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To help members understand the latest automotive technology so they can purchase vehicles that best suit their needs, the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center (ARC) began testing and reviewing vehicles over a decade ago

For the 2022 edition, we include testing and ranking cars and light trucks with the latest technology, including having at least one advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) feature. In addition to vehicle evaluation, the guide covers a number of pertinent automotive topics in detail—for example, the latest advanced safety features, how to properly maintain your vehicle, and new vehicles coming to market in the next few years.

2021 BMW X5 xDrive45e

Vehicle Type: SUV/Minivan Hybrid
 overall score
Category Ranking: 6

Vehicle Price

Base Price: $65,400
Price as Tested: $81,695

Fuel Information

Fuel Type: Electricity/midgrade
Fuel Capacity (gal): 18.2
120V Charge Time: 2.3 miles per hour
240V Charge Time: 6 miles per hour
EPA City mpg19
EPA Highway mpg22
EPA Combined mpg: 20
EPA Combined MPGe: 42
EPA-Est. Electric Range (mi): 30

Advanced Safety Features

  • Adaptive Cruise Control [O]
  • Advanced Headlights [S]
  • Automatic Emergency Braking [S]
  • Blind-Spot Warning [S]
  • Driver Monitoring [S]
  • Forward-Collision Warning [S]
  • Lane-Departure Warning [S]
  • Lane-Keeping Assistance [O]
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Warning [S]
  • [S] Standard, [O] Optional

Overall Observations

The highly popular BMW X5 midsize luxury crossover has been traveling U.S. roads for more than 2 decades; the fourth generation debuted in 2019. In 2021, BMW brought back a plug-in hybrid variant, the xDrive45e, with an all-electric range of 30 miles. The 45e is powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 (282 hp) and an electric motor (111 hp), good for 389 hp total and 443 lb-ft of torque. This gives the 45e a 0 - 60 time of about 5.3 seconds - quick for a heavy SUV - and the brakes do a good job of bringing it to a stop. The X5’s exterior remains unchanged; the roomy cabin features headroom aplenty and comfortable, heated front and rear seats. BMW’s attractive digital instrument cluster and infotainment system are a big improvement over earlier iDrive systems. Our test vehicle featured a nice package of advanced safety features, including optional adaptive LED headlights with high-beam assist and trafficjam assist. The xDrive45e could be a compelling alternative to the standard X5, especially if you drive most of your daily miles on electricity. Additionally, a $7,500 federal tax credit drops the PHEV’s base price to more than $5,000 below that of the standard X5 xDrive40i.
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Strengths and Weaknesses

Strong Points

  • Plug-in hybrid powertrain
  • Plenty of advancedsafety features
  • Sporty, bold-lookingexterior design

Weak Points

  • Some cheap interiorplastic
  • Expensive, even thoughnot fully loaded
  • Lane-keeping system istoo aggressive

Vehicle Specifications

Model year tested: 2021
Number of passengers (F/R): 2/3
Curb weight (lbs): 5820.0
Exterior L / W / H (in): 194.3 / 78.9 / 68.7
Wheelbase (in): 117.1
Number of air bags: 7
Warranty (months/miles): 48/50,000
Tire manufacturer and model: Pirelli P-Zero
Front and rear tire size: 275/40 R21
Max towing capacity (lbs): 7200
Headlight type: LED
Transmission type: Hybrid drive
Drivetrain type: All wheel
Engine/motor: 3.0L Inline-6 turbo
Engine horsepower @ RPM: 282 @ 5000
Electric motor horsepower: 111
Combined system horsepower: 389

Test Data

Test Vehicle Scores

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