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BMW 530e M-Sport review

Date: 27 July 2017   |   Author: Debbie Wood

Standard equipment: Heated seats, leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors, 10.2ininfotainment screen with sat-nav, LED headlights, 18in alloys, adaptive suspension

BMW and Mini combined have one of the biggest plug-in hybrid ranges of any car manufacturer, and from now on - as with the new 5 Series - whenever a new car is launched a hybrid option will be made available.

The 330e has already proved successful with fleets since it joined the range in February of last year and BMW is expecting similar success for the other company car favourite in its line-up; the 5 Series Saloon.

Living with electric

Like the 3 Series, little is lost in terms of driver engagement compared with the excellent standard car; in fact, you'll frequently need to remind yourself that you're driving a plug-in hybrid - only the bespoke digital dials and eDrive button by the gear lever give it away.

Powering the 530e is an 184hp 2.0-litre petrol engine combined with an 83kW electric motor. Headline figures include CO2 emissions from 46g/km, an average fuel economy figure of 141.2mpg (to be taken with a pinch of salt) and a 0-62mph time of just over six seconds.

There are three driving modes to choose from - Auto eDrive, Max eDrive and Battery Control. The latter allows the driver to set a limit on how much of the battery they would like to save so it can be used later in the journey when it'll be more efficient; for example, when driving in the city or in stop/start traffic.

530e Charging

Select Max eDrive for pure EV driving up to 87mph, while the Auto eDrive (the car's default setting) seamlessly switches between petrol and electric power depending on how hard the driver is on the throttle and the speed the car is travelling.

Officially, this 5 Series can travel up to 29 miles on electric power alone and charging will take up to three hours using a fitted wallbox or public fast charger.

Regenerative braking is on hand to add a little extra range to the battery and we didn't find it intrusive either, while in Auto eDrive the car proved to be an excellent motorway cruiser, just like its standard equivalent.

Apart from those early morning silent starts that the neighbours will thank you for, the 530e drives very similar to the standard 5 Series; the steering is direct, the handling neat and the ride, albeit a little firm in M Sport trim, is comfortable over longer distances too. There's also plenty of power and instant torque available from the battery to make the car feel quick when overtaking or gathering speed on the slip road.

530e Rear

You'll feel a little extra weight in the corners thanks to the battery and overall the 530e doesn't feel quite as agile as the standard saloon, but it's a small compromise for the huge benefit-in-kind (BIK) savings that this car offers.

Our test car in the M Sport spec will cost a 20% taxpayer £72 a month, a huge difference compared with the popular 520d in the same trim, which costs £158 a month.

Residual values for the plug-in 5 Series are around 8% down on the 520d. However, because of its low running costs, our test car costs 69.7p per mile - less than the 76.4p for the same spec 520d - while also bettering its closest rival, the Mercedes-Benz E350e, despite it having a slightly higher residual value than the BMW.

The same but different

As we've already mentioned, the 530e doesn't look much different inside the cabin to the regular 5 series. No bad thing by any stretch as the cabin is comfortable and spacious with a high quality finish throughout.

A couple of additional badges, a blue tint to the grille and the presence of an 'extra' filler cap, are the only real noticeable differences on the outside.

The biggest compromise comes in boot space, with the plug-in down 120 litres to 410 litres compared with the standard car. Also, if you're holding out for a plug-in 5 Series Touring, you could be waiting a while as there are no current plans to introduce one to the range.

530e Main 2

Standard equipment is good. The 530e is available in the same SE and M-Sport trims and our top-level test car gets a variety of kit including heated seats, leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors, a 10.2in infotainment screen with sat-nav, LED headlights, 18in alloys and an adaptive suspension.

Like the 330e it follows, the 530e builds an excellent case for itself as an executive company car. For those lower-mileage drivers who only do rare long distance motorway travel, the plug-in version of the 5 Series makes a great deal of sense - just make sure the battery is utilised properly to enjoy all the benefits this excellent car brings.

BMW 530e M-Sport

P11D Price: £48,010
On sale: April 2017
Residual value: 36.4%
Depreciation: £30,560
Fuel: £2,215
Service, maintenance & repair: £3,260
Cost per mile: 85.0p
Fuel consumption: 141mpg
CO2 (BIK Band): 46g/km (9%)
BIK 20/40% per month: £72/£144
Boot space: 410 litres
Engine size/power: 1998cc + 83kW electric motor/255hp combined

Verdict


9/10
  • Low BIK tax costs
  • Great to drive
  • Interior refinement
  • Spacious and practical
  • Smaller boot to standard car
  • Alittle heavy in the corners

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