If you’re in the market for a large posh SUV PHEV with a decent towing capacity and importantly a decent electric-only range (when not towing) the BMW X5 45e is worth considering. The X5 45e has a significantly larger battery than previous hybrid versions of the X5 at 24kWh. To put that battery size in perspective, that’s the same capacity as that fitted to the first-gen Nissan Leaf. As a result, the official electric-only range of the BMW X5 45e is 54 miles. The X5 45e can also tow a trailer/caravan up to 2,700kg.
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BMW X5 45e Specs
- Official Towing Capacity – 2,700 kg
- Availability – Now
- Price – Starting £64,745
- Official MPG – 235
- Real-World MPG (Fuel Only) – 38 (NextGreenCar)
- Official EV Range – 54 miles
- Real-World EV Range – 38 miles (70% of Official)
- Maximum Charge Rate/Time – 3kW/7 Hours
BMW X5 45e HP & Torque
- AWD: Combined output of 394 HP and 600 lb-ft of torque
- 3L Petrol Engine: 286 HP and 331 lb-ft of torque
- Electric Motors: 113 HP and 195 lb-ft of torque
BMW X5 45e Towing Capabilities
So as you can see above, the BMW X5 45e is a powerful vehicle producing a combined output from the 3L petrol engine and electric motors of just under 400 brake horsepower.
Now you may have noticed if you add up the individual power outputs from the petrol engine and electric motor, the combined figure doesn’t match.
This appears to be a common trend with PHEV specs, that when adding up the power/torque figures for the petrol engine/electric motor they differ from the combined figure. I have no idea why, perhaps when working together the engine is downrated for efficiency/fuel economy.
Whatever the reason the BMW X5 45e is not wanting for power, and will easily provide enough performance to pull a trailer/caravan up to the cars maximum capacity of 2,700 kg which is a pretty heavy unit.
BMW X5 45e Real World EV Range and MPG
As I reference in my article on BEVs vs PHEVs, ignore the official MPG rating for the BMW X5 45e just like for any PHEV. The official MPG figure is not applicable to real-world scenarios, and if the battery is empty a real-world MPG figure as I’ve quoted above of 38 is more realistic.
However, when towing on the motorway at speed with a flat battery expect that MPG figure to be well below 38 as well. Due to the fact as I discuss in my article on BEVs vs PHEVs linked above, an empty battery is dead weight and is further reducing the efficiency of the car when towing.
But what about when you’re not towing and you’re doing everyday short journeys? Well, in that scenario the official 54 mile EV only range is very competitive for a PHEV. However, on a cold winters day and/or driving at speed expect the real-world EV range to be closer to 38 miles.
Its been stated in the motoring press that the 3kW maximum charging speed on the X5 45e is disappointing, and it is indeed slower than the 7kW charging speed you get on a Toyota RAV4 PHEV. However, let’s say you were destination charging from a caravan service post, well the maximum you could pull is around 3kW.
BMW X5 45e Review
So to flesh out this article a little more I thought I’d include a review of the BMW X5 45e from Electrifying.com. As Nicky points out early on in her review, the 24kWh battery in the X5 45e is a big improvement over the tiny 9kWh battery found in the previous generation.
As a result, as the typical UK commute is 30 miles a day, even in cold wintery conditions and travelling at speed the X5 45e should be able to get there and back on electrical energy alone. And I cannot believe I have to write this but here it goes, you need to plug it in for this vehicle to make any sense at all.
Through the BMW App you can precondition the cabin of the car, now this is important to get the most EV range possible. This way while the car is still plugged in it will use energy from the mains to heat or cool the cabin. That way you’re not using electrical energy from the battery to do that, meaning more of the battery capacity for milage.
To fit in the 24kWh battery compromises have had to be made. The 45e features a slightly smaller boot than the diesel or petrol variants of the X5. Also, with the X5 45e there is no 7 seat option for the same reason.
My Thoughts On The BMW X5 45e…
As I comment with my article on BEVs vs PHEVs when it comes to PHEVs such as the BMW X5 45e its a compromised vehicle and not that efficient when towing at speed on the motorway with an empty battery.
However, when not towing, doing normal everyday driving the X5 45e has an official EV range and importantly a real-world EV only range that for most if not all trips when not towing the car can be driven on electrical energy alone, provided you plug it in.
Yes, the X5 45e is expensive starting at just under £65K, furthermore for £69K you could get a full EV in the form of a BMW iX xDrive40. While that version of the iX can tow 2,500kg, its real-world towing range is likely around 108 miles, potentially significantly less in the winter, travelling at speed, going uphill etc.
Therefore, if you are in the market for a large SUV PHEV that can tow and when not towing gives you a decent amount of EV range the BMW X5 45e is worth considering if you can afford it. Or maybe you want to consider the Mercedes GLE 350de?