The 2021 BMW X5 lineup gains a plug-in hybrid variant, the 45e, capable of traveling up to 30 miles on electricity alone. The turbocharged six-cylinder engine used in the 40i adopts mild hybrid technology, although output and mileage ratings are unchanged. Also, the 50i trim departs, leaving the sporty M50i as the sole choice for V8 power.
Standard equipment on all models now includes wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility – and a one-year subscription to SiriusXM with 360L, which provides both streaming and satellite programming. The M50i gets remote start and ventilated front seats as standard.
Choosing Your BMW X5
The BMW X5 comes in three trim levels: 40i, 45e, and M50i. Pricing starts at $60,395 including destination for the base 40i and climbs to $83,795 for the M50i.
The 40i is powered by a turbocharged six-cylinder engine, while the 45e carries the same engine paired with an electric motor. A V8 is exclusive to the M50i.
|Engine Type||Horsepower||Torque||Fuel Economy (Combined)|
|3.0L Turbo 6-Cylinder||335 hp||331 lb-ft||23 mpg|
|3.0L Turbo 6-Cylinder Plug-In Hybrid||389 hp||443 lb-ft||50 MPGe|
|4.4L Twin-Turbo V8||523 hp||553 lb-ft||18 mpg|
All X5 models get an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and launch control.
The 40i comes standard with rear-wheel drive (sDrive, as BMW calls it), and BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system is available for $2,300. AWD is standard on the 45e and M50i.
The 45e brings 30 miles of all-electric range, according to the EPA, thanks to its 24-kWh lithium ion battery and electric motor. BMW says it'll take 4 to 5.3 hours to charge it fully on a Level 2 charger.
Passenger and Cargo Capacity
The X5 provides ample room for five passengers along with 33.9 cubic feet of cargo space. With rear seat folded, capacity expands to 72.3. The 45e's battery pack reduces cargo numbers by about one cubic foot, which is barely perceptible.
A two-person third row is available on the 40i only for $2,300. The bench is fine for short trips, but BMW's full-size X7 crossover does a far better job of accommodating seven passengers.
Every X5 carries a suite of safety technology that includes automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, and adaptive headlights with automatic high beams.
The Driving Assistance Professional Package ($1,700) provides a semi-automated driving experience with active features like adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist with side collision avoidance and automatic lane changing, front cross-traffic alert with evasion assist, and traffic jam assist. The Parking Assistant Package ($800) furnishes an automated parking system and a surround-view camera with a recording feature.
Buyers are treated to a 12.3-inch touchscreen, navigation, a 10-speaker audio system, HD radio, satellite radio, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The infotainment system also features a touchpad controller and two front USB ports.
Wireless device charging and wi-fi capability are standard on the M50i, and available on the 40i and 45e as part of the optional Convenience Package.
A 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound system is included in the Executive Package for the 40i and 45e. Every M50i gets this upgrade.
Exclusive to the M50i is the available Bowers & Wilkins Diamond 20-speaker sound system, priced at $3,400.
The 40i carries an impressive load of standard features, including a panoramic sunroof, heated 16-way power front seats, leatherette upholstery, wood interior trim, a hands-free trunk, 19-inch wheels, keyless entry, and LED headlights and taillights.
The $1,050 Convenience Package tacks on remote start, four-zone climate control, wireless device charging, and wi-fi hot spot capability. Those features also come in the $2,800 Premium Package, along with gesture control for the touchscreen, a head-up display, and the Harman Kardon system.
Aside from its plug-in hybrid powertrain and standard all-wheel drive, the 45e is equipped like the 40i. However, it does add an air suspension and 2.5-zone automatic climate control.
The only difference of note is the pricing of the main option packages, which run $250 cheaper on the 45e.
The V8 M50i carries substantially more standard equipment, including leather upholstery, ventilated front seats with 20-way power, four-zone automatic cliamte control, 20-inch wheels, and remote start.
The Premium Package for the M50i ($1,000) adds the head-up display and gesture control. The Dynamic Handling Package ($2,600) provides handling prowess to match the M50i's powerhouse engine. The package includes an adaptive M Sport suspension, active body roll stabilization, and four-wheel steering.
Rarely do we see a boost in power accompanied by a monster gain in efficiency, but that's exactly what the 2021 BMW X5 45e achieves. The $6,000 premium over the 40i is worth it in our view, especially for buyers shopping in this league.