2017 BMW 530e iPerformance driven – Telegraph.co.uk
What the 530e loses out on – at least in M Sport guise with 20-inch wheels as tested – is the ultimate ride comfort of other models in the 5-series range. The cause is likely a combination of those huge rims, the extra weight of the batteries and the stiffer suspension required to maintain body control (which is admittedly very good), but it does beg the question as to why you’d buy the least compliant version of a car renowned for its high levels of comfort.
If you are to opt for a 530i (and 15 per cent of 5-series buyers are expected to) I’d suggest looking at the £3,300 cheaper SE version rather than the M Sport, and certainly avoiding the box marked “20-inch alloys”. In doing so you’ll have an impressive machine that, if used correctly (and it is a big “if”), will return some even more impressive fuel economy figures.
However, given the 5-series is usually bought by those who cover a lot of miles, you might just find yourself unable to escape the conclusion that a petrol or diesel model remains the more compelling option.
BMW 530e iPerformance
TESTED 1,998cc turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine and electric motor, eight-speed automatic transmission, rear-wheel drive
PRICE/ON SALE From £41,485 (including plug-in car grant)/now
POWER/TORQUE 249bhp/310lb ft (total system output)
TOP SPEED 146mph
ACCELERATION 0-62mph in 5.8sec
FUEL ECONOMY 141.2mpg (EU Combined)
CO2 EMISSIONS 44g/km
VED £0 first year then £450 for following five years, then £130
VERDICT While the 530e is without doubt an accomplished plug-in hybrid and the numbers are sure to appeal to company car drivers, it isn’t quite as good to drive as other models in the 5-series range. A good car, then, but not a truly great one.
TELEGRAPH RATING Three out of five stars
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