High performance SUVs are a niche in the family hauler segment, but those that also offer plug-in hybrid efficiency find themselves in an even more vanishingly small subset vehicles. The 2017 BMW X5 40e iPerformance is something of an eco-terrorist, a two-ton electrified conundrum that does its best to convince you it’s on Team Gaia all while barely being able to conceal its hardcore Jones for sweet black crude.
Still, after spending a week together, I was for the most part taken in by the X5’s charms. Is its plug-in drivetrain largely superfluous given its bulk and mission statement? Yes. Did the PHEV aspect of the SUV at any point impede my enjoyment of the vehicle? Not at all, and that’s perhaps the most salient take-away from BMW’s dalliance with putting a modest battery in its extroverted people mover.
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