new video loaded: Driven | 2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e
Driven | 2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e
BMW’s big S.U.V. now is offered as a plug-in hybrid, with 14 miles of battery-only range and a 4-cylinder engine that pitches in, for a combined 308 horsepower.
Inexpensive gasoline has fueled sales of the large crossovers and SUVs Americans love. Many are gas guzzlers, the BMW X5 40e isn’t because … it has a little help. This is a plug-in hybrid. (ON CAMERA) Currently, batteries that will take a car hundreds of miles are expensive and hydrogen, doesn’t have an infrastructure yet. So for the foreseeable future, it would appear, that hybrids and plug in hybrids are the best way to meet increasingly strict fuel economy and emission standards.The 40e has a 14-mile range using battery power alone. It can run to 75 miles-an-hour solely on electric power before the gas engine pitches in. It doesn’t have to be charged up to operate. Sort of defeats the purpose though.(ON CAMERA) Okay, at startup, there isn’t any noise just a little bit of whirring. (SOUND UP)There are three drive modes, “Max” is for electric cruising, “Save” forces gas operation and even charges the battery a bit. “Auto” combines the two for best efficiency. (ON CAMERA) If you’re thinking the 40e is a slug… (SOUND UP) not to worry it’s nearly as fast as the 35i model.40e can bolt from 0-60 in 6.5 seconds, the standard all-wheel drive system is always active. A two-liter turbo four-cylinder is assisted by a 111-horse AC electric motor for a total of 308 horses and a healthy 332 lb-feet of torque.(ON CAMERA) I’d love to show you the electric motor but it’s integrated into the transmission housing… and me without my wrench and screwdriver.That gearbox is an eight-speed, the lithium-ion battery pack is under the cargo floor. Describing driving dynamics simply…(SOUND UP HOOD)in “auto” mode X5 40e behaves much like any hybrid (SOUND UP) often pulling away only on electric power. The transision to gas power is smooth, happening as high as 45 miles an hour . (ON CAMERA) the impressive thing about this vehicle? It pretty much drives like a standard X5. The brake pedal does feel a little different because of the power regeneration.It can be a touch mushy, common with hybrids. So is shutting down the gas engine at stops (SOUND UP) From inside the cabin, (SOUND UP) the four-cylinder sounds small and distant. (ON CAMERA) Remember the ballerina hippopotamuses from the movie Fantasia? That pretty much sums this rig up, it weighs over 5,200 pounds, around 430 more than the gas-only 35i. It handles well but you really feel the weight. It’s an SUV, don’t expect an M3. Gauging fuel economy is tricky. If you understand the EPA rating of 56 MPGe, good for you. I saw everything from 57 miles-per gallon (driving carefully in urban conditions) to 21 mpg with hard use and a spent battery. It depends on how it’s driven and how frequently the X5 is charged.Whatever the fuel economy, occupants will enjoy this space though this wood, which is real, looks distinctly fake. Highlights include, well, lighting, which is attractive all throughout the cabin. Seats are bolstered for a wide range of people. Of course there’s the iDrive interface. Data entry is easy, the screen is very crisp and clean. I’m not a fan of BMWs shift controller. Know that the drivetrain turns off if you open the front door. It’s a safety feature.(ON CAMERA) Fossil fuel only X5s are available with a third row, which is where the battery pack is here. Meaning the e-Drive model is strictly a five-seater. The drive shaft tunnel has a low profile. Those who are back here will have no trouble with temperature. Very roomy for two, three smaller adults should be comfortable.(ON CAMERA) Remember, the battery is under the cargo floor… sense a little foreshadowing?There is no spare, BMW is big on run flat tires. The seats can accommodate long things and passengers together, always good. Space? It’s about average for this segment, and really, it’s no smaller than the regular X5 at nine packs.Starting at $63,095, the eDrive hybrid system is a $5,000 premium. Today’s cheap gas makes it tough to ever break even. IF plug-in hybrids are the future of efficiency, we could all do a lot worse than drive something as well-engineered as the X5.
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