In-depth reviews

BMW X5 hybrid performance, top speed, engine

Like any BMW X5, the hybrid doesn't feel nearly as big as it is from behind the wheel. It's extremely fast, too

Overall rating

4.0 out of 5

Performance, engine & drive rating

4.5 out of 5

Price
£65,510 - £80,510
Fuel Type:
Hybrid Petrol
0-62mphTop speedDriven wheelsPower
5.6s146mphFour394bhp

Big plug-in hybrid SUVs like the Volvo XC90 T8 and Audi Q7 TFSI e tend to be fast and powerful as well as ultra-efficient, and the BMW X5 hybrid is no different, with its sub-six-second 0-62mph time, near-400bhp output and surprisingly sporty handling.

BMW X5 hybrid 0-62mph, top speed and acceleration

The X5 hybrid's 3.0-litre, six-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine produces 282bhp, while its electric motor provides another 111bhp. Total system output is 389bhp, driving all wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. This is good news because, at two-and-a-half tonnes, the X5 hybrid is not a light car: fortunately, the instant torque from the electric motor is enough to disguise its bulk from behind the wheel.

Hybrid mode is the default setting on start-up, which means you’ll pull away silently from a standstill. However, burying the throttle will engage the engine, too, resulting in 0-62mph in a strong 5.6 seconds en route to a top speed of 146mph. The automatic shift between the two modes is impressively seamless, and BMW also gives drivers the option of manual control.

Don't worry about performance in pure-electric mode, though. You can tell the BMW to rely solely on its electric motor, and in that mode you can do motorway miles and make sprightly leaps into fast-moving traffic with no issues at all. This never feels like a slow car, no matter what mode you choose. Using a button next to the gear selector, you can choose to hold the battery power in order to have enough electric running for any town miles you'll be doing later in the journey, or you can also charge the battery with the petrol engine (albeit at a cost to fuel efficiency). 

Handling

Despite the extra weight of the hybrid drivetrain components, the X5 hybrid drives pretty much like any other X5; that is to say, it never completely disguises its significant bulk, but it's still surprisingly fast and agile for something so large. If you really want a large plug-in hybrid SUV that serves up properly encouraging handling, look to the sharper and more sporting Porsche Cayenne hybrid.

Air suspension is standard on the xDrive45e and does a fine job of keeping the body in fairly tight check if you go for one of the sportier modes; more likely, you'll stick it in default Comfort and just enjoy the faultless cruising manners of the X5. You can cross continents in this car and still feel fresh at the other end, and it also makes a frustrating motorway-to-city commute as comfortable and stress-free as any limousine.

Most Popular

Top 10 best seven-seater electric and hybrid cars 2021
Mercedes EQB
Best cars

Top 10 best seven-seater electric and hybrid cars 2021

If the regular crop of electrified SUVs and family cars don’t provide enough practicality for you, then take a closer look at the range of electric an…
5 Oct 2021
Top 10 best luxury electric cars 2021
BMW iX
Best cars

Top 10 best luxury electric cars 2021

From Audi to Tesla, here are our top picks of the most luxurious zero-emissions motoring options on the market right now
7 Oct 2021
EV36Zero and Nissan's road to carbon neutrality
NIssan Leaf parked in the desert
Advertisement Feature

EV36Zero and Nissan's road to carbon neutrality

How the EV36Zero hub in Sunderland is set to take Nissan a step closer to its sustainability goals
30 Sep 2021