2021 BMW X5 xDrive 45e

Luxury super saver
February 26, 2021 Updated: February 26, 2021

BMW calls it X5 xDrive 45e a “Sports Activity Vehicle.” This luxurious, powerful, and technically-packed SAV is powered by a hybrid drivetrain, composed of a 3.0-liter BMW TwinPower Turbo inline 6-cylinder engine featuring Valvetronic variable valve timing control and high-precision direct injection, assisted by an integrated electric motor. Power is delivered to the wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission and xDrive AWD system. Driving response can be tailored with Driving Dynamics Control, which offers various driving modes like Comfort and Sport.

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Under the hood. (Courtesy of BMW)

Shifting is so easy, it can be done without even looking at the procedure. This gasoline V6 and electric motor hybrid places the new xDrive 45e in a unique position in the X5 family, and replaces the xDrive 50i which is powered by a turbocharged V8. The total output of this electric-assisted V6 is 389 horsepower.

A 24.0-kWh battery pack is said to provide up to 30 miles of electric-only driving range. My week of driving netted me a combined city plus highway average of 24 MPG on gasoline. Putting both gas and electric to work upped the mileage to 50 MPGe. The charge time was 5 hours.

The battery pack can be charged using the standard 120V outlet with the bundled Occasional Use Cable (OUC), but ideally you would want to install a 240V outlet or an L2 charger box for faster daily charging. The OUC can be left in the trunk for emergency charging away from home.

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Occasional Use Cable. (Courtesy of BMW)

Surprisingly, this BMW will go zero to 60 in 4.8 seconds. WOW! The battery can get you up to 84 mph without using the gasoline engine.

My vehicle had the $2,500 Premium Package comprising Gesture Control, Heads-up Display (HUD), four-zone automatic climate control, Harman/Kardon audio System, Wireless Charging and Wi-Fi Hotspot, plus Enhanced USB & Bluetooth. Gesture Control is a helpful feature that recognizes simple hand motions hovering over the center display, for functions like taking an incoming call or adjusting sound volume.

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The front dash. (Courtesy of BMW)

The cabin offers generous space. Seating, cabin interior, and lining materials are all of high quality.

SensaTec synthetic leather wraps the interior, and that includes the power-adjustable, massage, heated front seats with memory, front dashboard, and front heated armrest (a first for me). It’s then illuminated with ambient lighting.

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SensaTec seats. (Courtesy of BMW)

Sitting inside, the multi-contour seats, power adjustable steering column, and panorama sunroof complement the four-zone automatic climate control for driving comfort.

Front visibility is ensured with rain-sensing windshield wipers, while the power rear liftgate allows easy access to cargo compartments. When the easy-folding rear seats are down, which can be accomplished from either side, the back of this vehicle can gobble up a vast amount of cargo.

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Plenty of cargo space with rear seats folded. (Courtesy of BMW)

Safety is paramount at BMW. The Active Driving Assistant package is standard, which includes Frontal Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, and Active Blind Spot Detection. And of course the standard and practical rear view camera. Another noteworthy safety feature is Active Protection System. This last-line of defense system automatically pretensions safety belts, closing windows and moonroof, and activating post-crash braking when it senses an imminent collision.

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The charging port. (Courtesy of BMW)

The beautiful interior and modern technology complement the handsome exterior. The test X5’s exterior was coated in Arctic Grey Metallic, while the Ivory White Vernasca Leather interior beautified the inside.

The 2021 BMW X5 xDrive 45e hybrid SAV carries a starting MSRP of $65,400.

Length: 194.3″
Width: 78.9″
Height: 68.7″
Wheelbase: 117.1″

4-year/50,000-mile New Vehicle Limited Warranty
12-year/unlimited mileage Rust Perforation Limited Warranty
4-year/unlimited mileage Roadside Assistance Program

Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this newspaper or durhlcaussey@gmail.com.