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2020 BMW X5 and 530e: Definition of Luxury Hybrids

The German luxury automaker BMW is best recognised for its sports sedans and high-performance cars, but is also a serious player in the global business of hybrids. The company has been creating a full line up of electrified cars and SUVs for over a half decade and its 2020 X5 SUV and 530e PHEV mid-size sedan are competition for hybrids as well as pure electric SUVs and sedans.

2020 BMW

2020 BMW X5 is one of the best looking SUVs in its class with an aggressive front dominated by large one-piece active kidney grilles and typical intimidating looking BMWAdaptive LED headlights. From the side, the length of its hood really makes it look like a sporty SUV. The character line running along the flanks of the vehicle which passes below the front door handle but then Hoffmeister kink upward toward the rear going straight through the middle of the rear door handle is a neat touch added to the vehicle and is definitely a unique way of doing a character line. It works perfectly with the overall design of the car. The dual exhaust tailpipes have been given chrome finish and the 20-inch light alloy wheels give the X5 the luxurious yet aggressive SUV appearance.

The BMW X5’s build quality is excellent and has premium interior features like Vernasca design-perforated leather seats that comes in either coffee or cognac variants, Crafted Clarity glass application elements, Sensatec in the instrument panel and fine-wood trim ash grain brown-metallic high gloss touches.

The X5 models come with standard adaptive air suspension helping it drive remarkably well over most uneven surfaces. The vehicle also has fully electrically adjustable seats. The car is best for cruising and even though the front seats look quite sporty, they are comfort oriented. For rear passengers, there is ample room in all directions. Because of the low and unobtrusive transmission tunnel, even the person sitting in the middle of the rear seat won’t feel any sort of discomfort on longer journeys.

The BMW X5 has ample active and passive safety features including adaptive cruise control, reversing assistant, surround-view camera system that even has a 3D model of the car. The car is also geared with adaptive LED headlights with auto high beam, heated front arm rests, heated rear bench, voice commands and an electrically adjustable steering wheel. Since the X5 is a plug-in hybrid, it also gets some unique features such as a Hybrid model in place of the usual Comfort mode as well as a battery save function button that tells the car to charge the battery up to a specified level. The car has airbags for the driver and front passenger, head airbags for first and second seat row, side airbags for driver and passenger and knee airbags.

The X5 is powered by a combination of a six-cylinder in-line petrol engine and an electric motor which generates a total system output of 394 HP at 5000-6000rpm and combined torque of 600 Nm at 1500-3500 rpm, thanks to an electric motor located between the thermal unit and the gearbox which has a pure electric range up to 80km. Even though the car weighs 2.5 tons, the vehicle accelerates very well.

It has a keyless engine start feature along with driving experience switch from which the driver can switch between, Eco, Sport, Hybrid and Adaptive modes. Other features of BMW X5, which price ranges from Rs 41.59 million to Rs 43.99 million, include eDrive button, speed limiter, Anti-Lock Braking System, Dynamic Stability Control, Dynamic Traction Control, attentiveness assistant, and xDrive features like All Wheel Drive, Variable Torque Distribution and Hill Decent Control.

2020 BMW 530e PHEV

Insidethe 2020 BMW 530e, the interior is luxuriously laid out and the seat comfort is exceptional. It has a substantial 8.8-inch touchscreen, a sunroof, heated front sport seats, wood trim, a configurable digital instrument cluster, and 4-zone automatic climate control.

The car has a plug-in eDrive system, which combines BMW’s TwinPower Turbo 4-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor and a small lithium-ion battery pack mounted behind the rear seat. The petrol engine is said to give 185 HP and the electric motor adds 113 HP, providing a combined output of 252 HP. The 530e’s electric motor is placed upstream of the eight-speed automatic transmission meaning even gear ratios in all-electric mode, giving the hybrid sedan the feel of a conventional gas-powered BMW sport sedan.

Interaction between the engine and electric motor in 530e can be done by using the eDrive button on the BMW’s console, and there are several modes. In Auto eDrive mode, the sedan’s computers optimise fuel efficiency and power delivery depending on many data points including speed, road conditions and driving style. In Max eDrive mode, the car turns into an EV using electric power only, but if you press the throttle through a detent in its travel, the gas engine will turn on. Whereas, the Battery Control mode saves the battery charge for later and charges the batteries as you drive. BMW’s Driving Dynamics Control is also standard in 530e and allows the driver to choose among three modes: Comfort, Sport, and Eco Pro.

The car has the ability to be driven great distances without the need to stop for hours for charging the batteries because the gas tank can be filled up like in any other car. Charging the 530e is as easy as plugging in your laptop. The BMW’s 12-kWh lithium-ion battery pack can be charged in under five hours on a standard 110-volt wall socket and approximately three hours using a 220v charger.

The 530e, which is priced at Rs 29.99 million, weights about 1845 kg which is about 60 kg more than a conventionally powered 5 Series because of its hybrid system. Much of the additional weight is diverted in the rear of the car improving the balance and handling of the car, and has luggage capacity of 410 Ltrs.

The 18-inch tyres provide plenty of grip and comfortable ride and every safety system available on a standard 5 Series like run-flat tires, Parking Assistant Plus with surround-view camera system, Adaptive LED headlights is also offered on the 530e. This also includes Attentiveness assistant that will alert you to help avoid an accident, and have Cruise control with braking function.

*Laxmi Premium Motors, a subsidiary of the Laxmi Group, is the sole authorised importer and distributor for BMW cars in Nepal with a state of the art showroom in Tinkune, Kathmandu.

Dibesh Dangol is a business reporter for Business 360 covering markets. Before joining Business 360 in 2018, he worked at ECS Media covering events, entertainment, auto and gadgets for four and a half years. Dangol is also involved with Alpha Riding Gears and Made by Aama (MBA).

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