Hybrid tech derived from the i8 sportscar adds some interest to BMW's largest SUV
The BMW X5 is a bit of an also-ran in the SUV class, because the current model didn’t really move the game on much from the last model. But one interesting addition was the introduction of an eDrive version featuring a hybrid drive system that benefits from technology developed in the i3 and i8 electric models.
As the name suggests, the xDrive40e has four-wheel drive, and it features a 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder engine and an electric motor to make 309bhp. BMW claims that the electric motor can power the X5 for up to 19 miles before the engine cuts in, although in reality the best way to utilise the electric drive is to leave the X5 in hybrid mode.
Like rivals, the X5’s large dimensions mean there’s still plenty of space inside, despite the addition of a hybrid system, although the standard 5 seat layout is rather old-hat when compared to rivals like the Volvo XC90 and Audi Q7 which feature 7 seats as standard.
On the road, the X5 suffers more than most for the addition of its hybrid drive system. The already firm ride is even firmer, so it’s not the most comfortable SUV around, but that doesn’t mean the X5 is much fun to drive, having to give second best to the likes of the Porsche Cayenne and Range Rover Sport for driving enjoyment.
Best hybrid SUVs
- 1. Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine
- 2. Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid
- 3. BMW X5 xDrive 40e
- 4. Audi Q7 e-tron
- 5. MINI Countryman S E
- 6. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
- 7. Lexus RX 450h
- 8. Kia Niro
- 9. Mercedes-Benz GLE 500e
- 10. Lexus NX 300h