly better at saving fuel while also taking away the fear of running out of battery (at least until longer range EVs arrive or stable but faster charging times).
For $63k, there aren’t many in the EV space that offer a stable 400-mile range. It won’t be long though as technology improves and more offers are being tested right now. So until a production EV with a confirmed range of 600 miles or more pops up, it’s better to have a plug-in hybrid, and the X5 45e is hands down the best choice in the luxury PHEV segment.
Sources: BMW, Car and Driver, Auto Express, YouTube
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