2016 BMW X5 eDrive

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$35,187–$54,055 Inventory Prices
(4.3) 7 reviews
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Road Test
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Key Specs

of the 2016 BMW X5 eDrive. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Seat comfort
  • Responsive transmission, as hybrids go
  • Handling
  • Cabin materials
  • Price after federal tax credit
  • Brake-pedal feel

The Bad

  • Turbulent ride quality
  • All-electric driving requires light acceleration
  • Price climbs fast with options
  • Awkward liftgate/tailgate combo
  • Lacks regular X5's optional third row
  • No standard backup camera

Notable Features of the 2016 BMW X5 eDrive

  • New plug-in hybrid version of X5
  • Estimated 14 miles of all-electric range
  • Conventional automatic transmission
  • Seats five
  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Standard 10.2-inch multimedia screen

2016 BMW X5 eDrive Road Test

Kelsey Mays

Verdict: New for 2016, the BMW X5 eDrive plug-in hybrid is a compelling choice for X5 shoppers, but those shoppers ought to drive the X5's competition, too.

Against the competition: The X5 plug-in hybrid boasts good performance and a handsome interior, but it faces strong competition, ranging from the opulent Volvo XC90 to several value-oriented Japanese alternatives.

Officially named the X5 xDrive40e (a mouthful), the plug-in hybrid version of the X5 is BMW's first plug-in SUV. BMW badges it under its eDrive moniker, and I'll refer to it as the X5 eDrive from here out. The five-seat SUV has standard all-wheel drive and slots in price between the six-cylinder xDrive35i and V-8 xDrive50i. (The X5 also comes in diesel and high-performance M versions.) Compare the eDrive with other X5s here.

Exterior & Styling
Except for a few different badges and a charging door on the driver's-side front fender, the X5 eDrive looks essentially the same as its non-hybrid siblings, right down to BMW's available xLine, Luxury Line and M Sport appearance packages. Nineteen-inch alloy wheels are standard; our test car had optional 20s.

How It Drives
The X5's EPA-estimated 14 miles of all-electric range comes only with modest acceleration, but the gas and electric motors combine for 308 horsepower, making for energetic passing power. It's also a linear experience, thanks to BMW's conventional eight-speed automatic transmission, which delivers traditional gea...

Verdict: New for 2016, the BMW X5 eDrive plug-in hybrid is a compelling choice for X5 shoppers, but those shoppers ought to drive the X5's competition, too.

Against the competition: The X5 plug-in hybrid boasts good performance and a handsome interior, but it faces strong competition, ranging from the opulent Volvo XC90 to several value-oriented Japanese alternatives.

Officially named the X5 xDrive40e (a mouthful), the plug-in hybrid version of the X5 is BMW's first plug-in SUV. BMW badges it under its eDrive moniker, and I'll refer to it as the X5 eDrive from here out. The five-seat SUV has standard all-wheel drive and slots in price between the six-cylinder xDrive35i and V-8 xDrive50i. (The X5 also comes in diesel and high-performance M versions.) Compare the eDrive with other X5s here.

Exterior & Styling
Except for a few different badges and a charging door on the driver's-side front fender, the X5 eDrive looks essentially the same as its non-hybrid siblings, right down to BMW's available xLine, Luxury Line and M Sport appearance packages. Nineteen-inch alloy wheels are standard; our test car had optional 20s.

How It Drives
The X5's EPA-estimated 14 miles of all-electric range comes only with modest acceleration, but the gas and electric motors combine for 308 horsepower, making for energetic passing power. It's also a linear experience, thanks to BMW's conventional eight-speed automatic transmission, which delivers traditional gearshifts versus the rubber-band sensation common among many other hybrids, which typically employ continuously variable automatic transmissions. The X5 revs smoothly, with fast upshifts and little kickdown delay, though it comes with noticeable accelerator lag off the line — an area where BMW is a repeat offender.

