- P11D Value / BIK band: £47,230 /9%
- 4-door saloon
- 252bhp 420Nm 2.0 litre, 4cyl petrol plus electric motor/eight-speed auto
- Economy / CO2 Emissions: 141.2mpg / 46g/km
- Performance: 6.2sec /146mph
What is it?
We already know that the new 5 Series is a tech tour de force and a very complete business car, after driving the 520d M Sport at the launch earlier this year – but does it work as well as a hybrid? We try the BMW 530e iPerformance Hybrid.
BMW has big plans for electric vehicle sales, expecting to sell 100,000 by the end of next year and this hybrid is one of the ways it expects to get there.
On sale now, Business Car Manager was lucky enough to get a go in the expected best-selling version – the dynamic-looking M Sport.
- The 530e’s combination of the 2.0-litre 184bhp petrol engine, plus a 95bhp electric motor totalling an impressive 252bhp with 420Nm of torque. It feels really sporty and happy to rev, despite the fact it’s a hybrid car. Acceleration to 60mph takes 6.2 seconds, with a 146mph top speed. Yet, because of the hybrid drivetrain, emissions are just 46g/km while official consumption is 141.2mpg
- In fact with the electric motor added, the 530e’s 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine feels more like a 3.0-litre six-cylinder – being smoother and torquier. Both sources of power seem well-matched to the eight-speed automatic transmission.
- There are different drive modes for the 530e which are accessible via an eDrive switch next to the gear lever on the centre console. The switch controls this Five-Series’ different driving modes: Auto eDrive, Max eDrive and Battery Control. Auto eDrive starts this car in full-electric mode, then cuts the engine in at higher speeds. Max eDrive on the other hand puts this BMW in full electric mode with a top speed of 87mph for a range of 30 miles. Finally the Battery Control mode does exactly what it says and this BMW is petrol powered only, keeping battery power above 90% charge.
- It’s easy to see why the 530e will be of interest to business users when you look at the figures, as they will pay just nine per cent in Benefit in Kind (BiK) tax, that’s a saving of over £3,000 a year for higher-rate earners over the same-priced 530d. But despite the low emissions, you do have to factor in the premium road tax (so £440 years two to six) as the price well tops the £40,000 threshold.
- The 530e looks like every other current Five-Series M Sport saloon, apart from the blue kidney grille slats, the charging socket located between the front wheel arch and the windscreen pillar on the driver’s side, the “eDrive” emblems on the rear pillars and, of course, the 530e badge on the boot lid.
- Like the standard 5 Series, the interior of this BMW is a great place to be. Highlights include that large 10.25-inch screen in the centre of the dash, part of the standard Professional Multimedia Navigation system. BMW’s trademark circular controller can be used to access all the functions, but the optional Technology Pack features clever gesture control, where by simply waving your fingers and hands in front of the centre console, you can adjust the stereo volume, access various menus, accept incoming phone calls and much more. It works really well. Changes for the 530e include specific digital instruments and that eDrive button.
- BMW are known for their driver’s car and hybrid drivetrain or not, the 530e is a keen drive. Body control is excellent and although the ride is harder than standard, it’s still a refined drive – even on the M Sport’s standard 19-inch alloys.
- Okay, in M Sport form, the 530e isn’t cheap, but it does come with an impressive level of standard safety kit including six airbags, stability control and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection – to reduce the chances of you accidentally running into the car in front. Optional safety kit includes a lane-departure warning system, automatic high-beam assist for the headlights, a driver fatigue detector and speed limit recognition.
- The only compromise with the 530e is the boot space, which is down 120 litres when compared with the standard 5 Series, although the boot still has a flat load floor and is practically-shaped. Split-folding rear seats are a £335 option.
- The eight-speed automatic gearbox is a smooth operator, but like the standard diesel version, on the move it feels like it’s constantly changing gear.
- Yes, there are significant savings to be made by choosing the 530e, but it’s still a £47,000+ car.
Verdict on BMW 530e iPerformance M Sport
The 530e iPerformance in M Sport form is a clever car as it still remains a tech tour de force and a very complete business car. However, with the hybrid drivetrain it’s even cheaper to run – but it still remains a great drive. The high levels of substantial standard tech remain, in fact, the only fly in the ointment is the reduced boot space. However it is still a flat, practical space.
So how does it compare to its key rival – the Mercedes? Closest model to the 530e M Sport is the E350e SE . The Mercedes is looking good from the start as it’s cheaper by over £1,700.
Although for an SME, the emissions and tax band are going to be key and this is where the BMW is stronger, with 46g/km emissions versus 49g/km of the Mercedes, although both cars have the same 9% tax band.