2021 BMW X5 test drives: xDrive45e, xDrive40, M50i

OVERKILL

$100 Site Donor 2021
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
48,051
Location
Ontario, Canada
Drove up to the GTA to get some seat time in some X5's.

We drove, in order:
1. BMW X5 xDrive45e PHEV
2. BMW X5 xDrive40 (electric assist, like the GLE Mercedes)
3. BMW X5 M50i - 523HP of V8 excitement with an intoxicating exhaust note but with a much lower cost of entry than the X5M

So, kinda hit on both ends of the spectrum here, though to truly have done so, it would have been the X5M. I REALLY liked the hybrid, it drove completely normally, minus the engine noise. Had lots of get-up and go, and felt the exact same (interior is identical) to the regular X5.

My wife, absolutely hated the silence. Was not keen, which is why we ended up driving the other two.

Some pics:
Hybrid (white was what was ready to test drive, the one I priced was black of course):
UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_13b5.jpg


M50i:
UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_13b7.jpg

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_13b4.jpg

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_13b6.jpg


Pros:
- Leather, leather, LEATHER!. BMW comes with standard leather, unlike the GLE 450. That's a big thing when you are looking at vehicles that sticker at $94,000+
- Nav in the cluster/separate cluster. I must say, since I experienced the MMI in the Audi, I became a fan of the cluster that uses the GPS/Nav as the backdrop, BMW does this, it looks great, though not QUITE as snazzy as Audi IMHO.
- iDrive - I really like the interface, I think it's a bit more intuitive, even than the updated Mercedes UI we had in the GLE
- Hybrid! - This powertrain was excellent. You got the full-sized turbo i6 (no dinky little hybrid-specific engine) for long range with the 100% electric for around town
- Standard HUD - All the options packages appear to include the HUD, so every one we looked at had it, unlike with MB. The HUD was also less busy, just showing speed and the limit, like Audi
- Ride. Phenomenal.
- Brakes: Very good, the ones on the M50i were even better. The regen braking on the hybrid was also VERY good, not intrusive, just the right amount of drag-down
- Interior: Quite nice, more upscale than the X3 we are presently driving, which is expected.
- Power: It's odd, even the base 3.0i felt stronger than the AMG53, which doesn't make sense (it's short 100HP) but this may be trans related.

Cons:
- The split tailgate is kind of weird and seems to be of limited benefit

Yeah, the cons list is REALLY short.

I think with the way things are heading (electrification) that for somebody who might get freaked out about range anxiety, the PHEV is a really great fit. You can eliminate gas usage in town, while still taking those long trips and you aren't giving up power by going that route. It also drives like a normal vehicle, which is a huge plus.
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
122
Location
Ontario, Canada
We have an X5 with the V8. It's been good. Very nice level of power and quite reasonable on gas. Love the exhaust sounds. It has all the comfort with the ability to race against sports cars lol. Although it is tight under the hood and the hot v generates LOTS of heat. The split tailgate seems odd but after you have it, it completely makes sense, we also have an X6 ( no split tailgate) which isn't as useful. The X5 is my wife's favorite vehicle by far for any longish trips.

With Bmw the split is at the 5 series. 5 series and up is a completely different vehicle than below 5 series. Everything is of a much higher quality, subframe, suspension components, interior even the plastics are nicer.

We also have a BMW hybrid. Funny my wife also hates the lack of noise in electric mode. It's been a great car so far. I can get the L/ 100 down into the 5s on the right trip.
 
Joined
Apr 3, 2017
Messages
2,800
Location
Ontario, Canada
6690B5AF-8F42-457F-BA04-CB7563077F97.jpeg
So, for those of us who own twin-turbo V8 BMWs. Care to elaborate?
We do more of those motors than everything else combined. A lot more. Our engine guy has done so many, he can have the entire power train out on the stand in under 2 hours.

Here are three of them all getting replaced at the same time. Either seized or “super knock” faults. One of them had 25 km on it, customer did not even make it home the first time.
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2005
Messages
6,169
Location
the canyons
We do more of those motors than everything else combined. A lot more. Our engine guy has done so many, he can have the entire power train out on the stand in under 2 hours.

Here are three of them all getting replaced at the same time. Either seized or “super knock” faults. One of them had 25 km on it, customer did not even make it home the first time.

I find this strange to hear. Our last X6 M was trouble free, and was frequently driven in a ahem.. 'spirited' fashion. It was sold to make way for the X6 M Competition. It has also been trouble free, but only has 10k or so miles. The new one runs great.

