If you feel the need to go a little eco-friendly, that is, automotively speaking, and who doesn’t? However, you are looking for a boldly beautiful and very powerful luxury midsize SUV, and who doesn’t? – Then look no further than the 2021 BMW X5 xDrive 45e. Make no mistake, this is no ordinary Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV). There’s a lot to love about this beautiful Bimmer that I recently tested for a week and it comes at a base price of $ 65,400. You are also eligible for the full $ 7,500 federal rebate, plus the state rebate, up to an additional $ 1,500 depending on your state of residence. That is also a lot of green, financially speaking, of course.
The 45e’s aesthetically appealing exterior has smooth lines, but it also has Uber male fender bumps and, on my ride, optional 21-inch YM-spoke bi-color wheels. This made it a real sight when parked anywhere. Those wheels were made even cooler with the optional $ 650M sporty blue calipers visible between the spokes. The oversized grill is fiercely beautiful. The interior resembles a high-tech cabin. It is luxuriously elegant and spectacular with Vernasca leather. The sixteen-way power front seats with multi-contour seats are extremely comfortable and certainly worth the additional option at $ 750. The same goes for the heated front seats, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel and armrest which add only $ 250 to the tab.
This model features a 12.3-inch digital dash and 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system that was sharp, clear, and intuitively easy to operate. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android are standard. The iDrive controller next to the center console works great too, but I always tapped on the easy-to-use touchscreen.
The executive package, an additional $ 4,050 and worth it, includes a glass gearshift control that easily doubled as the Hope Diamond and appealed to my inner real aspirations, an oversized panoramic LED roof with LED lights, manual blinds in the second row, four-zone climate control, Harman Kardon surround sound, wireless charging and Wi-Fi access point.
The battery for this PHEV is located in the base, so there is no sacrifice of cargo space. There’s 33.1 cubic feet of space with the second row in place and 56.5 cubic feet when folded, which is roomy enough for sneaky shopping, lugging luggage, or serious sports enthusiasts.
The 45e is an extremely powerful unit. Its 282 horsepower is turbocharged with 3.0-liter Twin Power Turbo inline six cylinders. Combined with a 112 horsepower electric motor it produces 389 horsepower with 443 pound-feet of torque. The eight-speed automatic transmission powers the standard all-wheel drive. All of this means that driving the 45e doesn’t feel like a green SUV at all, not even greenish, although it certainly is. There are six driving modes: Electric, Hybrid, EcoPro, Sport, Adaptive, and Individual. If you use all electric, the range is 30 miles due to a 24 kilowatt-hour battery. This is 10 miles more than currently available mid-size luxury plug-in SUVs.
Going fast in EV mode is very easy; I clocked 75 mph but could have gone a bit faster, although I didn’t want to come face to face, or rather mask to mask, with people from the Highway Patrol. Hybrid mode gives you a whopping 50 MPGe, which is green enough that you can enjoy an SUV with so much space, luxury, and comfort. Personally, I loved driving in sport mode, where I could rev the engine, activate my need for speed, and go from 0 to 60 in five seconds. The 45e has a 3.7 kW on-board charger. In a perfect world, it would have been a bit bigger. A 100 percent full charge takes just over five hours. But I don’t live in a perfect world, and even though I’m tremendously impatient, I don’t mind plugging in every night so I can be smug green in the morning and get some great mileage. So much so that this marvelous performing beauty will probably be my next new car.
In fact, the BMW X5 xDrive 45e makes perfect sense to go green Monday through Friday, especially for those who in the non-pandemic era have 30 miles or less to travel to the office, remember those? Then when the weekend rolls around, the perfect warrior awaits you to take you wherever you want to go with …