The BMW X5 and Volvo XC90 are perennial rivals in the premium large plug-in hybrid SUV segment in Malaysia. The new generation G05 X5 xDrive45e takes over sales duty from the popular F15 xDrive40e model that was launched in 2016, going up against the facelifted and much improved XC90 T8 Twin Engine Inscription Plus.

Both cars are locally-assembled, with the X5 priced at RM440,745, and the top XC90 model going for RM391,150. That’s a difference of about RM50k, and keep in mind that our review sample was equipped with RM43k worth of optional M Performance parts.

Starting with the X5, it is now powered by an electrified B58 3.0 litre turbocharged inline-six petrol engine that puts out 394 hp and 600 Nm. That’s 81 PS and 150 Nm more than the F15 xDrive40e model with the N20 2.0 litre engine, by the way. The newer X5 will do the century sprint in 5.6 seconds and will hit a top speed of 235 km/h. Average fuel consumption is rated at 2.5 litres per 100 km/h (NEDC cycle).

Meanwhile, the XC90 T8 Twin Engine is slightly more powerful despite soldiering on with the same twincharged 2.0 litre engine. Together with an electric motor, the car cranks out 407 hp and 640 Nm of torque, numbers which also help it do the century sprint in 5.6 seconds. The X5 has the edge when it comes to pure electric range, though, offering up to 77 km thanks to a larger 24 kWh battery pack compared to the XC90’s 11.6 kWh unit.

If you’re planning on buying one of these two SUVs, be sure to check out our comparison review. In this head-to-head episode, we covered their performance, real world fuel economy, driving dynamics, comfort, and overall value and appeal. Which would you pick, and why? Let us know, below.

GALLERY: 2020 G05 BMW xDrive45e M Sport with M Performance parts
GALLERY: 2020 Volvo XC90 T8 Inscription Plus