Meet the 2016 X5 xDrive40e – The Most Affordable BMW X5 Ever
Seventeen years ago, BMW introduced the X5 – the original Sports Activity Vehicle – and it rocked the automotive world. Style and versatility met performance and agility to create a revolutionary alternative to the gas-guzzling, Colorado-roadway-stomping SUVs. Today, efficiency standards and the state of our environment have squeezed many traditional SUVs out of the marketplace. BMW, however, has yet another great idea – the plug-in-hybrid 2016 X5 xDrive40e which, through August 31, is the most affordable model in the X5 lineup.
Looking straight on, the 2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e isn’t much different from its xDrive35i, xDrive35d and xDrive50i siblings. Standard 19-inch wheels grace a tastefully bold exterior with standard xenon headlamps and LED tail lamps, subtle chrome accents and tinted rear quarters. Set apart only by its “eDrive” badging and charging port cover behind the driver’s-rear wheel, it’s a statement in subtle exclusivity. You may know you’re driving an SAV with up to 56MPGe and a 0-60 MPH time of less than seven seconds, but the rest of the world sees an un-compromised X5.
Inside, it’s much the same. BMW’s functionally comfortable cockpit surprises and delights with clear instrumentation, standard widescreen navigation, supremely comfortable seats and more. The back seats still fold in a 40/20/40 split for maximum cargo versatility, and ultimate cargo capacity is hardly compromised by the battery pack living under the rear cargo floor. If you didn’t see the drive mode toggles by the gearshift and slightly revised tachometer, you’d never know you were in a plug-in hybrid SUV.
On the road is where the 2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e’s changes become more apparent, and in totally unexpected ways. The 40e’s standard load-adaptive rear air suspension and dynamic adjustable suspension work magically to retain the X5’s traditional ride and handling balance. Steering response, weight distribution and impact absorption are better than ever, offering the utmost in road-going confidence and high-speed stability. Even with a full load of passengers and cargo, this part-electric SAV behaves much like any other BMW.
Stomp the “go” pedal, and the X5 xDrive40e comes alive. With prodigious electric torque available right off the line, the 40e accelerates from 0-60 MPH in just 6.5 seconds – identical to the 2016 X5 xDrive35d and only 0.4-second slower than the gasoline-powered xDrive35i. Power comes courtesy of a 2.0-L twin-power-turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to an electric motor, eight-speed automatic transmission and xDrive all-wheel drive. Against its competitors, it’s the only SUV able to turn all four wheels (all-wheel drive) in full electric (EV) mode.
This signature BMW performance doesn’t foster compromise in MPG, either. The idea behind the 40e is this – seamless switching between full-electric and gasoline/hybrid modes when each makes the most sense, respectively. Plugging this SUV in for a few hours on standard household 110v electricity nets between 13-19 miles of all-electric city driving range. If you forget to plug in, it’s no big deal – the 40e behaves like nearly any other Hybrid on the market (gas engine with electric assist). Otherwise, it’s EV in the city and traditional hybrid on the highway.
The EPA rates the 2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e at 56MPGe – a difficult number to comprehend. In our clients’ real-world driving, we’ve typically seen 25-30 MPG around town (with the gasoline engine running, of course) and up to 40 MPG on the highway. In fact, on one particular run from Colorado to eastern Kansas, one of our teammates saw 41 MPG indicated, even with a full load of people and luggage. Pretty amazing, considering this SAV’s virtually uncompromised versatility and xDrive all-wheel drive.
Sealing the deal is the 2016 X5 xDrive40e’s price. Through August 31, Schomp BMW is offering lease specials starting at $535/mo with $2,500 down, or $658/mo with $0 down. This undercuts the base lease price of the 2016 X5 xDrive35i (gas) by a good margin. Factor in heightened fuel economy, zero compromise, and the ability to run in pure “EV” mode, and the 40e is truly the most affordable (and exhilarating) X5 ever.