It’s no surprise where the world is headed in terms of mobility. EVs are getting extremely popular, with Tesla spearheading the campaign while other mainstream automakers follow suit. However, despite having the electric infrastructure, the idea of an EV being a cross-country tourer is still a bit far-fetched.
The reason? Range anxiety. Out of all EVs under $60k, only the Tesla Model 3 has the most usable driving range of a touch under 360 miles, which isn’t bad. But for someone looking to go beyond that, it’s a game of finding charging stations and sitting around waiting for the battery to charge up.
And mind you, if you don’t have a Tesla, finding a charging station other than the proprietary supercharger network is yet another time-consuming event.
What if you had an EV to pootle around town, which doubles as a comfortable people carrier for a 600-mile trip? All without having to worry about range and charging stations— the best of both worlds, shall we say.
Well, the answer is Plug-in hybrids. If you’re looking for a midsize luxury PHEV with excellent build quality, performance, range, and technology, the 2022 BMW X5 45e is perhaps the best in the business. Here’s why.
2022 BMW X5 xDrive45e Offers 30 Miles Of EV Range
Yep, that’s the headline figure of the 2022 BMW X5 45e. What you get is a 282 horsepower 3.0-liter turbocharged straight-six and an electric motor wedged between the engine and the 8-speed torque converter. Per Car and Driver, the combined output stands at 389 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque. Enough for a 0-60 sprint in just 4.2 seconds; from an SUV weighing over 5,600 pounds!
It’s not just performance, the X5 45e is also keen on efficiency. The SUV gets a 17.1 kWh battery, offering an electric-only range of 30 miles (the official EPA rating is 50 MPGe).
However, the X5 45e sold in Europe gets a bigger 24 kWh battery and can go up to 54 miles in electric mode alone. BMW chose not to equip the same battery pack for the US might have something to do with compliance and regulations. Hopefully, BMW finds a way around them and brings the higher capacity model to US shores.
The BMW X5 Hybrid Looks And Feels A Million Bucks
There are no visual cues (other than the 45e badge at the back) that sets the plug-in X5 apart from its gasoline counterparts. That being said, the design is clean and unlike the new 7-series, a lot less polarizing. Opting for the $5,500 M-sport package will add sporty bumpers front and rear, along with a set of 20-inch rims. 21-inch wheels are also available.
On the inside, it’s like any other X5. Quality is top-notch, as are fit and finish. There’s soft-touch materials across the board, with the main highlight being BMW’s i-Drive system. It’s easily the best infotainment system in the automotive industry. Everything feels intuitive and falls right in place. Unlike Mercedes and Audi, BMW has stuck with traditional buttons in the X5, which makes life easier than having to fiddle with the finicky touchscreen controls.
There’s adaptive air suspension on all four corners with adjustable ride height. Overall ride comfort, even if equipped with the optional 21-inch wheels, is simply plush and relaxing.
Who Is The BMW X5 PHEV Designed For?
The plug-in hybrid X5 is not cheap. The 2022 X5 xDrive45e starts at $63,700, with eligibility for a full $7,500 federal tax credit. But the SUV is not for everyone.
The X5 xDrive45e is designed for a customer base with primarily short daily commutes. People who pretty much stick within the city limits for the majority of the time but have occasional long journeys where EVs are not quite dependable, yet.
While the X5 45e is a good mix of the present and future, it’s also arguably, the worst of both worlds. As in, the electric range could’ve been better had there not been an engine up front. The IC engine could’ve delivered better efficiency if it didn’t carry the additional weight of the battery.
But the argument sort of dies midway as the whole point of a PHEV is to bridge the gap between efficiency and range anxiety. Plug-in hybrids are significantly better at fuel savings while taking away the fear of running out of charge (at least until EVs with better range arrive or stable but faster charging times).
At $63k, there aren’t many in the EV space that offers a steady 400-mile range. However, it won’t be long as technology is improving, and more offerings are being tested as we speak. So until a production EV with a confirmed range of 600 miles or more pops up, it’s better to have a plug-in hybrid, and the X5 45e is, without a doubt, the best pick in the luxury PHEV segment.
Sources: BMW, Car and Driver, Auto Express, YouTube
This Is Why The BMW Concept XM Is A Super-Edgy PHEV
About The Author