Well-balanced driving experience
Efficient driver assistance system
Lots of options
Complicated multimedia system
The 2024 BMW i5 marks a milestone in the history of the 5 Series, being the first to offer both petrol and electric power. This seventh generation of a model that has sold over 10 million units since its debut in 1972 offers a variety of versions, from the 530 petrol to the powerful i5 M60 xDrive, including a 550 plug-in hybrid. BMW has even promised a new M5 that will occupy the top step of the food ladder.
BMW remains true to its iconic styling, while integrating distinctive elements into the i5. The blue-rimmed grille, the i5 logo on the trunk, and the return to reasonable dimensions for the double beans at the front are notable choices. Aerodynamics are at the heart of the design, with a drag coefficient (cx) of 0.23, the result of hours of work in the wind tunnel. Wheels ranging from 19 to 21 inches and a pronounced rocker panel to house the batteries complete the look.
Inside, the i5 draws inspiration from the recent i7 with its two curved screens totaling 27.2 inches, powered by BMW’s 8.5 operating system and onboard 5G technology. The slightly increased wheelbase offers more space for passengers in the rear. Optional sport seats and multi-contour seats are available, and despite the presence of the batteries, cargo space offers 490 liters. A 40/20/40-split folding rear bench is offered, while vegan leather seats are standard, with the option of upgrading to Merino leather for an additional $2,900.
The BMW i5 relies on technology, with an iDrive 8.5 operating system, OTA remote updates, and passenger entertainment while charging. The ride remains dynamic despite the 2,300 kg weight, thanks to optional adaptive suspension. BMW retains its control wheel in the center console, while also offering a touchscreen. Nevertheless, menu navigation proves complex due to the density of options, making manipulation while driving almost impossible due to the high risks involved. Ideally, shortcuts should be programmed into the menu for quicker access to frequently-used functions.
What’s more, the roadside assistance system offers a semi-autonomous driving experience up to 130 km/h. BMW takes driving range a step further, allowing the driver to take his or her hands off the wheel and let the car do the driving. Overtaking is possible simply by looking at the outside mirrors to turn left or right. You can also use the turn signal.
On the road
The BMW i5 maintains the dynamic driving spirit that characterizes the brand’s models, despite its weight of 2,300 kg. The top-of-the-range version features four-wheel steering as standard. For an even more enjoyable driving experience, two options are available: the adaptive M Pro suspension with active roll stabilization ($4,000) and the M Sport Pro package ($1,500), which includes black exterior elements, additional M Sport Pro package elements, red M Sport brakes, shadowline headlights, and other aesthetic elements. The adaptive suspension is particularly recommended for those who prefer dynamic driving. The i5 also offers an on-road driving assistance system (billed at $2,500), providing some driving range up to 130 km/h, with lane-change and overtaking assistance functions.
Battery and range
In Canada, two models of the BMW i5 are available: the i5 xDrive40 and the i5 M60 xDrive, sharing the same 83.9 kWh battery. Both models feature all-wheel drive (xDrive). Power output for the xDrive40 version has yet to be announced, while the xDrive60 develops an impressive 590 hp and 605 lb-ft of torque, enabling acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds, with a top speed limited to 230 km/h. Full recharging takes 8 hours 15 minutes with the optional 22 kW on-board charger, while recharging from 10% to 80% on a DC fast charger takes just 30 minutes. The BMW i5 also offers a remarkable recharging speed of 205 kW. As for range, BMW has announced 412 km for the M60 version, without yet providing precise figures for the xDrive 40 version, which should approach 500 km.
You’ll need $100,000
The BMW i5 is not in the affordable category, with a starting price of $95,000 for the xDrive M60 version. Additional charges of $3,150 for transport, preparation and the dealer bring the total to $98,150. Fully equipped models can reach $113,000, requiring a substantial budget. For those who prefer leasing, a 4-year contract costs $2,045 per month, with a residual value of $49,900. Financing over 6 years entails a monthly payment of $2,535.
The 2024 BMW i5 embodies the successful marriage of cutting-edge technology and the brand’s characteristic driving pleasure. However, its high price and complex options may present financial obstacles for potential buyers.