2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e M Sport Test Drive Review
Autocar recently tested the plug-in hybrid BMW X5 xDrive40e in M Sport version, and the overall summary surprisingly isn’t a clear recommendation.
The X5 PHEV is called “great in many ways, but its weaknesses prevent it from being the automatic choice“.
The electric mode could bring benefits on the short distances (up to 14 miles of real world/EPA range), while the lowered tax for company plug-in cars in places like the UK could help to overcome £2,500 ($3,600) higher price compared to 30d. Not a large premium at all.
On the longer run however, fuel economy can be a bit of an issue, “on our trip to North Wales we couldn’t get much more than 25mpg, even when we were being sensible“.
Like most plug-in hybirds, the X5 PHEV comes to life in all-electric mode, supported by the engine when more performances is needed or when the battery is depleted. Engine activation only cuts in if the driver accelerates hard.
According to Autocar the 40e is an equal match for the 30d, despite the lower peak torque rating because the electric motor gives wider torque characteristic.
Driving experience? Steering and regenerative breaking seem disappointing to the magazine:
“On stunning Welsh roads the 40e served up some typical X5 dynamic extremes. Our M Sport model on adaptive dampers offered great body control for a 2.3-ton car, happily resisting lateral g-forces and soaking up mid-corner bumps.
Unfortunately, the steering’s poor weighting and the front wheels’ predilection to tramlining engenders distrust, which, combined with the grabby regenerative effect from the brakes, makes you disinclined to use all of the chassis’ strengths.
It’s a tale of two halves inside, too. The cabin’s superbly made and hard to fault ergonomically, but at times the ride gets quite busy, while wind and road noise at speed diminish its effectiveness to cosset over long distances.”
- 0-14 miles (22.5 km) of EPA all-electric range on 9 kWh battery
- top speed of 130 mph (209 km/h)
- 80 kW electric motor and 2.0 petrol engine with 8 speed automatic transmission
- 0-60 (nearly 100 km/h) in 6.5 seconds.