Seriously, I'm a former tech myself, and still have friends and former colleagues in the business. A few of whom work at BMW dealers, some who own or work at independent shops specializing in European brands. I haven't heard of any inordinate complaints from any of them about the S63.

Any problems I've heard about from my friends still in the business, usually stem from maintenance neglect. Going well over OCI's, etc.
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2021
Messages
201
3. BMW X5 M50i - 523HP of V8 excitement with an intoxicating exhaust note but with a much lower cost of entry than the X5M
Option #3 please! Hands down nicer than the Mercs you looked at!

A good friend of mine bought a very lightly used (less than 15K miles) X5 3.0. I actually like the split tailgate. BMW makes great cars. Too bad many don't maintain them properly and then blame it on the car. At one point I owned a 1987 BMW 528i (inline six) with a 5-speed manual. I loved that car. For the longest time I wanted an M3 manual, and later on an M5. Neither ever happened.

This looks like the modern incarnation of the old M5. Well, it comes with a pushrod 6.2 GDI V8, but still:

2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing

2022-cadillac-ct5-v-blackwing1.jpeg


2022-cadillac-ct5-v-blackwing2.jpeg


2022-cadillac-ct5-v-blackwing3.jpeg


2022-cadillac-ct5-v-blackwing4.jpeg
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2013
Messages
2,150
Location
Tinton Falls NJ
My wife and I have a 2019 X5 xDrive40i (B58 engine, M-Sport package, etc., etc.). That's the model you want. The acceleration is swift, we get up to 25MPG on the highway, and current versions of the B58 benefit from a once-over by Toyota before that engine platform was used in the Supra. We drove a Velar, GLE, and Q7 before settling on the X5, and it wasn't even close, the X5 felt more special to be inside, had a superior infotainment system, and was way more responsive to drive.

Btw, you will learn quickly the split tailgate is awesome. Keeps loose groceries etc. from falling out, protects the bumper during loading, and is a great place to sit if you're out at an event tailgating.

And if you have time to spare, even if the dealer has the vehicle you want in stock, order a new one from the factory and take advantage of BMW's Performance Center Delivery. It's no cost to you other than a plane ticket (or gas) to get to Spartanburg and they take extraordinary care of you. PCD remains the best consumer experience I've had to date.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 4, 2006
Messages
1,031
Location
GA
We do more of those motors than everything else combined. A lot more. Our engine guy has done so many, he can have the entire power train out on the stand in under 2 hours.

Here are three of them all getting replaced at the same time. Either seized or “super knock” faults. One of them had 25 km on it, customer did not even make it home the first time.
But otherwise all good if you only have it under factory warranty?
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2012
Messages
14,763
Location
Kendall, FL
Option #3 please! Hands down nicer than the Mercs you looked at!

A good friend of mine bought a very lightly used (less than 15K miles) X5 3.0. I actually like the split tailgate. BMW makes great cars. Too bad many don't maintain them properly and then blame it on the car. At one point I owned a 1987 BMW 528i (inline six) with a 5-speed manual. I loved that car. For the longest time I wanted an M3 manual, and later on an M5. Neither ever happened.

This looks like the modern incarnation of the old M5. Well, it comes with a pushrod 6.2 GDI V8, but still:

2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing

View attachment 66744

View attachment 66745

View attachment 66746

View attachment 66747


Man, the Blackwings are gorgeous.
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2021
Messages
201
We do more of those motors than everything else combined. A lot more. Our engine guy has done so many, he can have the entire power train out on the stand in under 2 hours.

Here are three of them all getting replaced at the same time. Either seized or “super knock” faults. One of them had 25 km on it, customer did not even make it home the first time.
Could you please elaborate on what exactly is wrong with them? BMW used to make some of the best gasoline engines.
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2006
Messages
25,855
Location
Dallas,Tx USA
Option #3 please! Hands down nicer than the Mercs you looked at!

A good friend of mine bought a very lightly used (less than 15K miles) X5 3.0. I actually like the split tailgate. BMW makes great cars. Too bad many don't maintain them properly and then blame it on the car. At one point I owned a 1987 BMW 528i (inline six) with a 5-speed manual. I loved that car. For the longest time I wanted an M3 manual, and later on an M5. Neither ever happened.

This looks like the modern incarnation of the old M5. Well, it comes with a pushrod 6.2 GDI V8, but still:

2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing

View attachment 66744

View attachment 66745

View attachment 66746

View attachment 66747
Is that a proper standard transmission I spy?:D
 
Top