As the trend for bringing electric power and hybrid practicality continues apace, it is perhaps no surprise to see BMW entering the electric 4x4 market with the xDrive40e. Up to now, electric and hybrid power has been largely confined to small hatchbacks and certain saloon cars, so this move is something of a change in direction. It does however make a certain amount of sense given the consistent popularity of cars of this type.
Here at Big Motoring World we have taken a look at the xDrive40e recently, here's how it shapes up.
Given the on board hybrid technology, we thought that the engine in the xDrive40e was the ideal place to start our round-up and, my, is it a remarkable one; certainly, it is not what you might expect from a vehicle of this sort. The engine is four cyclinder and 2.0 litres, that generates 242bhp by itself and is then backed up by an electric generator that creates an additional 110bhp. The combined effect of which propels the xDrive40e from 0-62mph in a smidgen under 7 seconds and on to a top speed of 130mph.
You can run the car purely on the batteries, though this does limit the top speed to just 75mph and reduces the effective range. This is by no means terminal news. You might want to make use of electric power for small journeys around the city centre, whilst powering up the engine for the longer, motorway and A road drives.
The inside of the xDrive40e is a nice place to be and it comes generously specced by BMW. Get into one and you can expect to find sat nav, cruise control and a DAB radio waiting for you. There is also BMW's eDrive system there to provide you with up to the minute traffic updates.
How does it drive
It drives as well as you would expect it to. The X series BMWs have been rightly famed for giving all of the advantages that you would expect from the 4x4 configuration, off road ability and high driving position etc, without compromising on road performance. The same is true here with the xDrive40e, which gives a comfortable ride on road and still performs well when you head off the beaten path.
Keep an eye out for the xDrive40e, they are going to be popular!