All-electric driving requires a gentle right foot. If you need significant acceleration, even a halfhearted jab on the gas immediately calls up the X5 eDrive's turbo four-cylinder. Editors agreed it's a seamless process, and it's probably for the best from a safety standpoint. Even in the SUV's selectable "Max eDrive" mode, which tries to maximize all-electric driving, the threshold for all-electric acceleration is modest. Put the pedal halfway down, and the engine will come on even with a full battery.

Higher speeds also sap the range: I began a section of steady-state highway cruising near Cars.com's Chicago offices with 9 miles of range, but even in the drivetrain's most-efficient mode, Eco Pro, it took just 6 miles to run the battery out.

Past that, the X5 eDrive behaves like a conventional hybrid, alternating between electric and gasoline power or a combination of both. The regenerative brakes have some artificial pedal feel, but as hybrid brakes go, they're acceptable. Put it all together and the SUV gets an EPA-estimated 24 mpg combined outside of its electric range. That's 20 percent (4 mpg) better than the six-cylinder X5 xDrive35i.

A four-wheel adaptive suspension with air springs over the rear axle is standard, but editors agreed the ride quality still seems problematic for a luxury SUV. Sudden changes in elevation produce lots of body motion, and broken pavement perturbs the eDrive's suspension in situations where rivals — the XC90 and Audi Q7, for example — keep their cool. Over anything short of minor bumps, the X5 feels jittery.

Martin O'Malley probably had more supporters for the presidency than there are X5 eDrive owners who will throw their SUVs around on curvy roads, but there's a handling payoff if you do. The eDrive's steering feels a touch numb on-center, but feedback improves a great deal through sweeping curves. BMW's various electronic systems work mightily to keep the 5,220-pound SUV in line, but the sum of the parts — plus our test car's terrific Pirelli Scorpion Verde all-season tires — corners well, with minimal body roll and precise directional control.

Note that the eDrive lacks three performance options available on other X5s: BMW's variable-ratio Active Steering, an M Sport suspension and BMW's full active suspension.

Interior
Indicative of the X5's relatively high starting price, cabin materials are both lush and uniform, with consistent finishes below arm and elbow level — where some of the X5's less-expensive Japanese competitors, well, cheap out. BMW offers a range of optional finishes, from black ceramic controls and two grades of leather seats (vinyl is standard) to leather-wrapped portions of the dashboard, center console and upper doors.

Both rows of seats have room to spare, though adults in the backseat may wish the bench sat an inch or so higher for better thigh support. A two-seat third row, optional in the non-hybrid X5, is prohibited by the eDrive's battery pack, which sits under the cargo floor.

Cargo & Storage
The X5's liftgate/tailgate combo ensures cargo doesn't fall out while you unload through the powered liftgate, but once you open both the liftgate and tailgate to access bigger items — a suitcase, for example — the tailgate makes it a farther reach to get them. Shorter drivers may deem the whole setup inferior to a simple liftgate.

With the battery pack under the floor, luggage volume is 34.2 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 72.5 cubic feet of maximum volume when they're folded. That's slightly less than a non-hybrid X5, which has 35.8 cubic feet and 76.7 cubic feet respectively, but it's competitive with other midsize luxury SUVs.

Console-area storage up front is meager, but large door pockets and a pullout cubby to the left of the steering wheel rescue the situation.

Ergonomics & Electronics
A 10.2-inch multimedia screen with HD radio, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, USB connectivity and steering-wheel audio controls is standard. BMW's familiar iDrive controller governs the action, though this unit — and similar knob-based systems from Mercedes-Benz and Audi — seems prehistoric compared with the XC90's iPad-like touch-screen. An optional backseat entertainment system mounts dual 9.2-inch screens on the front seatbacks. Above the base stereo, BMW offers two premium audio systems: one from Harman Kardon, and a second (and far pricier) stereo from Bang & Olufsen.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration are not available, however. Neither is AM radio, curiously. BMW says the electric motor in its eDrive vehicles interferes with AM radio signals, so the reception would be rotten. If you have a favorite station, make sure it streams online.

