2018 BMW 530e Test Drive Review

1 month ago by Mark Kane 20

BMW 530e iPerformance

The new plug-in hybrid BMW 530e iPerformance is just now entering the market, and here we have the first drive review (out of Germany) from BMWBLOG.

BMW 530e iPerformance Interior

With a 9.2 kWh battery it’s mostly considered a short-range plug-in, but the all-electric range (50 km/31 miles in theory, and some 30km/19 miles of real world/EPA driving) is enough to cover most commuting.

BMWBLOG found that the 530e iPerformance offers such smooth transitions between several driving modes that you don’t even realize it’s a hybrid.

The test drive included the German Alps and on Autobahn:

“While heading up a big mountain in the Alps – with tight switch backs – the gasoline engine kicked in helping add power to make the climb smooth and effortless. Once we reached the top of the mountain, we selected MAX eDrive and the engine shut off. During the entire trip back down the mountain, the 530e captured energy via brake regeneration and by the time we reached the bottom of the mountain, our battery was nearly full and our fuel consumption was showing a mere 0.8 L/100km.

The next part of the route took us on the Autobahn where we entered in MAX eDrive, this didn’t last long because once we sailed past 85 mph, the engine kicked on and kept on accelerating”

Overall it’s a tempting model, especially as the cost in U.S. is just $200 more than the conventional 530i; so why not choose the plug?

Another strong aspect of the 530e is access to all the features (standard and optional),which are common for 5-series lineup, including optional all-wheel drive capability.

Check out the full (and extensive) review by BMWBlog here.

BMW 530e iPerformance – arriving now!

BMW 530e iPerformance

BMW 530e iPerformance quick specs (see full spec)

  • 9.2 kWh battery
  • range of up to 650 kilometres (404 miles) in real-world driving and is capable of covering distances of up to 50 kilometres (31 miles) in all-electric mode. Think ~30km/19 miles real world/EPA.
  • 0–100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.2 seconds
  • 235 km/h (146 mph) top speed and all-electric top speed of 140 km/h (87 mph)
  • electric motor (83 kW/113 hp and 250 Nm) combined with 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine (135 kW/184 hp and 290 Nm) and 8-speed transmission for total system output of 185 kW/252 hp and 420 Nm/310 lb-ft)
  • Rear-wheel drive (RWD) via the standard eight-speed Steptronic transmission
  • can be fully charged in less than five hours from a standard domestic power socket and in under three hours if it is hooked up to a BMW i Wallbox (3.7 kW)
  • 410 litres of boot capacity

source: BMWBLOG

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22 responses to "2018 BMW 530e Test Drive Review"

  1. Michael Will says:

    Looks awesome. Does it’s electric only drive give the same kind of immediate torque advantage over legacy gas cars like the i3 that leaves them behind at every light when they are still revving up while the i3 took off ?

    1. DJ says:

      In looking at the weight and the electric motor I doubt it.

      I was driving behind an i3 yesterday on a windy and hilly road in my Volt. Damn, that little thing is quick. I was wondering how it’s handling that well with those tiny tires but it can somehow!

      1. BenG says:

        The i3 is a really cool little car. I think it’d be improved by stretching it 6 inches and putting regular rear doors on it. The extra length would also enable a bigger battery and more storage.

        I guess I’ll never be an i3 owner because of the price and worries about the cost of maintaining it once it’s out of warranty, but I do think it’s cool.

      2. Warren says:

        The i3 is actually a blast to drive on a windy road. I didn’t realize how different the BOLT would be before our car show last weekend.

        Had my black 2017 i3 at the car show last weekend. Parked next to another owner’s i8. Interestingly enough, a 6’+, 400lb man sat in my car, it was a fairly tight fit, but doable. I asked him to try and sit in that white BOLT parked across from me. Seat all the way back and down, steering column up and in. He could not get in the car, period. He told me the i3 was definitely roomier, beyond a doubt.

