Overall: BMW is expanding the options for its most competitive X5 ever, with both a plug-in hybrid and the ridiculous reborn M model.
Drivetrain: A 3.0-litre turbo-inline-six provides baseline power; upgrade to a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel with plenty of torque; 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 offers either 445 horses, or 567 in the X5 M; new plug-in hybrid version uses four-cylinder engine and electric motor to offer a combined 308 horses.
BMW is offering X5 buyers the choice of the proverbial angel on one shoulder and the demon on the other for 2016. Consider the angel to be the new plug-in hybrid version dubbed the xDrive40e. It’s fitted with a version of BMW’s familiar turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that’s helped by a 111-horsepower electric motor. Combined, they produce 31 3 horsepower and a strong 332 pound-feet of torque, which means a zero-to-60-mph (96 km-h) time of 6.5 seconds. The lithium-ion battery allows for up to 20 kilometres on electric-power alone. Using BMW’s at-home 220-volt charger means a full top up in less than three hours. Perched on the other shoulder is the second-generation X5 M with its twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 producing 567 horsepower (up from 555) and 553 pound-feet of torque. With your foot to the floor, this beast hits 60 mph (96 km-h) in just four seconds. It adds ultra-wide 20-inch wheels with performance-oriented tires, and the usual visual cues outside and in. The base X5 xDrive35i is fitted with a 300-horsepower turbocharged six-cylinder engine. Also available is the xDrive50i that comes with a twin-turbo 445-horsepower 4.4-litre V8 and the xDrive35d with its 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo-diesel. It has an output of 255 horsepower and, more importantly, 413 pound-feet of torque. All models are synced to eight-speed automatic transmissions. To save fuel, there’s a standard ECO PRO mode that decouples the driveline from the engine when coasting. There’s also a stop/start feature that automatically shuts off the engine when you come to a stop. The base X5 has a vast assortment of luxo-stuff, such as a panoramic sunroof, 10-way power-adjustable front seats, 25-centimetre touch-screen and a nine-speaker audio package. As before, the X5 can be ordered with a third-row bench, a variety of up-level audio systems and a seemingly never-ending number of trim, wheel and electronic safety choices that can raise prices wayyyyyy above base levels.
Base price (incl. destination): $68,100
Type: Four-door sport-utility vehicle
Base engine (hp): 3.0-litre DOHC I6, turbocharged (300)
Optional engines (hp): 4.4-litre DOHC V8, turbocharged (445; 567, M); 3.0-litre DOHC I6, turbo-diesel (255); 2.0-litre DOHC I4, turbocharged with electric assist (313)
Layout: Front-engine, all-wheel-drive
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
l/100 km (city/highway): 11.4/7.5 (3.0)
Weight (kg): 2,130
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