The BMW i5 is the latest addition to the German automaker’s electric lineup, joining the iX1, i4 and i7 models. It is also the first all-electric version of the popular 5 Series sedan, which has been in production since 1972. The i5 offers a blend of performance, luxury and technology that aims to appeal to both existing and new customers of the brand.
The i5 is available in two variants: the rear-wheel-drive eDrive40 and the all-wheel-drive M60 xDrive. Both use the same 82 kWh battery pack, which can be charged up to 80 percent in about 30 minutes using a 205 kW DC fast charger. The eDrive40 has a single electric motor that produces 335 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, allowing it to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 120 mph. It also has a range of up to 295 miles on a single charge, according to the EPA. The M60 xDrive has two electric motors, one on each axle, that deliver a combined output of 593 horsepower and 550 pound-feet of torque. This boosts the 0-60 mph time to 3.7 seconds and the top speed to 143 mph. However, the range drops to 256 miles on a full battery.
Both versions come with a Boost function that can temporarily increase the torque output for more acceleration. The eDrive40 can activate the Boost by pressing a button on the left steering wheel paddle, while the M60 xDrive has it as a standard feature. The i5 also has a launch control mode that optimizes the traction and power delivery for a quick start.
A Modern and Comfortable Interior
The i5’s interior is designed to offer a high level of comfort and convenience for the driver and passengers. The dashboard, doors and seats are covered with a vegan-friendly material called Veganza, which is soft to the touch and can be heated or cooled. Leather upholstery is also available as an option for those who prefer it. The i5 features a large curved display that houses a 14.9-inch touchscreen for the iDrive 8.5 infotainment system and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. The iDrive 8.5 system is fast and easy to use, with a cleaner home screen and a row of hot buttons for quick access to the most common functions. The system also supports wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as over-the-air updates.
One of the most innovative features of the i5 is the AirConsole, which allows the occupants to play video games on the central screen using their smartphones as controllers. The i5 comes with 20 built-in games at launch, with more to come in the future. The games can only be played when the car is parked, and they range from trivia to racing to cooking. The i5 also offers a premium sound system, a head-up display, a wireless charging pad, ambient lighting, and a panoramic sunroof.
The i5 has a spacious and comfortable cabin, with plenty of headroom and legroom for both front and rear passengers. The trunk has a capacity of 17.3 cubic feet, which is decent for a sedan. The i5 also has a number of driver assistance and safety features, such as adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and a 360-degree camera.
A Smooth and Agile Ride
The i5 delivers a smooth and agile ride, thanks to its electric powertrain and its well-tuned chassis. The i5 has a low center of gravity and a balanced weight distribution, which enhance its stability and handling. The i5 also has an adaptive suspension that can adjust the damping and ride height according to the driving mode and road conditions. The i5 has four driving modes: Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport, and Adaptive. The Eco Pro mode maximizes the efficiency and range of the i5, while the Comfort mode provides a relaxed and comfortable ride. The Sport mode sharpens the throttle response, steering, and suspension, while the Adaptive mode automatically adjusts the settings based on the driver’s behavior and the environment.
The i5 is easy to drive, with a responsive and precise steering, a smooth and linear acceleration, and a strong and consistent braking. The i5 also has a regenerative braking system that can recover energy and extend the range. The driver can choose between three levels of regenerative braking: High, Medium, and Low. The High level provides the most deceleration and the most energy recovery, while the Low level provides the least. The i5 also has a one-pedal driving feature that allows the driver to control the speed and braking with the accelerator pedal alone.
The i5 is a quiet and refined car, with minimal noise and vibration from the electric motors and the road. The i5 also has an acoustic pedestrian protection system that emits a sound when the car is moving at low speeds to alert pedestrians of its presence.
A Competitive and Attractive Electric Sedan
The i5 is a competitive and attractive electric sedan that offers a lot of value and appeal for its price. The i5 starts at $66,800 for the eDrive40 and $84,100 for the M60 xDrive, plus a $995 destination and handling fee. The i5 is eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500, as well as state and local incentives, depending on the location. The i5 is also cheaper than some of its rivals, such as the Mercedes-Benz EQE and the Tesla Model S, which start at $77,400 and $89,990, respectively.
The i5 is a worthy addition to the BMW’s electric lineup, and a compelling option for anyone looking for a powerful and luxurious electric sedan. The i5 combines the best of both worlds: the performance, comfort, and technology of the 5 Series, and the efficiency, sustainability, and innovation of the i brand.