BMW X5: xDrive35i and xDrive40e

The city-friendly xDrive40e plug-in joins the X5 team.

BMW calls the X5 an SAV: Sport Activity Vehicle — as opposed to a Sport Utility Vehicle or SUV. The luxury brand says the term was created for this new class that’s based on four-wheel drive, as opposed to the all-wheel drive that’s typical in SUVs. In other words: BMW has created a class all its own. After debuting in 1999, the X5 directed family SUVs toward power, refinement and versatility, giving parents everywhere the option to get things done without compromising on style. Now in its third generation of X5s, BMW has added a hybrid to its models, alongside other updates to the vehicle you already know and love.

The X5 has that sleek sophistication you would expect from BMW. If you love the muscle of the X6 but want something a bit less sporty with the classic Beemer design, the xDrive50i is your ride: it reaches up to 445 horsepower. However, if you love the look of the X5 but don’t care for all that power (or burning that much gas), the xDrive35i is the engine you’ll prefer. The 35i engine isn’t weak by any means — it still can reach up to 300 hp and gives you a nice roar. And it’s well-suited to parents who want the space of a minivan when they are driving the kids around, with options like a third row to allow a few nieces and nephews to tag along. When the kids aren’t in the car, mom and dad still have a chance to feel stylish running errands in this vehicle.

The xDrive40e, on the other hand, quietly zips down the road with a 111-hp electric motor, powered by a 9.2-kWh lithium-ion battery and linked to a 2-litre, 4-cylinder turbocharged engine. The 8-speed automatic transmission sends 308 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, this plug-in hybrid’s range is up to 22.5 kilometres (14 miles). In full throttle, this engine can only get you up to 120 km/h, which might make you want to use the gas if you decide to take your X5 on that road trip down an American freeway. Otherwise, the xDrive40e is equally as beautiful as its sister models, but is a much more fuel-efficient choice.

BMW’s Sport Activity Vehicles have stayed at the top of their class for a long time. The X5 gets particular mention at the top of any list of high-end SUVs thanks to BMW’s motivation to maintain the line’s advancements and refinement. The luxury brand has preserved the spirit of the car by keeping it a family vehicle and updating it, such as with the xDrive35i, while also expanding its clientele by offering twists like a sportier version with more power in the xDrive50i. Now added to its modern options is a more eco-friendly version, the xDrive40e, for people who love SUVs but hope to be conscious of the environment. With these new additions, BMW has clearly made the choice to remain at the top of its game.

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