We must interject at the start of this article: BMW is not exclusively offering the new 5 Series Touring (estate) as a PHEV model. In adherence to industry-wide established corporate media standards, the headline is entirely false—a fabrication of the highest order. Nevertheless, we were eagerly anticipating the launch of the new 5 Series estate, and it is indeed true that it will be offered with a PHEV powertrain in addition to a pure EV powertrain. PHEVs are neither efficient nor aligned with sustainability initiatives, and having tested BMW’s PHEV powertrain, we found it to be poorly executed, resulting in an inconsistent driving experience.
Indeed, the entire BMW 5 Series represents an engineering compromise. In a bid to cut costs, BMW opted to utilize a single platform to accommodate both a pure electric powertrain and a traditional piston-powered engine. This decision complicates the engineering process and results in inefficiency, which is evident in the performance of both powertrains in the 5 Series.
Further compromises arise from the decision to incorporate two differing powertrain philosophies on one platform, impacting the aesthetics. The new 5 Series appears bigger, bulkier, and almost blocky in design, resulting in an awkward and somewhat odd appearance from certain angles. While the exterior design isn’t a disaster, the design language lacks harmony.
Anyway, enough pontificating. In the UK, BMW will exclusively offer the new 5 Series in PHEV and EV model trims, while sales of mild-hybrid petrol and diesel models will continue for other international markets. At a later date, BMW UK plans to introduce the mild-hybrid 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder powertrain. However, the release schedule for the UK has not yet been confirmed.
There isn’t much to discuss the interior, as it’s largely a carryover from the saloon, retaining much of the standard equipment, technology, optional extras, and exterior colour choices. Of course, the most notable difference lies in the improved rear boot access and usability.
The new BMW 5 Series Touring have a luggage compartment volume that can be expanded from 570 to up to 1,700 litres. Automatic tailgate operation, and remote unlocking of the 40 : 20 : 40 split rear seat backrest from the luggage compartment is standard.
The entry-level rear-wheel drive 530e Touring combines a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor, delivering a total output of 295bhp and 331lb ft of torque. The 19.4kWh battery offers an electric vehicle (EV) range of up to 60 miles. Prices will start from around £65K.
The entry-level i5 is driven by a single-motor, rear-wheel-drive unit that produces 335bhp and 317lb ft of torque. With this configuration, it achieves a 0-62mph time of 6.1 seconds and boasts an electronically limited top speed of 120mph. The flagship twin-electric motor i5 M60 xDrive offers a total system output of 529bhp and 606 lb-ft of torque. Its electronically limited top speed is 143mph.
The pure electric variants are equipped with an 81.2kWh battery pack, boasting claimed ranges of 300-348 miles. However, for top-performance versions, the range is reduced to around 250 miles. The i5 range begins at £69,950 with the i5 eDrive40 and from £99k for the top performance i5 M60 xDrive.