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BMW X5 40e & amp; Mercedes GLE 500 e: 2 large hybrid SUVs in comparison

Hans-Dieter Seufert
BMW X5 40e & Mercedes GLE 500 e in comparison test
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D it sounds like that Difficult after the perfect deal: plug-in buyers do without two cylinders in the combustion engine and in return get a complete electric car for free. Of course, without compromising on range or performance, and so that you don't say no under any circumstances, the EU adds the standard consumption of a moped on top. As an experienced consumer, you will probably become suspicious.

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Two plug-in Hybrid in comparison test. Who is ahead?

Well, let's do the fact check on the BMW X5 40e and its Swabian soul mate, the Mercedes GLE 500 e. In contrast to the conventional 500 with V8, Mercedes uses a charged six-cylinder with 333 hp for the part-time electrician, which is supported by a 116 hp electric motor in the transmission housing. Together, the two boost each other to 442 hp and 650 Nm and thus on par with the eight-cylinder.

BMW with full battery in 6.8 seconds to 100 km

With the BMW, however, 40e stands for 245 four-cylinder hp and an electric motor also housed in the gearbox, which contributes a further 113 hp. BMW does not have an X5 40i in its range, but the hybrid outperforms the most powerful six-cylinder petrol in the 35i by 7 hp. Even if our test car just missed the factory specification for the standard sprint to 100 km /h (6.8 seconds), its power is still enough for a bustling temperament. At least if the battery is not completely empty. With a battery charge of just two percent, it takes 8.6 seconds to reach 100 km /h, at higher speeds the giant feels increasingly limp.

And the battery drainsamazingly fast. BMW specifies a range of 31 kilometers, but the test on our leisurely electric circuit with some inclines was over after 20 kilometers. The Mercedes even only traveled 17 kilometers, after all, its powerful three-liter V6 helps it to accelerate even with an empty battery. Real electric car feelings do not arise in the Benz either.

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Despite the huge battery in the trunk, the GLE only travels 17 kilometers.

BMW X5 more economical than the GLE

First suck the battery empty and then manually click on the combustion engine, but that is not the smartest solution - even if the rolling Kosmos experiment kits to play with Animate types of energy. In order to exhaust the savings potential, it is best to switch to 'Auto-E-Drive' (BMW) or 'Hybrid' (Mercedes) and leave the operating strategy to the computer brains, which put together the optimal drive mix depending on the route, inclines and traffic /p>

If, for example, the navigation system reveals that it is about to go downhill, it drains the battery on the incline. Or if the front sensor reports that we are driving into a slower car, the recuperation brake decelerates us to its speed early on. This works in a similarly inconspicuous and polished manner with both, which is why the desire for manual intervention disappears. In addition, the lowest consumption is achieved. However, they have nothing to do with the fabulous values ​​of the NEDC standard. According to the NEDC, both approve 3.3 l /100 km and come to 77 or 78 grams of CO2 /km, as the electrical energy is not taken into account.

But electricity also needs to be generated and paid for, which is why auto motor und sport has developed a driving cycle based on the average driving profile. The real values ​​are therefore 5.4 l plus 14.7 kWh /100 km for the BMW and 6.2 l plus 14.7 kWh for the Mercedes, which means over 200 grams of CO2 /km for both - with a leisurely driving style. A diesel does this with less effort.

Hans-Dieter Seufert
The BMW consumes 5.4 l plus 14.7 kWh /100 km. The Mercedes comes to 6.2 l plus 14.7 kWh /100 km.

Comfortable GLE, dynamic X5

After all the calculations, we now lean back and enjoy the driving experience of the two Luxury high seats. On bad roads it quickly becomes apparent that the Mercedes bounces more gently and reacts more sensitively to short transverse joints. The precise and shock-free steering underpins the somewhat more comfortable impression, as does the sonorous sound of the V6. However, the Mercedes does not like to be rushed. Even brisk country road bends make the tires of the 2.5-tonner whimper, and its ESP brakes it rigorously.

The bulky battery not only changes the balance, it also reduces the trunk volume by 210 liters. Doesn't sound too dramatic in view of the remaining 480 liters, but the juice dispenser had to put the floor so high that it becomes tight under the rear blind even for a soda crate. The GLE is a facelifted ML, for whose debut 2011 no electrification was planned.

The X5 presented in 2014, on the other hand, was intended for battery operation from the start, which is why its trunk is only due to the omission the tray differs from those of its brothers. It has also retained its strengths in other respects: it implements steering commands quickly, and it hurries through bends more neutrally and with less body roll. The fact that it wins the comfort chapter despite the firmer suspension is thanks to the somewhat more comfortable seats, but above all to the more modern infotainment system. The lower cost helps him to overall victory. Euphoria does not arise for either of the two: 40 to 50 kilometers of electric range should already be possible with plug-in hybrids.


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