        Then I had an opportunity to do some spirited driving in the RED BOLT, with one of the marketing girls. Torque steer and wheel spin was terrible even at half acceleration. The i3 can do full throttle 6.5 second 0-60 mph acceleration runs without even a hint of wheel spin, or embarrassing chirping noises. And that is with both hands on the wheel, straight ahead driving. The BOLT would even be worse on a windy road where the i3 would be calm and composed, and fun to drive.


        As bad as the Bolt behaved compared to my i3, it still is at the top of the list for my wife to drive, just because she has to carry 5 sometimes while shuttling kids to school.

        I also drove the Fusion Energi again. Still impressed by the 40mpg+ economy, smooth, quiet drive, roomy interior and great value. Just wish it did more than 20 miles AER.

        1. Warren says:

          The BOLT and VOLT available for test drives last weekend

    2. John says:

      I test drove the 530e xdrive yesterday. I was excited to see if it would have the same zip as the i3. Nope. The electric only mode is slow, like a Nissan leaf. But with the gas pitching in it was plenty fast.

  2. randomhuman says:

    Now BMW should offer a fully electric version…

  3. CVVH says:

    What a boring car. What, are we stuck in the 80’s sedan styles?

    1. WARREN says:

      Not quite, perhaps the nicely rounded Hyundai and Mazda designs would suit you better?

    2. DJ says:

      Were you even around in the 80s? It’s sedans looked nothing like this…

      1. John in AA says:

        Apparently they left their mojo in the eighties.

      2. CVVH says:

        I left the 80’s behind so long ago, maybe I’ve blocked the horror of it out my mind. Granted, it has a little more sculpting, but it’s still a boring looking sedan, IMO.

  4. Chris S says:

    Test drove it yesterday. Love it. Really agile in the city but also long range Autobahn proof, but I doubt it will get much praises here. BMW is preaching to the unconverted and they totally nailed it. This car will do well even in markets with underdeveloped charging infrastructure and without incentives. Problem for BMW will be what those people buy next. They need to step up their BEV game.

    1. Rich says:

      At only $200 more to get the PHEV model, it’s the first decent thing I’ve heard out of BMW in a while. This was a pleasant surprise. They need to double the range, but I’m sure this will come in time.

  5. Ct200h says:

    BMW nailed the powertrain transitions and smoothness on the 5 series and the X5e . If you can plug in frequently and take lots of short trips you can stretch a tank a long way. Anyone would be happy with the performance. A larger battery in 2018 , maybe 14 kWh would really help. And set up for a full EV.
    BMW can do full EV , I believe they are on the right track and will have a competive EV by 2019.

  6. menorman says:

    If the premium over the regular 530i is only $200, then they might as well ditch the non-e variant completely…

    1. Dan Hue says:

      It’s a lot more efficient than the regular 530i, and that has value to some people (like me).

    2. Warren says:

      Can you imagine if they just put the regular 530i engine in it with around 60HP more?? Same exact size engine, and within a couple MPG of the detuned 184HP version. Although there are aftermarket tunes that will fix this problem instantly. I have a feeling BMW intentionally doesn’t want this model to cannibalize the higher end models. With the normal 248 HP engine and electric assist, this might put out more HP than the higher price 540i

      1. Intrepid says:

        I felt the same way about the 330e, both the cars have the same BMW B48 engine with 2.0 liter displacement and twin-scroll turbos, but are intentially detuned to apparently improve efficiency. I find this ridiculous because when the previous activehybrid 3 was out, it had 335 horsepower and a solid 5 sec 0-60. The activehybrid just had a sticker price closer to the normal 335i as not to cannabilize sales.

        Ventura tuning shows a 330e with a simple plug-and-play tune putting down more torque than a new 340i and the same 0-60 despite the extra weight. I prefer to drive entirely electrically and don’t mind the limited power from the electric motor alone, but when I use gas I want the full performance the hybrid drivetrain is capable of.

  7. pjwood1 says:

    52 thousand, for 9.2 KWh? This doesn’t setup well for Model 3. I think even BMW’s 3 cylinder could function great with maybe 40KWh, or a few more watts of storage. The extended-range path, without a need for as much infrastructure, might be an “out” for BMW. Not enough space for batteries is a problem they seem to be wishing away. Bean counters must love how they count KWh in tenths.

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