TEST – Thanks to the facelift of the 5 Series, the plug-in hybrid version with a 4-cylinder engine is more fuel-efficient.
More flared grille painted in black with M Sport trim, tapered LED headlamps (optional laser) ensuring a sharper look, redesigned shields: the BMW 5 Series bends over to the mid-career upgrade with some success . This elegant roadster also takes the opportunity to refine certain interior details in the fields of ergonomics and the perceived quality of materials and assemblies. But the real evolution is hidden under the hood. The 530e plug-in hybrid version displays performance previously reserved for a 3-liter in-line six-cylinder engine.
The combined power delivers 292 hp, instead of 252 hp for the previous model, and torque of 420 Nm, by combining the 184 hp 2-liter turbo 4-cylinder petrol engine with a 109 hp electric motor installed near the automatic transmission. 8-speed and powered by a 12 kWh battery. The latter recharges to 100% in 6 hours on a domestic socket; 3 hours 36 minutes on a public terminal or a wallbox. With 4-wheel drive (+ € 2,650), the 530e claims an electric range varying from 47 to 55 km. In real life, we expect 40 km, but it all depends on the style of driving and the type of roads. On a purely urban route, it will be possible to exceed 50 km. If this road already complies with the next ban in the heart of cities to thermal vehicles, its main advantage is before tax. Its CO emissions approved at 36 g / km, or a consumption of 1.6 l / 100 km, allow it to escape the penalty. Companies are adding an exemption from TVS, a recovery of VAT on gasoline, a higher battery price depreciation cap and a free or half-price gray card, depending on the region.
In use, the pleasure is remarkable, the electric motor always intervening without response time to assist the 4-cylinder. We will add the 4-wheel steering option (+ € 1,300) which contributes to agility on small roads. The kilometers go by in total serenity and only the phases of energy recovery can generate jolts. A Save mode allows you to maintain your charge level or recharge while driving, depending on the parameters selected.
Driving in a plug-in hybrid requires some sacrifices, however. Due to the installation of the battery, the capacity of the gasoline tank loses 20 liters (46 l), which makes it necessary to stop more often on long journeys, and the trunk is reduced by 120 liters (410 liters ). To encourage customers to recharge their vehicle as often as possible, BMW has set up an incentive. This is how each kilometer traveled in electric is rewarded with points to be exchanged for free recharges. For the first time, the 530e is also available as a Touring station wagon (from € 62,150). Those who swear by the more melodious six-cylinder will be delighted to learn that the range also includes a 545e xDrive version (€ 71,850). The 109 hp electric motor is mated to the 286 hp 3-liter six-cylinder. The cumulative power reaches 394 horsepower.
Engines: 4 cylinders, turbo petrol, 1,998 cm3, 184 hp, 300 Nm + 1 electric motor 109 hp
Transmission: Integral, auto. 8 reports
Dimensions: L. 4.96, l. 1.83, h. 1.44 m
Weight: 1,910 kg (xDrive version: 1,970 kg)
Safe: 410 liters
Consumption: 1.6 l / 100 km
CO2 emissions: 36 g / km
Speed: 235 km / h
Price: € 59,550 (xDrive version: € 62,200)