Safety
The X5 earned top scores in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's side and moderate-overlap frontal tests. The SUV hasn't been subjected to IIHS' roof-strength, seating or small-overlap frontal tests, however.

Go here to see a full list of standard safety features or here to see our Car Seat Check on the X5 eDrive. Safety options include blind spot and lane departure warnings, as well as two forward collision warning systems. Both systems employ automatic braking, but the more basic of the two — packaged with BMW's Active Driving Assistant package — earned a lower IIHS rating of advanced (IIHS rates collision warning systems as basic, advanced or superior). A pricier collision warning system that's packaged with adaptive cruise control, by contrast, earned a superior rating in IIHS tests thanks to more effective automatic braking at both low and high speeds.

A backup camera, standard in many cheaper SUVs, still is an option on the X5. Surround-view cameras are also optional.

Value in Its Class
With average transaction prices hovering around other European SUVs — think XC90, Audi Q7 and Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class — the X5 overall is pricey. Want less sticker shock? Check out Japanese competitors such as the Acura MDX, Infiniti QX60 and Lexus RX 350; all of them transact for many thousands less. This BMW, like its continental peers, is no value choice.

But versus other X5s, the eDrive makes a compelling case. With standard all-wheel drive, it starts around $63,000. That's about $5,000 more than a six-cylinder gasoline-only X5 with all-wheel drive, but the difference nearly vanishes after a federal tax credit of around $4,700 for qualified shoppers. Reap the full credit, and the eDrive makes abundant sense, especially since its standard adaptive suspension would set you back an extra $1,500 on the six-cylinder X5. Even with today's low gas prices, the eDrive is a compelling choice in the lineup — and a good hedge for when gas prices eventually go back up.

Send Kelsey an email  



2016 X5 eDrive Video

BMW's plug-in hybrid SUV can go around 14 miles on electric power alone and pairs a 245-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with an electric motor for a combined 308 hp.

Latest 2016 X5 eDrive Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.7)
Performance
(3.9)
Interior Design
(4.4)
Comfort
(4.6)
Reliability
(4.3)
Value For The Money
(3.9)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Great SUV

by ShirleyG from Monterey, CA on October 31, 2017

The right size SUV for my growing family. Very comfortable especially for a long drive and lots of room front and back. Has twin turbo, equipped with navigation and backup camera all features my hubby ... Read full review

(1.0)

most expensive piece of junk I've ever owned

by formerBMWlover from new Orleans on August 8, 2017

This car started having engine problems 2 years after I purchased it brand spanking new! Needs a 15000 engine Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2016 BMW X5 eDrive currently has 0 recalls

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2016 BMW X5 eDrive xDrive40e

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Child Seat Anchors (Latch)

Ease of Use
marginal

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    48 months / unlimited distance

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by BMW

Program Benefits

Comprehensive inspection by BMW technician, 24/7 Roadside Assistance, BMW Assist. Exceptional vehicles with exceptional coverage

  • Limited Warranty

    Unlimited Miles for 1-Year

    BMW Certified Pre-Owned: Covers you for unlimited miles for 1-year, after the expiration o f the 4-year / 50,000 mile New Vehicle/SAV Limited Warranty for a total of 5 years with unlimited miles. This includes up to 5 years and unlimited miles of BMW Roadside Assistance and BMW Assist (TM) on many late model BMW vehicles. Additional plans are available to extend your vehicle's coverage for up to a total of 6 years with unlimited miles. See your BMW Center for details.
  • Eligibility

    Under 5 years / 60,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a Comprehensive inspection.

    See inspection details.

Change Year or Vehicle

All Model Years for the BMW X5 eDrive

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The X5 eDrive received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*

Third-row access

N/A

Infant seat

B

Booster

(second row)

B

Booster

(third row)

N/A

Latch or Latch system

B

Forward-facing convertible

(third row)

N/A

Forward-facing convertible

(second row)

A

Rear-facing convertible

A
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker