Shocker! our Ukhozi FM petrolhead correspondent Sibonelo Myeni drives ’lektric — and likes it. Well, mostly.
NOTHING says I have arrived in the world of excess than an M-Sport spec BMW X5 with those 20-inch wheels.
That usually means the owner will also have to budget nicely for stops at the local petrol station; however, with the X5 40e that’s not necessarily the case … here’s why.
The X5 40e we had on test consumed 10,1l/100km during the test week, drove for about 100 km without consuming a single drop of fuel (that’s between charges) and on a full tank of petrol with full charge does 710 km before fill-up.
Best is the fact that in Jozi’s notorious traffic, I drove from Midrand to Pretoria and back to Midrand with little fuel used.
You see the X5 40e uses a 2,0-litre, four-cylinder TwinPower Turbo linked to a plug-in electric motor for a combined output of 230kW/450Nm (that’s as much as the 3,0 litre, six-cylinder turbo which averages 13-14l/100 km of economical driving).
When charged, the 40e sprints from rest to 100 km/h in seven seconds but on the open road, the 2,0-litre struggles to maintain its fuel-sipping target, especially when the batteries are depleted.
A fuel-cap-like opening in the front left fender is where you charge the batteries (two hours of a fast charge gives a 30 km range — about the average distance home for most people) but the challenge is, charging stations are not as common. You can charge at home overnight for a full charge (remember Eskom rates are lower at night).
The rest of the 40e looks similar to the X5s launched a couple of years ago, which means it doesn’t raise a lot of eyebrows when people see it. It does struggle against newer design competition, notably the Volvo XC90 and Audi Q7, but it manages to outdo the recently revised Mercedes-Benz GLE.
The inside is typical BMW with quality switchgear and a well laid out cabin. However, the seven-seat option is not available here due to the batteries stored underneath the slightly smaller boot.
Five people do get comfortable accommodation with our test unit’s optional Logic 7 Audio system, one of the best in the business. The panoramic glass sunroof is another worthy option to go for, but one would have expected the Xenon headlights to come standard.
The X5 40e comes standard with rear air suspension, which makes this model one of the most comfortable X5 models yet to test. Adaptive suspension allows a Sport mode that firms up the suspension for Porsche Cayenne-equalling handling dynamics aided by the lightweight 2.0-litre engine (XC90, Q7 and GLE won’t even get close).
Wind and tyre noise is noticeable by its absence, even on the 20-inch, M-Sport suspension test unit.
At R1,1 million, the X5 40e is certainly not cheap, but considering the technology you get, its dynamics, it’s worth a consideration … it’s just the X5 30d is equally good. — WR.
The X5 40e gave me 10 km/litre in open road and city traffic, using only battery and then the 2-litre turbo. The X5 30d does quite a bit better than this.
The main competitor for BMW’s X5 40e comes from the equally good X5 30d.