BMW 530e iPerformance Review Finds The New Plug-In A Contender

JUL 20 2017 BY MARK KANE 11

The BMW 530e iPerformance, which is the most important plug-in premier this year for the BMW brand, was pretty well received by Autocar during its recent test drive review.

BMW 530e iPerformance

With a 4 out of 5 rating, the 530e promises to become a solid offering thanks to its strong performance and able handling.  Like in the US, Autocar finds the 530e to be a pretty decent value proposition compared to its higher-end diesel siblings.

The 530e starts in UK from £44,765, still more than the 530d SE, but only by £770; and some £7,405 more than the entry-level 520d Efficient Dynamics model.

However, we should note it gets a lower 9% BIK rating, so owners will also save on taxes.

The first plug-in hybrid 5-series is also huge improvement compared to the conventional ActiveHybrid 5, which didn’t sell all that well (less than 1% according to Autocar).

In case of the 530e iPerformance, BMW hopes to move around 5,000 annually.

“This hybrid 5 Series is a far better proposition than the previous offering. It’s reasonably priced, functions fusslessly, saves money in both energy and tax terms and provides the same polished array of qualities as the more conventional versions of the latest, excellent, 5 Series. Expect to see many more hybrid 5 Series than previously, especially given the pressure on diesel models.”

After the test drive there are mostly pros:

  • all-electric operation right from the start, until high performance torque is demanded or high speeds
  • seamless engage of the internal combustion engine
  • a 22-mile/35 km range is realistic (forget about official 29-mile/47 km number) – the US EPA scale the 530e is rated at 16 miles/26km
  • near total silence when in operation, and quiet even with ICE fired up
  • the Auto eDrive selects the optimum driving mode taking into account terrain advice supplied by the sat-nav
  • 0-62 mph/100 kmh in 6.2 seconds
  • handling

On the downside:

  • “only the steering lets it down, the weight at the rim feeling curiously mushy, although it points the car accurately”

BMW 530e iPerformance quick specs (see full spec)

  • 9.2 kWh battery
  • 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: Autocar

Categories: BMW, Test Drives

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11 Comments on "BMW 530e iPerformance Review Finds The New Plug-In A Contender"

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83 kW/113 hp motor, 9.2 kWh battery means its going to drive like a Pinto on electricity.

People aren’t even going to bother plugging this vehicle in most of the time since it is so anemic. It’s a waste of resources. At 30 kWh or so for this size of vehicle, we can then talk about driving on electric. But then, PHEVs are always going to be terrible at this size and class.

A “Pinto” is all needed in city/subdivision/ parking and traffic; BMW sees the electric motor as supplemental power. I have test driven a BMW plug-in car and it is phenomenal in both slow/traffic and highway. Before rendering opinions try one! Makes sense?

Well, it can’t be any worse than the Ford Fusion Energi. , which only has 68 KW available in EV mode. I drove one of those a few days ago at en EV meetup in town. The performance was not nearly as bad as thought it might be. In fact, from 0-30, it was pretty peppy. So for driving around in city traffic it was more than enough power. However, above 30, and especially at highway speeds it did feel like driving a Pinto (as far as power). However, considering the amount of EV range it has (and the BMW in question here) I would imagine most highway driving would involve the ICE. So the EV drive does fine for what it was meant for, city driving.

But unlike the Ford, with a 0-60 time in the 8 second range, a 530e can reach 0-60 times in the high 5 second range. And the 530e has the same 2.0L size engine as the Fusion. BMW is definitely a sportier, faster car. And no matter how quick a Tesla is, the 530e will cruise much longer at 140mph than the Tesla would on the autobahn.

If you’re going to round off on 0-60 times, do it with both cars. 7.6 in the Fusion, 6.2 in the 530e. Fusion is way more efficient at 42MPG combined vs 28MPG. But then if you’re driving 140MPH on the autobahn, you don’t care about efficiency, in which case the 530e is a ridiculous choice for you.

While it represents progress, I agree that its anemic.

BTW, Autocar has always been such a German OEM and especially BMWfanboy that it is not surprising that they can’t see the forest for the trees.

I have a feeling the Model 3 (because it is adagger aimed at BMW’s biggest revenue source in the 3 series), that it will sufficiently shake up BMW that they will hopefully get VERY serious about building compelling PEVs.

It’s the £44k price including ULEV grant?

19 mile range is pretty pathetic but I guess it is better than nothing. These cars are clearly designed for various EU and European city rules, not the US market which would optimize on the 16KWH battery size.

I’m sure loyalists will love the upgrade, from stop/start.

I think this car might save the city environment -when their owners will charge them every time and use that charge in the city- but I’m not shure people that buy these big heavy cars care much about the environment anyways. They care more about tax benefits. These cars are meant for long distances, where the fuel consumpion will have a much bigger negative impact than the positive impact of that bit of driving on electricity. We need to get rid of those heavy, big automobiles i.m.o.

Futhermore, if you want to maximise electrical operation, you have to hook it up every time you park. Then the available charging points will be cluttered with PHEV’s that recharge in a few hours, but will sit there all day, thus preventing others to use the charging points. Public charging points are still not abundant, at least in my neighborhood, so I am not so happy about low electric range PHEV’s from a public charging perspective.

EPA has the 530e rated at 16 EV miles NOT 19 and the 530e x-drive at 15 EV miles.