Car Review: 2021 BMW X5 xDrive45e allows for 30 miles of electric motoring

Luxury SUV and crossovers are big business, and BMW has been making the popular X5 model for two decades now. There are models catering to the performance-minded buyers with turbo in-line 6 and big V-8 turbo power for those who need more punch than most sports cars pack.

Now for 2021, there is a new X5 model joining the lineup. The X5 xDrive45e adds a gas-saving plug in hybrid that allows for 30 miles before the engine kicks in. You can choose how you want the X5 to drive, with full electric, hybrid that goes between gas and electric, or even recharge the car on the road with the gas engine.

You can even combine the gas and electric power and turn the X5 xDrive45e into one convincing sporty ride. With 389hp, this is no slow plug-in hybrid; the turbo in-line 6 engine is a smooth operator and packs a healthy punch when you hit the gas. It handles the curves with confidence thanks to the AWD and the M Sport package adds some improved suspension tuning. However, you usually don’t push the family machine when behind the well. Good thing that this X5 will also treat you nicely on the normal commute.

The BMW X5 received a big makeover two years ago and the look is still fresh today. The 21″ M sport wheels and the optional M sport package add a sportier styling than you’d think for a hybrid. I like the aggressive look. A special body kit and blacked-out trim dress up the X5 nicely.

A larger 12.3″ touch screen display and the iDrive control is easier to use than I remember. Live Cockpit Pro replaces the normal gauge cluster with a virtual instrumentation. I would suggest spending some extra money on the Luxury seating package that adds great multi-contour seats that makes long trips easier.

Cost: $65,200; as tested $81,695.

MPG: 50 MPGe; 20 MPG; I managed 35.8 mpg in 173 miles of mixed driving.

Safety: Active cruise control with braking function; dynamic stability control; active driving assistant pro with active blind spot detection; active park distance control & parking assistant plus; head-up display; adaptive full LED lighting & auto high beams; surround view with 3D view; extended traffic jam assistant; drive recorder; front & rear head protection system.

Options: $550 Arctic Grey metallic; $4,050 executive package; $1,700 driving assistance package; $550 trailer hitch; $750 multi-contour seats; $5,500 M sport package; $950 21″ M wheel 741 m ; $350 front & rear heated seats; $650 M sport brakes with blue calipers; $250 heated steering wheel and front seat armrests.

Things to know: The 2021 X5 xDrive45e is the plug-in hybrid that still combines luxury and performance and now adds 30 miles of electric-only driving.


  • Plug-in hybrid allows you to use less fuel and still keep the fun-to-drive attitude.
  • Large touch screen and virtual instruments add to the modern look and feel.
  • The luxurious surroundings live up to the premium price tag.


  • You give up a little storage space for battery and hybrid system.
  • Gets pricey quickly when you add the options.
  • No third row is available with the plug-in hybrid version.
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