BMW i5 eDrive40: The Electrified 5

BMW i5 eDrive40: The Electrified 5

Joel Foo
Joel Foo
10 Mar 2024

What we like:
pros
Decent range
pros
Good balance between sporty handling and a comfortable ride
pros
Luxurious and well put together interior
What we dislike:
cons
Steering is a tad light
cons
Bigger than you expect, especially when looking for a parking lot

BMW i5 eDrive40: The Electrified 5

The electrification of the model line-ups of the luxury German marques is in full swing and especially so for BMW. The electric version of the latest G60 5 Series BMW sedan comes in the form of the i5 eDrive40 on our shores. In my opinion, it continues the successes of the BMW ‘i’ range of electric-powered vehicles.

The i5 is the 7th model in BMW Group Asia’s line up of electric cars, and it is the 6th ‘i’ model to be offered here in Singapore. Similar to the iX3, i7 and iX1, it is hard to tell between the electric and ICE-powered versions of the 5 Series sedan from afar.

Whilst some may call this a conservative move by BMW for both models to share a single chassis, I think it is an excellent strategy in easing the supposed barrier to adopting BEVs. Not to mention, buyers lose out on none of the excellent traits that make the new G60 5 Series a comfortable cruiser.

The i5 is of course adorned with the signature blue accents that signal its eco-friendly nature. With a prominently illuminated grille up front, it is an unmistakable design and has great presence. The model we have pictured has a sporty M Sport package, which includes M Sport dampers, an M Sport bodykit and 20-inch M aerodynamic rims.

The i5 in M Sport guise really brings out the lines of the new G60 5 Series – it looks sharp and muscular, and has a certain edge to it, which is quite befitting of the “sportier one” amongst the 3 traditional German executive sedans.

How does it drive?

Having larger dimensions than the outgoing model, it is a little difficult for the G60 i5 to hide its larger dimensions. Thankfully, with 313 bhp and 400 Nm of instantaneous power and torque at the tap of its accelerator pedal, you certainly feel none of that at the wheel.

Powered by a single electric motor driving the rear wheels, the century sprint is completed in 6.0 seconds. Where the 520i felt like it was tuned for comfort (you can read our review here), the i5 with its M Sport suspension feels more planted through the bends. It is noticeably stiffer than the regular set up in the 520i, but it never once felt jarring on our local roads.

Its steering might be a tad light, but it is accurate and offers sufficient feedback for it to feel like you are at the helm of Bavaria’s Ultimate Driving Machine.

Its cheekily placed ‘Boost’ button placed on the top left hand corner of its steering wheel gives you 30 more Nm of torque, and makes for some excitement when getting off the lights.

What is the range of the BMW i5 eDrive40?

On paper, the i5 eDrive40 offers up to 582 km of range from its 81.2 kWh battery. This is an impressive figure, and probably achievable by activating its Max Range function, which limits power, speed and certain comfort functions.

Going by our real world test however (which included the occasional activation and test of the i5’s Sport Boost function), we were able to eke out approximately 480 km from a single charge, with an average consumption of 19.8 kWh / 100 km achieved.

How much does it cost?

At the time of writing, the model on test, the i5 eDrive40 M Sport has a recommended retail price of  $382,888 inclusive of COE. Buyers who prefer the subdued styling of the regular G50 5 Series can opt for the standard i5 eDrive40 model, where prices start at $371,888.

Given that you get double the amount of horsepower, and still reap the savings of not having to stop at the petrol pumps, I think that the premium of the i5 is one worth considering from a long-term cost perspective.

Who are the competitors of the BMW i5 eDrive40?

The age-old battle between Mercedes-Benz and BMW continues here, with the closest competitor coming in the form of the Mercedes-Benz EQE 300.

Both appeal to different segments of the market, with Mercedes-Benz attempting to attract a younger crowd by producing a stand-out electric model. The i5, being based off the latest 5, will continue to appeal to the cool, suave executive who’s looking for the fastest, latest and most sustainable city slicker.

However, when it comes to the numbers, there is no shying away from the fact that the BMW seems to offer better value. Offering almost 40% more power (bhp) and being able to complete the 0-100 run in more than a second quicker, yet still retaining all the characteristics that make it a comfortable and luxurious ride, the i5 eDrive40 comes out on top.

Conclusion

I am aware that the traditionalists, and the die-hard BMW fans might continue to claim that the latest line-up of BMWs aren’t what they used to be. But having sampled BMW ‘i’ electric variants over the past few years, I am happy to say that most of the essence of what makes a BMW, a ‘BMW’ has remained even when the combustion drivetrain is swapped for an electric one.

The i5 is a well-handling, planted and yet comfortable executive sedan for the future. And if this is what represents BMW’s idea of modern luxury, I think I will continue to look forward to what’s to come for the brand.

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