2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e Preview

Jeff Youngs | Mar 18, 2015
  • First plug-in hybrid BMW SAV
  • Preliminary fuel-economy estimates up to 55 MPGe
  • Accelerates from 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds


BMW's first plug-in hybrid Sport Activity Vehicle (SAV) will arrive in U.S. showrooms in the fall of 2015. The X5 xDrive40e combines BMW's award-winning 2.0-liter, turbo 4-cylinder engine with an electric motor, powered by a Lithium-ion battery, integrated into its 8-speed automatic transmission. The vehicle can travel approximately 13 miles on pure electric power, according to BMW. Working together, the gasoline engine and electric motor produce 308 horsepower and 332 lb.-ft. of torque, which the automaker says will allow acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds. The vehicle also features xDrive, BMW's proprietary intelligent all-wheel-drive (AWD) system.

Exterior Features

The new X5 xDrive40e's most noticeable feature is the charging connection for the high-voltage battery, located in the left front fender. Blue light effects appear there at the start of the charging process to indicate the flow of energy. The exhaust system on the X5 xDrive40e has a twin-tailpipe design with trapezoidal tips. Other identifiers include the model badge at the front of the vehicle's flanks, and the "eDrive" logo on the tailgate and door sills. Otherwise, the vehicle closely resembles a conventional BMW X5.

Interior Features

Again, the basic interior resembles that of a conventional BMW X5, but the black-panel instrument cluster shows enhanced hybrid-specific functions. The drive readiness display switches from "Off" to "Ready" when the start/stop button is pressed. Depending on the selected drive mode, information on the vehicle's electric and total range, current fuel or electricity consumption, recuperation of electrical energy in the high-voltage battery, and the progress of vehicle charging can all be shown in the instrument cluster. Timer-controlled cooling or heating, via the vehicle's dual-zone climate control, allows more accurate regulation of temperature in the cabin from the moment drivers and passengers enter the vehicle. The high-voltage battery can also be cooled so that it is in an optimum operating state at the time of departure. The electrically powered auxiliary heating and ventilation function is also part of the standard specification on the BMW X5 xDrive40e. It can either run on grid power during vehicle charging or be powered by the high-voltage battery if it has sufficient capacity.

Optional Features

All optional extras from the non-hybrid BMW X5 are available, with the exception of the third row of seats, Adaptive M suspension, Active Steering, and comfort seats in the rear. The BMW X5 xDrive40e can be specified with xLine and Luxury Line for the exterior and interior to emphasize either the vehicle's versatility or its luxury. The SUV can also be ordered with M Sport as well as the Ivory White and Mocha Interior Design packages. Adaptive LED headlights, Comfort Access, and the full selection of 19- and 20-in. light-alloy wheels are available on the new 2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e.

Under the Hood

The 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine in the X5 xDrive40e generates a maximum output of 240 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. The electric motor provides output of 111 horsepower, with a maximum torque of 184 lb.-ft. BMW says the vehicle has an electronically limited top speed of 130 mph; in all-electric drive mode it's capable of a top speed of 75 mph. The two drive units work with an 8-speed Steptronic transmission and the BMW xDrive intelligent AWD system. Steering wheel shift paddles are optional. The eDrive button on the center console lets the driver modify the powertrain control. The BMW X5 xDrive40e comes standard with a Driving Dynamics Control switch, like its conventionally powered counterpart. This can be used to activate the vehicle set-up modes--Comfort, Sport, and Eco Pro--each having the effect of altering the throttle mapping, steering characteristics, transmission responses, and the characteristics of the standard Dynamic Damper Control.

Safety and Technology

Standard safety features for the 2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e include Active Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go; BMW's proprietary head-up display; a night-vision system with pedestrian and animal recognition; Lane Active blind-spot detection; parking assist; rearview camera; surround video; and speed limit information. All driver-assistance systems are available when driving in conventional or all-electric mode.
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