2021 BMW X5 xDrive45e vs. 2020 Tesla Model Y

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The X5 xDrive45e’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Model Y doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The X5 xDrive45e has a standard PostCrash iBrake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Model Y doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the X5 xDrive45e’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Model Y doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The X5 xDrive45e offers an optional Surround View to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Model Y only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

To help make backing safer, the X5 xDrive45e’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Model Y doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The X5 xDrive45e’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Model Y doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The X5 xDrive45e has standard BMW Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Model Y doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the X5 xDrive45e and the Model Y have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rearview cameras.

The BMW X5 xDrive45e weighs 1253 to 1305 pounds more than the Tesla Model Y. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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The X5 xDrive45e’s corrosion warranty is 8 years and unlimited miles longer than the Model Y’s (12/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X5 xDrive45e for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Tesla doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Model Y.

There are almost 3 times as many BMW dealers as there are Tesla dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the X5 xDrive45e’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2020 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Tesla vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 18th in initial quality. With 74 more problems per 100 vehicles, Tesla is ranked 34th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Tesla vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 6 places higher in reliability than Tesla.

Engine

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The X5 xDrive45e’s 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder hybrid produces 5 more horsepower (389 vs. 384) and 67 lbs.-ft. more torque (443 vs. 376) than the Model Y Long Range AWD’s standard electric motors.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The X5 xDrive45e’s maximum EPA estimated driving range on a full tank of fuel and a full charge is 430.4 miles, after which it can be refueled at any gas station in minutes. The Model Y’s range is only 330 miles, after which the minimum recharge time is 8 hours and 30 minutes for only a 45% charge at a specially configured quick charge station not available in most areas.

Brakes and Stopping

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In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The X5 xDrive45e has a standard Brake Assistant to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The Model Y doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the X5 xDrive45e has larger standard tires than the Model Y (265/50R19 vs. 235/45R18). The X5 xDrive45e’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Model Y (F:275/40R21 & R:315/35R21 vs. 255/35R21).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X5 xDrive45e has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Model Y.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the X5 xDrive45e can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Model Y doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

The X5 xDrive45e offers an optional space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Model Y; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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The front and rear suspension of the X5 xDrive45e uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the Model Y, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The X5 xDrive45e has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Model Y’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The X5 xDrive45e has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The X5 xDrive45e’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The Model Y doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X5 xDrive45e’s wheelbase is 3.3 inches longer than on the Model Y (117.1 inches vs. 113.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the X5 xDrive45e is 1.5 inches wider in the front and 2.1 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Model Y.

For greater off-road capability the X5 xDrive45e has a 1.7 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Model Y (8.3 vs. 6.6 inches), allowing the X5 xDrive45e to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

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The X5 xDrive45e has 3.6 inches more front shoulder room and 4.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Model Y.

Cargo Capacity

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Pressing a switch automatically lowers the X5 xDrive45e’s optional second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Model Y doesn’t offer automatic folding second row seats.

The X5 xDrive45e’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the tailgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The Model Y’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the X5 xDrive45e’s tailgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Model Y doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Towing

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The X5 xDrive45e’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Model Y’s (7200 vs. 0 pounds).

Servicing Ease

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A Condition-Based Service Display is standard on the X5 xDrive45e to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes and vehicle inspection based on actual driving conditions. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Tesla doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the Model Y.

Ergonomics

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The X5 xDrive45e offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Model Y doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the windows are left open on the X5 xDrive45e the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Model Y can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the X5 xDrive45e has a standard rear wiper. The Model Y doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the X5 xDrive45e has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Model Y doesn’t offer cornering lights. The X5 xDrive45e also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The X5 xDrive45e’s standard side window demisters help clear frost or condensation from the side windows in the winter. The Model Y doesn’t even offer side window demisters, so the driver may have to wipe the windows from the outside to gain side vision.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the X5 xDrive45e has standard extendable sun visors. The Model Y doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the X5 xDrive45e to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Model Y doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

The X5 xDrive45e’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Model Y’s power mirror controls are embedded in the infotainment system, seriously distracting drivers who have to adjust them while driving.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the X5 xDrive45e keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The Model Y doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the X5 xDrive45e’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Model Y doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The X5 xDrive45e offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Model Y.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the BMW X5 xDrive45e offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Model Y doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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