This introduction sees another addition to BMW’s F15 X5 SAV lineup, and is positioned to take on a key competitor from Sweden, the Volvo XC90 T8 Plug-in Hybrid. As the name suggests, the Volvo’s T8 engine configuration is touted as the world’s most powerful and greenest SUV, making some 450 hp and 640 Nm of torque thanks to triple charging aided by a 60 kW electric motor, and it sips just 2.5 litres of fuel per 100km. This first plug-in hybrid production car from the BMW core brand, the X5 PHEV however makes almost half of the T8’s output figures, so let’s see how it stacks up.

2015 BMW xDrive40e PHEV (20)

QUICK FACTS

Name BMW F15 X5 xDrive40e PHEV
Engine 1,997cc; inline-4 with BMW TwinPower turbo + 250 Nm electric motor
Transmission 8-speed ZF automatic
Max Power 313 hp
Max Torque 450 Nm
0-100 km/h; Top Speed 6.8 seconds; 210 km/h (electronically limited)

 

The rather mouthful X5 xDrive40e plug-in hybrid by contrast is not nearly as powerful as the Volvo. It comes in one configuration only – a 2.0-litre inline-four engine with BMW’s TwinPower turbo, one that makes 245 hp and 350 Nm of torque. It’s paired to a 250 Nm synchronous electric motor integrated into the eight-speed ZF gearbox driving all four wheels – that’s the xDrive for you.

2015 BMW xDrive40e PHEV (2)

 

 

In electric mode alone, the xDrive40e can cover up to 31 kilometers and maxes out at 120 km/h, although it can do 210 km/h when the petrol engine kicks in. Average consumption is rated at 3.3 litres per 100 km and the chunky SAV emits just 77 grams of carbon dioxide.

The electric motor draws its power from a lithium-ion battery pack housed underneath the luggage compartment floor, resulting in a loss of 150 litres of cargo space (500 litres now). BMW says this architecture is the safest way of storing the battery because it will remain intact in the event of an accident.

2015 BMW xDrive40e PHEV (9)

Three driving modes can be chosen from; EcoPro, Comfort and Sport, and with the additional eDrive button in the centre console, you now get to choose the hybrid drive’s operating mode. There’s the Auto eDrive, Max eDrive and Save. It’s pretty self explanatory, though the Max eDrive mode enables the driver to squeeze every ounce of juice from the battery.

Standard equipment for this variant includes the Munich carmaker’s GPS navigational system, auxiliary heating and ventilation system, Adaptive Suspension Package and rear air suspension with Dynamic Damper Control. And like all other BMWs, you can customise your PHEV from BMW Individual.

2015 BMW xDrive40e PHEV (21)

If you’re wondering whether the xDrive40e will find its way to Malaysia, chances are it isn’t. Frankly speaking, it’s likelier for us to get the X5 M and X6 M than its PHEV sibling. How’s that for a perspective?

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Matthew H. Tong
A straightforward, fun-loving guy who appreciates the superficiality of a car's appeal, but his admiration for anything on four wheels gives him no reason to neglect the makings of a car. He still believes that fun comes with three pedals and a stick.