The latest plug-in hybrid BMW X5, the G05 BMW X5 xDrive45e, has finally been launched in Malaysia following today’s livestream debut. The outgoing F15 xDrive40e was a wildly popular model here – helping the X5 account for more than a quarter of all BMW X models sold in Malaysia last year – and this one seeks to extend the success story.

Continuing to benefit from import and excise duty incentives for electrified vehicles, the xDrive45e M Sport is priced at RM440,745 on-the-road without insurance and the sales and service tax (RM448,800 with SST). The actual recommended retail price of the vehicle is RM595,382, but energy efficient vehicle (EEV) incentives help bring it down to RM448,800, a reduction of RM146,582. Additional sales tax (SST) exemption lops off another RM8,055, resulting in the final figure above.

Comparing the like-for-like SST pricing, the car is RM58,000 more expensive than its predecessor, but it still represents a RM170,000 saving over the petrol-powered xDrive40i, which has since been discontinued.

Most of the price increase likely stems from the new powertrain. The xDrive45e jettisons the old N20 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine in favour of a B58 3.0 litre straight-six, here detuned slightly compared to the one in the xDrive40i. On its own, it makes 286 PS from 5,000 to 6,000 rpm and 450 Nm from 1,500 to 3,500 rpm – a deficit of 54 PS, but with the same amount of torque.

Helping to more than make up the difference is the electric motor, sandwiched between the engine and the ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox, as usual. It lends an additional 113 PS and 265 Nm, resulting in a total system output of 394 PS and a thumping 600 Nm. For those keeping score at home, this is exactly the same setup as the 740Le (745Le in other markets), although the “45e” part of the moniker has been retained here.

With an 81 PS and 150 Nm advantage over its predecessor, the all-wheel-drive xDrive45e sprints from zero to 100 km/h in 5.6 seconds (more than a second quicker) on its way to a top speed of 235 km/h. Fuel consumption, on the other hand, is rated at just 2.5 litres per 100 km/h on the NEDC combined cycle.

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The lithium-ion battery has also been uprated – at 24 kWh, its capacity is nearly triple that of the old car, so the pure electric range has risen commensurately to 77 km, up from just 30 km before. Charging times have also been increased, however, now sitting at six hours and 50 minutes with a BMW i Wallbox (with a 3.7 kW output) and 10 hours and 30 minutes using the supplied charger and a three-pin, 240-volt domestic socket. As is the case for all BMW plug-in hybrids, the xDrive45e uses a Type 2 connector for charging.

Another area affected by the battery is the boot, which is 150 litres smaller than its petrol sibling at 500 litres, although the 40:20:40-split rear seats can still be folded to increase cargo capacity to 1,750 litres. The battery intrusion also means that the xDrive45e misses out on the xDrive40i’s cool power-sliding cargo cover.

On to the standard equipment, which is identical to the xDrive40i save from a few additions and omissions. Starting from the outside, the car gets adaptive LED headlights with matrix high beam, LED fog lights, the M Sport package, M Sport brakes with blue callipers, 20-inch star-spoke Style 740 M two-tone alloy wheels and satin aluminium trim instead of the usual gloss black.

Also fitted is keyless entry with the new contactless locking and unlocking feature that allows you to unlock the car by approaching it, and lock it by walking away. The BMW Display Key is also included, as is the BMW Digital Key that allows selected Samsung smartphones to be used as the key.

Step inside and you’ll find Fineline Stripe glossy wood trim (instead of aluminium), black Vernasca leather upholstery, power-adjustable sports seats with driver’s side memory, four-zone climate control, a panoramic glass sunroof and a hands-free powered split tailgate.

Also fitted here is the range-topping BMW Live Cockpit Professional infotainment system, with twin 12.3-inch displays for instruments and infotainment as well as the Intelligent Personal Assistant voice control. You also get a 14-speaker, 464-watt Harman Kardon sound system, a Qi wireless smartphone charger and a Rear Seat Entertainment system with a Blu-ray player and twin 10.2-inch touchscreens.

One big upgrade concerns the suspension, with the xDrive45e receiving air suspension on both the front and rear axles. This is not only a step up on the xDrive40i’s adaptive dampers, but also an improvement over the outgoing xDrive40e’s air suspension setup, which was only fitted to the rear axle.

In terms of safety, the xDrive45e continues to be offered with the Driving Assistant package, which includes autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning and blind spot monitoring. There is still no adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, but the plug-in hybrid does get an upgraded Parking Assistant Plus package.

Aside from enabling the usual autonomous parking manoeuvres, this package also adds on a 360-degree camera system (instead of a simple reverse camera) and the Reversing Assistant that enables the car to recall the last 50 metres in reverse.

The X5 xDrive45e M Sport is available in four exterior colours – Phytonic Blue, Black Sapphire, Mineral White and Arctic Grey.

The X5 xDrive45e comes with a five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty, a five-year free service package and a two-year tyre warranty. It also gets the new eight-year/160,000 km plug-in hybrid battery warranty, which is a significant upgrade over the previous six-year/100,000 km warranty. Also available is a balloon financing plan from BMW Group Financial Services Malaysia, offering monthly instalments starting from RM5,028 with an 80% loan and a five-year tenure.

Additionally, a number of optional M Performance parts are available for the car, all at special introductory prices. These consist of carbon-fibre air inlets for the front bumper (RM1,646), carbon-fibre side mirror caps (RM1,934) and a carbon-fibre rear diffuser (RM6,608). Also on the options list are 20-inch star-spoke jet black matte 748M-20 wheels (RM26,247) as well as side decals and side skirt film in Frozen Black.