2014 BMW X5

2014 BMW X5

Episode 3336
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

The BMW X5 arrived for the 2000 model year; a time when rival European brands were bringing high dollar sport utes to an American market that couldn’t buy up them fast enough. While the X5 has proven very popular with more than 1.3-million sold, competition grows more intense. Plus many ute buyers are downsizing to save on fuel costs. So let’s see if an all-new X5 factors in all the changes.  

The mid-size 2014 BMW X5 is actually the 3rd generation of BMW’s original Sports Activity Vehicle. And while BMW has expanded into smaller segments with both the X3 and X1, it’s still the X5 that makes up the bulk of their utility sales in the U.S. 

Perhaps the biggest news is that a rear-wheel-drive only sDrive X5 is now available for those that have no need for all-wheel-drive. The new-gen looks are in a word, evolutionary. But tweaks such as new headlights with flattened LED trim rings, and the increasing amount of aero elements will let those “in the know”, know you’ve upgraded.

While wheelbase carries over at 115.5 inches, overall length grows by 2-inches to 193.2. It loses a little in both overall height and ride height, giving this X5 a more hunkered down look. But like the guy at the gym with the cut-off sleeves, the very high mounted fog lamps and traditional twin kidney grilles try a little too hard to look cool. 

Thick body lines are still present along the sides, only now they emanate from a new front fender vent. All-in-all, not a bad looking redesign, though some of our staff did feel it appears more mini-van-ish than before. We’re all fans of the dual tailgate setup, as it makes loading heavy and bulky items easier.

While off-road credentials are probably not a high priority, the full-time intelligent all-wheel-drive system uses lots of electronic wizardry to be very capable. And should do just fine if the pending zombie apocalypse does arrive, or just on the snowy roads that we encountered here in the Mid-Atlantic this past winter. 

Regardless of driving mission, you’ll find the X5 rides more like a BMW sedan than any ute. The incredibly smooth shifts of the standard 8-speed automatic transmission, and one of the most unobtrusive start/stop systems we’ve sampled, add positively to the experience. 

And as you would expect, it’s a great handling experience as well. Though as with most BMW’s, we mourn the lack of steering feel.  But it’s hard to argue with the results, as steering is still impressively quick. 

Driven aggressively, the X5 begins to feel more like an SUV, but still one that handles better than most. And this 6-banger xDrive35i certainly hooks up and launches like few SUVs. It doesn’t feel overly powerful, just a civilized whoosh of acceleration taking you to 60 in 6.2-seconds. Power continues to pour on smoothly as you work your way down the track, with firm, quick shifts coming right at red line until you clear the ¼-mile in 14.8-seconds at 95 miles-per-hour. 

Powertrain options are as before, gasoline and diesel fueled inline-6s and a 4.4–liter V8 xDrive50i. The V8 is updated while the diesel in the xDrive35d is all new. But, in our test xDrive35i, the 3.0-liter gas I6 soldiers on, pumping out 300–horsepower and 300 lb-ft. of torque with the help of BMW’s TwinPower turbo. 

Dropping the hood and opening the doors, the highlight of the interior is easily the huge 10-inch hi-res. screen indiscreetly plopped down on the dash. It’s controlled by iDrive of course, and we think BMW has finally struck a good balance with logically placed traditional controls; making tapping into iDrive central only necessary for more detailed requests. A new touchpad write-on feature helps as well. 

Seats, front and rear are firm, supportive, but comfortable. Back seat room is adequate but far from generous. Still, the soft close doors are a nice touch. 

Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 18-City, 27-Highway, and 21-Combined. We averaged 20.2 miles-per-gallon of Premium. That Energy Impact Score is so-so at 15.7-barrels of annual oil use with 6.9 tons of CO2 emissions. 

Yea, we know fuel economy could be better, but we just love the power and effortless feel of the gas I6. But, go the xDrive35d diesel and you gain 20% on MPGs and lose little else. And, the diesel is only $1,500 more than our tester, and volume leader xDrive35i which starts at $56,025.

The 2014 BMW X5 is indeed a sweet ride. When it comes to all out luxury, we still prefer a Range Rover, but the X5 actually appeals to a different buyer. One that needs an SUV, but really wants a BMW sport sedan. And, that will keep the X5 a major market factor for years to come.


