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

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