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BMW X5i 40e - Copyright green car magazine

Practical test BMW X5i 40e

BMW is consistently pushing ahead with the expansion of the BMW i series. From the compact i 3 electric car to the large-volume premium models of the X series. The plug-in hybrid models from BMW form an important segment with regard to long-distance suitability and acceptance compared to the diesel models. We are testing the popular X5 model with the two motors that are matched to one another.

The global automobile manufacturers are banking on this trend for the German market. After initial skepticism, the first manufacturers have even decided not to use diesel engines. The large-format SUV models are also increasingly relying on the dual drive because the cars with the E in the model name are better suited to the current zeitgeist.

Long-haul flagship

After the short distances in pure electric mode, the interaction of the two drive sources in long-distance mode can be regulated in a variety of ways. The combination of the two motors is perfectly coordinated with one another without jerking between these drive phases. The main drive is provided by the two-liter turbo four-cylinder, which in the smaller series became the all-purpose weapon of Bavaria and replaced numerous in-line six-cylinders. Its 180 kW (245 PS) are supported on the 8-speed automatic by an 83 kW (113 PS) electric motor, which increases the 2,2-ton four-wheel drive to a total of 230 kW (313 PS). In the online media repertoire, quickly load Wagner's “Ride of the Valkyries” and then experience and enjoy full power in “sport mode”, ideally on long distances on the autobahn. This is where the X5 shows its true strengths: A full and balanced chassis allows the driver to experience balanced driving pleasure at all speed levels in the 8-speed automatic transmission.

Details BMW X5i 40e - Copyright BMW

Details BMW X5i 40e - Copyright BMW

Since the introduction of the X series, cruise control and additional driving aids have been ergonomically integrated directly into the multifunction steering wheel. The automated driver assistants can be activated and finely controlled at the touch of a finger. Top speed
and distance levels to the vehicles in front can be easily set with the thumb while driving. Relaxation and relief for the driver during long journeys are essential features of the X-Series.
The central, high-level multimedia display is used for navigation, with intuitive operation that can either be carried out directly on the touchscreen or using the classic selection dial in the center console.
In our opinion, the selection dial is best suited for menu navigation while driving with the automatic transmission. In addition to the comfortable driving functions, there is extensive equipment for navigation, the multimedia area and the individual vehicle settings.

Loading and driving

A shortcoming of almost all large-format SUVs as plug-in hybrids are the long charging processes. In the best case scenario, it takes almost 3 hours to charge the compact battery. And only then can the average consumption of 3,4 liters of premium petrol specified in the brochure be approximated at first
Achieve a distance of 100 kilometers.
In practice, of course, it is not relevant to charge the car every 100 km. And so, according to the online monitor, the consumption data is on average 3 to 4 times the EU average consumption. However, given the total weight in pure combustion engine mode, this is to be expected.

At BMW, the i stands for the future

Important world premieres are coming up at BMW this year. It all started with the new 8 Series Coupé in June. The production version of the X2018 will be presented at the end of 7. And in between, the Munich-based company still has to find free spots for the debuts of the new Z4 and the new X5. The large SUV will celebrate its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show in autumn. The i stands for the electrification of the entire model range.
While the first global manufacturers are already saying goodbye to the diesel engine, the Bavarian engine manufacturer still has the harmony between diesel tradition and electrification on the agenda.


Article from the green car magazine 2018.

You can find detailed test results in the current print edition. Subscription under




N. Hawthorn
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