- Plug-in hybrid xDrive40e cheaper for cities
- Entry-level diesel most efficient elsewhere
- X5 M running costs are unsurprisingly high
A large SUV such as the BMW X5 is never going to have low running costs – although the official figures for the xDrive40e plug-in hybrid in SE trim would lead you to think otherwise.
BMW quotes an average of 85.6mpg, but you’d have to drive predominantly in a city to maximise the EV mode to get close to that. Spend the majority of the time on motorways and you’ll be doing well to realise half that figure.
Of the more conventional options, the rear-wheel drive sDrive25d makes the most sense, particularly in SE spec with a claimed average of 53.3mpg – a ‘real-world’ mid-40s figure is more likely.
The one to avoid? With a quoted figure of 25.4mpg, you might need a private oil refinery to keep the X5 M brimmed with super unleaded petrol.
None will offer particularly cheap insurance, though the top-performing xDrive50i or M50d models will attract the highest premium, plus consumables such as tyres will be on the pricey side.
Estimated fuel cost per year
|Fuel type||Pence per litre||Estimated cost per year *|
|Unleaded||128p||£2,007 - £2,328 *|
|Diesel||131p||£1,124 - £1,654 *|
* The estimated fuel cost figure is based on an annual mileage of 10,000 miles and is a guide to how much this model will cost in fuel each year. It's calculated using the model's average MPG (calculated from both town centre and motorway driving) and the average fuel price from around the country. Actual fuel costs will vary based on driving style and road conditions.
Ongoing running costs
|Servicing period||Variable servicing schedule but with optional all-in service packages|
|Warranty||Three years unlimited mileage|
|Road tax (12 months)||
£0 - £555
See tax rates for all versions
37 - 50
How much is it to insure?
Vehicle excise duty (VED) varies according to the CO2 emissions and the fuel type of the vehicle. For cars registered before 01 March 2001 it is based on engine size. For cars registered on or after 01 March 2001 the VED or road tax is based on the car's CO2 emissions.
- Emissions of just 77g/km of CO2 for the plug-in hybrid
- Diesels as low as 139g/km of CO2 if you choose wisely
- Most polluting of the range is the X5 M at 258g/km
Lowest emissions for the BMW X5 range come courtesy of the plug-in hybrid xDrive40e in SE guise, rated at just 77g/km of CO2.
If you need to run a diesel for motorway drive, try and stick to the sDrive25d, again in SE trim, with its 139g/km CO2 rating.
Most polluting in the range? No surprises for guessing it’s the X5 M, pumping out 258g/km of CO2.
Highest and lowest CO2 emissions
|Engine||CO2 emissions||Road tax (12 months)|
|Petrol/PlugIn Elec Hybrid||77 g/km (Min)||£0 - £440|
|4.4 Petrol||258 g/km (Max)||£450 - £555|
- Dismal recall recording according to DVSA
- Mechanical components used across the range
- Interior feels luxurious but robust enough for children?
A quick look at the DVSA website shows a surprisingly high number of recalls for the BMW X5, raising doubts about its reliability.
There are 18 recalls listed, although many of them are for the same thing on a number of different chassis numbers. Most centre around faulty child locks and seatbelt issues, but all should have been remedied by now. Contact a BMW dealer to check if you’re unsure when looking at a used X5.
At least the engines are shared throughout the rest of the BMW range, while the interior is well made and seems hardy enough – though the more expensive leather lined options may not be as resistant to children as the plastics found in cheaper rivals.
Car checklist problem points
|Body||No problems reported.|
|Engine / gearbox||No problems reported.|
|Other||No problems reported.|