New BMW i5 2023 review: the 5 Series gets electric power

The new all-electric BMW i5 boasts a long range and outstanding cruising comfort

  • 4.0 out of 5

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    For now, just two electric i5s are offered in addition to a 520i mild-hybrid petrol and a pair of plug-in hybrids. The eDrive40, as tested here, has 335bhp and 400Nm of torque, but at 2,205kg, this isn’t a light car. The 0-62mph dash takes a middling 6.0 seconds and while it feels suitably brisk off the line, acceleration tails off noticeably at the top end.

    Range is solid, and while we didn’t see class-leading efficiency on our fast test route, we suspect you’d get comfortably north of 300 miles driven on a mixture of urban, motorway and rural roads. A B-mode is accessed via a toggle of the gearlever, and ramps up the regenerative braking to a strong, but not aggressive, level. It’s easy to modulate, but won’t offer one-pedal driving as in the cheaper iX3. BMW claims up to 356 miles is possible from an entry-level i5, but spec differences can hack almost 20 per cent from that figure. 

    If all this sounds appealing, and you’ve got the means to run an i5 as a company car, a higher-rate tax payer will fork out just £592 per year in Benefit in Kind (BiK), rising to £889 in 2025/26. The M Sport Pro and M60i version cost a little more, but the difference is almost negligible.

    All cars get the Veganza trim, adaptive LED lights and a Harman Kardon stereo, among other goodies. Base cars come on 19-inch wheels, while our test car rode on optional (£1,000) 20s. Real leather is £2,100, and a panoramic roof will set you back £1,600. Various packs bundle items together, but as pictured, our car retailed for a fraction over £92,000.

    Model: BMW i5 eDrive40 M Sport
    Price: £74,105
    Powertrain: 81.2kWh battery, 1x e-motor
    Power/torque: 335bhp/400Nm
    Transmission: Single-speed auto, rear-wheel drive
    0-62mph: 6.0 seconds
    Top speed: 119mph
    Range/charging: 356 miles/205kW, 10-80% in 30 mins
    On sale: Now

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