The 2021 BMW X5 xDrive45e—a big battery gives this hybrid a useful range

It’s been a while since we spent time with BMW’s plug-in hybrid X5. Since then, the German automaker replaced the X5 with an all-new model called the X5 xDrive45e. The brand has returned to its iconic inline six-cylinder engine configuration under the hood and has doubled the traction battery in capacity, usefully boosting the SUV’s electric-only range.

Styling-wise, the X5 xDrive45e is similar to its non-hybrid sibling. It’s a big vehicle that looks particularly tall on the road. I think it lacks the handsomeness of the original X5, but the Internet already has enough takes on BMW styling and doesn’t need another one from me.

On the inside, all the materials you sit on or touch feel high-quality, and the driver’s seat has good forward and rear visibility. However, I felt a little like I was sitting on the car (in an overstuffed armchair) rather than in it. Ahead of the driver is a thick-rimmed multifunction steering wheel and a 12.3-inch digital main instrument display.

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