BMW’s 5 series is now electrified.
The 530e xDrive Plug-In is made of lightweight high-strength steel, aluminum, and magnesium, which provides the 5 Series Sedan with awe-inspiring acceleration. These superior materials and an elegant BMW design make for a vehicle that’s fast, stylish, stable, efficient and electric!
Says BMW: “THE FUTURE OF 5 – Eclipsing efficiency: Meet the BMW 530e – a 5 Series Sedan with the enhancements of BMW iPerformance technology. This powerful plug-in hybrid is built to the same exacting standards of the 5 Series, but with an additional electric motor that delivers better fuel efficiency and surprisingly powerful torque. STYLE TO SPARE: Driven by craftsmanship: It took more than four decades of engineering, design, and technological advancements to arrive at this iteration of the BMW 5 Series. With the powerful lines of its exterior and the chest-gripping thrill of acceleration, this sedan is worth every minute.”
A quiet drive and between 15 and 21 pure electric miles provided by an eDrive plug-in powertrain add to the satisfying driving dynamics, sportiness and luxury of the 530e. A 9.2kWh lithium-ion battery works with a 111-hp electric motor generator and a 180-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four engine to create 248 horsepower. Reviewers say the electric motor – which takes the place of an eight-speed automatic transmission’s torque converter – works beautifully with the turbocharged engine, providing effortless thrust when pulling away from a stop or speeding up to enter the freeway. Because the gas and electric technologies have been seamlessly integrated, the driving experience in the electric-only mode feels ultra natural.
Fuel economy is decent, with an EPA combined/city/highway rating of 28/27/31. EPA combined gas and electricity is 67 MPGe. The Plug-in reaches 60mph in 6.1 seconds.
The 530e xDrive’s $55,695 base price is identical to the regular 530i, making the choice easy for consumers considering the switch to an environmentally-conscious car. Road/Show test driver Antuan Goodwin says: “The electrified 5er made a believer out of me. The details that changed my mind are twofold. First, the charging port on the front fender opens up a whole new world of efficient driving for those who plug in and plug in often. The kicker, for me, is the price. BMW lists the starting prices for the 530i and 530e as the same. With no premium, is there any reason not to go hybrid?”
Goodwin: “BMW conservatively states around 15 to 16 miles of pure electric driving, which is backed up by the EPA's estimates. Going hybrid shrinks the 5er's gas tank capacity from 18 gallons to 12 gallons. However, between the electric and gasoline ranges, you've still got about 375-ish miles of motoring before you need to refill the gasoline tank or recharge the battery pack.”
The 530e can be recharged at a 240V J1772 charging station through its 3.5 kW AC charger in around 3 hours. It comes with an "Occasional Use Cable" for use with standard 110V wall outlets in a pinch. This method steps down to 1.4 kW charging and takes about 5 to 6 hours.
In addition to Sport, Comfort, and Eco Pro driving modes, there are 3 settings for using electric power: Max eDrive, Auto eDrive, and Battery Control. In Max eDrive, the 530e operates as a pure electric up to 87 mph. When the battery’s charge is almost depleted, the 530e reverts to regular hybrid operation. In Auto eDrive, the car decides when to switch to electric-only operation for brief periods for enhanced efficiency. In Battery Control the driver can specify that the battery maintain a set charge level, so that the energy can be saved for later electric-only driving. The driver can also command the lithium-ion battery to recharge itself during drives. Comprehending what the modes are doing is made simple by an easy-to-read analog battery-charge gauge near the fuel gauge on the instrument cluster. A separate digital meter accessible via the trip computer condenses battery charge and miles-per-gallon data into a linear graph.
Reviewer Brian Chee of Daily News Autos says: “Cool tech is here, though, and it’s all about teaching drivers to go green. Both the head up display and the iDrive infotainment system screen are set up to coach drivers toward maximum efficiency, should one choose that goal. BMW makes a game out of going green, too. Among the 530e iPerformance’s numerous driving modes, the default setting is EcoPro while a Max eDrive mode changes that to – you guessed it – maximum electric power.”
The latest BMW Connected+ phone app allows drivers to stay in touch with the 530e battery’s state of charge. Additionally, it lets drivers heat or cool the car’s interior and take a look at the car’s surroundings with a remote feed from its parking cameras.
The audio system includes an Anti-theft AM/FM in-dash stereo CD/MP3 player with Radio Data System (RDS), HiFi Sound System with 12 speakers and 205-watt digital amplifier , HD Radio™ with "multicast" FM station reception and Pre-wiring for SiriusXM® Satellite Radio Tuner.
Luxury features creating a convenient and comfortable ride include:
• Advanced Vehicle & Key Memory includes most recently used climate-control temperature and air-distribution settings; exterior mirror and power seat settings; audio tone settings and radio presets; central-locking preferences; and lighting preferences
• BMW Ambiance lighting includes door handle-area lighting, illuminated driver and front-passenger vanity mirrors, front footwell lights, front and rear reading lights, and 11 predefined selectable interior light designs
• Automatic tilt-down of passenger's side-view mirror (when car is shifted into reverse gear) for visibility of curb when backing up; a Power tilt/telescopic steering wheel with automatic tilt-up for easy entry and exit; and Automatic tilt-down of passenger's side-view mirror (when car is shifted into reverse gear) for visibility of curb when backing up.
An extensive safety and security system protects 530e drivers and passengers. BMW's Active Protection System detects imminent accidents, then prepares by automatically pretensioning safety belts, closing windows and moonroof, and activating post-crash braking; it includes a Fatigue and Focus Alert feature. The driver's and passenger's front airbag supplemental restraint system (SRS) with advanced technology – dual-threshold, dual-stage deployment and front-passenger-seat sensors – are designed to prevent unnecessary airbag deployment. An impact sensor that activates Battery Safety Terminal disconnect of alternator, fuel pump and starter from battery also automatically unlocks doors and turns on hazard and interior lights. And the BMW Assist eCall program includes Emergency Request (SOS button) and Enhanced Automatic Collision Notification.
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