New Plug-in Hybrid Headlines Changes to 2021 BMW X5

Christian Wardlaw | Jun 10, 2020

Most recently redesigned for the 2019 model year, the 2021 BMW X5 receives several changes, not the least of which is the debut of the second-generation X5 xDrive45e plug-in hybrid.

2021 BMW X5 Plug-in Hybrid In White

Previously, BMW’s plug-in hybrid luxury SUV used a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and a 12 kWh battery. Now, the new 2021 BMW X5 xDrive45e employs a turbocharged 3.0-liter 6-cylinder engine and a 24 kWh battery. Resulting improvements in power, performance, and driving range are significant.

2021 BMW X5 Plug-in Hybrid Driving Range, Specs - Find the best BMW deals!

Starting with power ratings, the new 2021 BMW X5 plug-in hybrid makes a combined total of 389 horsepower and 443 lb.-ft. of torque, improvements of 81 hp and 111 lb.-ft. Naturally, this makes the new X5 xDrive45e faster, the electrified SUV rushing to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds rather than the previous 6.5 seconds. That matches the X5 xDrive40i in terms of performance.

Driving range more than doubles with the new X5 plug-in hybrid. It travels an estimated 30 miles solely on electricity, a major improvement over the 14 miles of range the previous version of the SUV supplied. It can also travel as fast as 84 mph running only on electricity, whereas the previous version could only achieve 75 mph. Trailering is clearly not out of the realm of possibility, either, with the X5 xDrive45e towing capacity measuring 7,200 pounds.

An 8-speed sport automatic transmission and BMW’s rear-axle-biased xDrive all-wheel-drive system are standard. The X5 xDrive45e offers Hybrid, Electric, and Sport driving modes, and comes with a range of wheel designs sized from 19 to 21 inches in diameter. An adaptive damping air suspension with Hybrid and Sport modes is also standard and offers manual adjustment of 1.6 inches up or down to provide added ground clearance or easier loading as is desirable.

Is there a penalty for choosing the X5 plug-in hybrid over the X5 xDrive40i? Well, the price premium amounts to $3,700, but the combination of a federal income tax credit, potential state and local incentives, and carpool-lane access stickers could make that a non-issue. The only other potential downside is a loss of 0.8 cu.-ft. of cargo space with the rear seat in use, and 1.1 cu.-ft. with the rear seats folded down.

Changes to the 2021 BMW X5 - Find the best BMW deals!

The new xDrive45e is the big news for the new model year, but the entire 2021 BMW X5 lineup sees a handful of changes.

Continuing to offer Live Cockpit Professional digital instrumentation and iDrive 7.0 infotainment technology, the 2021 X5 adds standard satellite radio and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. For both iPhone and Android devices, the X5 now provides access to Google Assistant, Google Maps, Spotify, Amazon Music, and WhatsApp. Dual USB-C ports are also standard.

New for 2021, BMW Maps is a cloud-based technology offering faster route calculation and dynamic route re-calculation based on both real-time traffic conditions and hazard data coming from other BMWs on the route that are communicating with the cloud. Additionally, BMW Maps promises more accurate and dynamic arrival time estimates, an improved destination entry system, and expanded details about points of interest.

For 2021, BMW also drops the X5’s rear-seat entertainment system and adds a premium Harman Kardon sound system to the optional Premium Package. BMW also adds its Drive Recorder system to the optional Parking Assistance package, which records and stores up to 40 seconds of front and rear video.

On the safety front, the standard Active Driving Assistant collection of advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) gains cyclist detection capability, while the optional Driving Assistance Professional option package’s Evasion Aid technology now reacts to pedestrians.

2021 BMW X5 Plug-in Hybrid Release Date - Find the best BMW deals!

BMW says the 2021 BMW X5 xDrive45e goes on sale in July 2020 with a price of $65,400 plus a $995 destination charge. Reportedly, the xDrive50i model is going away after the 2020 model year, so if you want one, grab one while you can.

The information in this article is from BMW. It was accurate on June 10, 2020 but may have changed since that date.

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