  • Engine: 3.0-liter
  • Horsepower: 300
  • Torque: 300 lb-ft.
  • 0-60 mph: 6.2 seconds
  • 1/4 mile: 14.8 seconds @ 95 mph
  • EPA: 18 mpg city/ 27 mpg highway
  • Energy Impact: 15.7-barrels of oil/yr
  • CO2 Emissions: 6.9 tons/yr
2024 PHEV Roundup 1

2024 PHEV Roundup

You Don’t Have To Go Full EV To Live The EV Lifestyle

Episode 4338
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

You’ve heard us say many times that PHEVs– plug-in hybrid electrics– rather than BEVs– pure battery electrics– are a sound choice for many folks thinking about owning an electric vehicle. Well, buyers do seem to have gotten the message, as while recent sales of all-electric BEVs are down, PHEVs are suddenly skyrocketing. So, we thought we’d give you a close look at the range of PHEVs that are available today.

An EV when you want it, a fuel-efficient hybrid when you don’t; that’s the reason that PHEVs are so appealing, and why we feel they’re the perfect starter vehicle for this time of transition from internal combustion to all-electric. So, buckle up for an alphabetical rundown of all the mainstream PHEVs that are currently available.

BMW has many plug-in options, starting around $46,000 with the 2.0-liter I4-based 330e sedan and its 22 miles of EV range. There’s also a 750e sedan with more than 30 miles of EV range, and an xDrive50e X5 utility with closer to 40 miles of EV range, plus a high-performance XM with 738 horsepower. For partner Mini, a small 1.5-liter I4-based setup is available in the Cooper SE Countryman ALL4 utility with 18 miles of EV range, going for around $42,000.

Ford has been in the plug-in game for some time, and currently gets a great 37 miles of EV range out of their 2.5-liter I4-based setup which is available in both the Escape for about $36,000, and in its upscale Lincoln Corsair counterpart which goes for around $55,000.

Hyundai offers a pair of plug-in SUVs, the Santa Fe priced at around $43,000 and the Tucson which goes for about $40,000; both use a 1.6-liter I4 turbo engine. It shares with their corporate cousins over at Kia. The Sorento, which starts around $51,000, and the Sportage, beginning at $40,000, along with Kia’s Niro at $35,000. All get more than 30 miles of EV Range.

For the high-rollers, Land Rover has a six-cylinder P550e plug-in option for both the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport with 51 miles of range, starting around $119,000.

Mazda is very new to the plug-in game, with their inline-six based setup just recently becoming available in the new CX-70 and CX-90 SUVs, both with 26 miles of electric-only range, starting at $41,000.

Mercedes-Benz has offered quite a few PHEVs over the years, though currently their lineup only consists of the $70,000 GLE450e SUV with a 2.0-liter I4 and 48 miles of EV range; and a $128,000 3.0-liter I6 S580e sedan with 46 miles of range. Though a high-performance 671 horsepower AMG C 63 S E Performance will be blasting onto the scene soon.

We’re very familiar with this second-gen Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, having had both generations as part of our long-term fleet. The current Outlander PHEV goes for $41,000 and gets 38 miles of EV range from its 2.4-liter I4-based setup.

Stellantis has a wide array of PHEVs available across their many brands, starting with the 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar-packing Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. It arrived way back in 2017 and currently delivers 32 miles of EV range for $40,000.

More recently, they’ve added the technology to the Jeep brand with 4Xe versions of the Jeep Wrangler for $52,000 and the Grand Cherokee at $61,000. And their most recent setup has just arrived in the compact crossover segment with 33 miles of battery in both the $45,000 Alfa Romeo Tonale and the $42,000 Dodge Hornet R/T.

All of this started with the Toyota Prius of course, which you can now get a Prime version of for $34,000 with a 2.0-liter I4 and 40 miles of range. The RAV4 Prime goes for $45,000 getting 42 miles. Plus, there’s a trio of Lexus PHEV’s rolling with bigger batteries on board, the NX450h+, the RX450h+, and the TX550h+, starting around $58,000.

Volkswagen PHEVs stick to their premium brands, starting with the $58,000 2.0-liter I4-based Audi Q5 55TFSI e quattro SUV with 22 miles of battery range.

Bentley adds electric-motor assistance to a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 for both the $206,000 Bentayga SUV, which gets 18 miles of EV range, and the $217,000 Flying Spur sedan, which stretches it to 21 miles. That same setup is available at Porsche in E-hybrid versions of both the $93,000 Cayenne SUV and $110,000 Panamera sedan, getting up to 19 miles on battery power.

Finally, Volvo has had a plug-in version of their turbocharged 2.0-liter I4 since the T8 arrived with the XC90 back in 2016. Now with a Recharge label, an updated version is available in just about every vehicle in their lineup; the S60 and S90 sedans, XC60 and XC90 SUVS, and yes even in the V60 wagon, starting around $53,000 with up to 40 EV miles.

So, there you have it, the Bs-to-Vs of PHEVs. They really are an easy way to live the EV lifestyle today, without going all the way.