8/26/2019 | 2 MINUTE READ

2020 BMW 745e xDrive iPerformance

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Yes, it is a plug-in. But does that really matter?

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BMW 745e xDrive iPerformance

(Images: BMW)

The BMW 745e xDrive iPerformance has a starting MSRP of $95,550. The BWW 745e xDrive has an “e” following those numbers because in addition to its 3.0-liter inline six that generates 280 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque, there is a permanent magnet synchronous AC motor that produces 11 hp and 196 lb-ft of torque and a 12-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, all of which is to say that unlike the unadorned BMW 745, this is a hybrid. It is a plug-in hybrid.

One of the characteristics of plug-in hybrids (and it is also a characteristic on non-plug-ins, but to a lesser extent) is that they can travel on electricity sans gasoline for a certain range, although this is something that tends to be de-emphasized because said range isn’t exactly notable.

In the case of the BMW 745e, this electric-only range is 16 miles, given the right circumstances. That is, if your right foot is too heavy (and speaking of mass, know that the curb weight is 4,971 pounds), the 16 miles aren’t going to be achieved.

BMW 745e xDrive iPerformance

 

So here’s the thing: This is not a Tesla Model S that also has a plug but which can go 240 miles on a charge. This is a plug-in hybrid that has such an insignificant electric range that the whole exercise of plugging it in would be, well, essentially pointless.

Somehow I think that someone who has the wherewithal to plunk down nearly $100K on a car (let’s face it: everyone wants options) isn’t going to be all that concerned with miles per gallon (which is said to be 19 city/26 highway/22 combined, certainly not bad for a car that is 207.4 inches long, 74.9 inches wide and 58.2 inches high with the aforementioned avoirdupois), and is unlikely to spend a whole lot—if any time—dealing with the charging regime, given that there is also a gas tank that has to be attended to.

(Yes, yes, yes, there are some cities, such as London, where it is useful to have an electric-only capability, but in places such as New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, Miami, the electric-only range of the 745e is going to get you only so far, and as we’ve established, that isn’t very far.)

BMW 745e xDrive iPerformance

 

HOWEVER (and, yes, this is a big however), the interior of the BMW 745e is absolutely exquisite. The driver’s seat is arguably the most comfortable chair I’ve ever sat in—and that includes furniture that isn’t on four wheels. The leather is what the word “sumptuous” was coined to describe.

There are comparatively few knobs, with the functionality for many actions being initiated via the large knurled dial that allows choices to be made for the infotainment functions.

I did find adjusting the center HVAC vents on the IP a bit tricky in that while trying to make the air blow toward or away from me there is a capacitive screen surface directly below each of the two vents that adjusts the temperature. I discovered this because I had hoped for cool air and oddly felt warm coming through the louvers.

The BMW 740i xDrive—same engine, no hybrid appendages- has a starting MSRP of $89,450 which is a bit lower than the 745e. But it is probably rather transparent when it comes to the lease price. So when it comes to the dropping-it-off-at-the-country-club scenario, there is something to be said, perhaps, for going with the plug-in.

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