2018 BMW X5 iPerformance review
Our Rating

4/5

2018 BMW X5 iPerformance review

With BMW being one of the leading companies in terms of electrified mobility, the X5 iPerformance is a pillar of high-quality hybrid driving.

Introduction

The BMW X5 has been an important figure in the brand’s range since it was introduced back in 1999 and has helped spawn a fully-fledged SUV line-up for the German firm.

Now, as electrification becomes more important to the industry, the large SUV is getting an electrified setup in the form of a plug-in hybrid – called the X5 iPerformance.

Although other brands have revealed all-electric SUV options since it was released, the X5 iPerformance offers a high-end finish with a more environmentally friendly powertrain.

So will the large X5 suit the petrol-hybrid setup that’s been fitted to it and does it impress as much as the standard edition? We take a look…

2016 BMW X5 iPerformance hybrid SUV

Performance

The highlight of this model is the powertrain underneath, which is a combination of a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine and an electric motor that together produce 308bhp and 450Nm of torque.

The powertrain has been engineered superbly as it offers almost seamless transitions from petrol to electric power – and even with the petrol engine solely in control, the cabin is quiet and the car doesn’t struggle at all. If left in ‘auto’ mode, the car can choose which power is best depending on the conditions, speed and driver behaviour.

The all-electric power lasts for 19 miles, and if you use that for inner city, it suits that environment really well. The iPerformance powertrain combines to get the X5 from 0-60mph in 6.6 seconds and go on to a top speed of 130mph.

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2016 BMW X5 iPerformance hybrid SUV

Ride and Handling

Despite the alteration in power, this is still an X5 – so don’t expect this car to feel any less poised on the go. Although it is built for the open road and going on the less beaten track, urban driving suits this version well and you can fling it around town with little trouble.

Thanks to a well-balanced chassis, understeer is kept in check and body roll is also limited until you really throw it through a series of turns. With the comfort mode selected, bumps and ruts are soaked up with ease and make the X5 a very nice place to be. Don’t forget the standard four-wheel drive system, which adds more assuredness on slippery surfaces.

2016 BMW X5 iPerformance hybrid SUV

Interior and Equipment

As a large SUV, the X5 has plenty of space on offer to ensure that people can travel in comfort and bring all of their stuff along for the ride. The car is packaged so it includes 500 litres of rear storage, and the boot space can be extended to 1,720 litres when the back seats are folded down. The load floor is slightly higher compared to the standard model to accommodate the electrical drive system – but it doesn’t make much of a difference.

The interior finish is as you would expect from BMW. That means leather upholstery, soft touch plastics when used and metal surrounds and trim – making for a quality product.

The X5 iPerformance is also very well kitted out, as from the SE starting spec you get adaptive suspension, hybrid-specific functions, eDrive designation and driving modes, an electronic display, blue BMW i detailing and extra chrome detailing.

Other standard kit includes a sports multi-functional leather steering wheel, air conditioning, cruise control, Bluetooth, BMW’s iDrive infotainment system with satellite navigation, front and rear parking sensors and reversing assist camera.

2016 BMW X5 iPerformance hybrid SUV

Cost

Prices for the X5 start from £48,140, which places it well in the large premium SUV segment alongside the Audi Q7 and Mercedes GLE. In iPerformance guise, the X5 costs £55,810 from the SE trim level, with that and the M Sport spec also available.

With the electric power supplementing the petrol engine, running costs come down compared to other X5s, as it emits just 77g/km CO2 and has a combined mpg of 85.6.

2016 BMW X5 iPerformance hybrid SUV

Verdict

Although electric SUVs are on the way and could become very popular indeed, the need for hybrid SUVs is there and the X5 iPerformance is a worthy, top-level competitor. With all the equipment and quality of the normal X5, the electrified setup performs just as well and is cheaper to run. If you’re looking for a top-end SUV that is responsible too, then the X5 iPerformance can be a worthy option for you.

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