BMW X5 facelift introduces new look and more range for plug-in hybrid

BMW has given its X5 SUV a huge mid-life facelift, with the plug-in hybrid xDrive50e version revised with more power and an extended all-electric range.

All versions of the X5 are now electrified in some way, with the 3.0-litre six-cylinder xDrive30d diesel and the hot 4.4-litre V8 petrol M60i model making use of 48-volt mild hybrid technology. Both engines are mated to eight-speed automatic gearboxes, but the transmissions are now aided by an electric motor that can generate a 12bhp boost, enabling purely electric driving at very low speeds. 

But it’s in the xDrive50e that the biggest electrification strides are made. The plug-in hybrid version of the X5 still features a 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder petrol engine, but power increases slightly to 309bhp. The 25.7kWh battery is the same as before, but the electric motor it powers has been updated to 194bhp - almost twice as much as before. 

Combined with what BMW claims to be several tweaks to the motor’s efficiency, the car’s energy management systems and braking recuperation system, the xDrive50e can now cover up to 68 miles on electric power alone, with official CO2 from 18g/km and a fanciful 353.1mpg fuel economy. With maximum combined power of 483bhp with torque of 700Nm, 0-62mph is dispatched in 4.8 seconds, with a top speed of 155mph.

Revised interior includes BMW's new 'Curved Display' dashboard

And, alongside the drivetrain revisions, the X5 has been treated to a significant exterior redesign. The angular, more robust look is inspired by the sharp new lines seen on the new X1 SUV - available in fully-electric iX1 guise. 

The headlights are slimmer than before, with new arrow shaped running signatures. They sit either side of a redesigned front grille that’s available with an optional lighting package called Iconic Glow, illuminating the vertical elements at night.At the back, the new theme continues with a redesigned lower bumper echoing the new, angular look, as well as refreshed tail lights. 

Similarly, the interior receives a significant update with the adoption of BMW’s ‘Curved Display’ dashboard. This replaces the old dashboard with its separate central touchscreen and instrument panel with one curving display, incorporating a 14.9-inch central touchscreen display with a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel behind the steering wheel. With its introduction, BMW has removed some of the switchgear and incorporated it into the infotainment unit, such as the climate controls.

Sitting beneath the new infotainment and display technology is a revised centre console. The large, protruding gear selector has been replaced by a small toggle, which is found alongside the drive mode select buttons and settings for the air-suspension.

Prices for the new BMW X5 begin from £66,230 for the 48-volt mild-hybrid assisted xDrive30d diesel version, with the M60i V8 with the same mild-hybrid tech coming in from £87,210. The plug-in hybrid xDrive50e is available from £78,360. 

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