As a staple in the mid-size luxury segment, the BMW 5-series has always been at the top of the class. With stiff competition from the likes of Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Cadillac however, staying on top isn’t as easy as it used to be. Enter the 2018 530e iPerformance, a plug-in hybrid that delivers solid performance, technology and luxury that BMW hopes will bring buyers over to the more eco-friendly side of the companies’ sport sedan line-up.
For the full 2018 530e iPerformance review, specs, pricing and data read on.
2018 530e iPerformance Exterior
Executive styling combined with an element of sport has always been the backbone of the BMW 5-Series. And while over the years its dimensions may have grown, the commitment to maintaining an upscale presence has never changed. With the 530e however, the sportiness the 5-Series has become known for has now been dropped in favor of a styling footprint that concerns itself more with mpgs, than pure driving fun.
Our 530e was outfitted with such upticks as Atlas Cedar Metallic paint ($550.00), the M Sport braking package ($650.00) and the Lighting Package which includes adaptive full LED lights and adaptive high beams ($1,050.00). And while queues like the blacked out exhaust tips and blue M Sport calipers do add a bit of sportiness to the 530e, the overall exterior package is a far cry from that upscale aggression that every model in the 5-Series line-up used to possess.
2018 530e iPerformance Interior
Whereby the exterior of the 5-Series has become slightly softer, the interior combines sport and luxury in a way few can match. Heated 16-way power adjustable sport seats up front are exceedingly comfortable, and provide adjustable side bolsters and lumbar support. Fineline Cove Matte finish wood trim with a contrasting brushed aluminum border has a decidedly upscale feel to it. And the leather-wrapped steering wheel is the perfect thickness — it feels just right in your hands.
Access to the technology in the 530e is seamless, thanks to BMWs commitment to providing an intuitive interface to the end user. The iDrive 6.0 system utilizes a large 10.2-inch touchscreen that allows quick access to vehicle settings and media functions, and incorporates a massive 200 GB hard drive for storage. This allows for the 3-D mapping system, audio files, the integrated voice command system along with BMW eDrive services with readouts for range, charging status and a charging station search guide.
The dash of the 530e shows digitally inspired analog gauges that feature readouts for the different drive modes, overall range, efficiency, speed and power. A battery charge gauge (similar to a standard fuel gauge) is also present, and it’s a nice touch. And of course time, exterior temperature, warning lights, etc. are also here. Once on the road, the cabin is exactly what you’d expect from a BMW with an “as tested” price of $66,480.00. Minimal road noise means a quiet cabin, which is complimented by plentiful room and comfort features for both front and rear passengers along with a trunk that provides 14.5 cubic-feet of storage capacity. Combine that with top-quality materials and wonderful outward visibility, and you’ve got an interior that impresses on just about every level.
2018 530e iPerformance Performance
The 530e utilizes an AC Synchronous Electric Motor with integrated power electronics, charger and generator mode for recuperation along with BMWs proven 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline 4-cylinder for a total combined power and torque rating of 248 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. What’s impressive is that for a vehicle that weighs in at 4,442 lbs., BMW still quotes a zero-to-60 time of 6.0 seconds and a limited top speed of 130 mph. No matter how you slice it, those are impressive numbers. Our test car was rear-wheel drive (all-wheel drive is available) with power being put down through a smooth shifting 8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission with manual shift mode.
With up to 16 miles of electric range available on a full plug-in charge along with the 12-gallon fuel tank, the 2018 BMW 530e has an overall range of around 375 miles, depending on how you drive. Helping one to understand and harness the technology of the 530e are no less than the seven different drive modes. These include Comfort, Sport, Adaptive and Eco on the conventional front, and then Auto eDrive (modulates from gas to electric), Battery Control (allows user controlled battery conservation) and Max eDrive (electric power only) which will let one run up to 87 mph on electric power.
Hitting the open road in the 530e is a pleasurable experience. It’s quiet and handles well while at the same time delivering a plug-in experience that the environmentally friendly will come to enjoy. With that being said, those expecting a driving experience with a harder, more sport-oriented edge will likely be disappointed as the 530e relegates itself to that of a plug-in grand touring car as opposed to one that’s at home in the corners.
2018 530e iPerformance Safety
Equipped with the latest in safety technology, the 530e has such features as airbags throughout the cabin, anti-lock brakes, adaptive brake lights, electronic stability control, traction control, blind-spot monitoring, programmable LED daytime running lights and a rearview camera to name a few. Additional safety features can be seen at BMWUSA.com.
2018 530e iPerformance Overall
The 2018 BMW 530e is for customers looking for a unique and high-end plug-in experience that offers vast amounts of luxury and technology for a competitive segment price. Our 2018 530e iPerformance had a “base price” of $51,400.00 and an “as tested” price of $66,480.00. And while there are those who might think that equipping a car with over $15k in options is superfluous, I’m here to tell you each and every one chosen just added to making an already wonderful automobile even better, especially when you consider the 530e is EPA rated at 28 mpg in combined driving, 27 in the city and 31 mpg* on the highway. Not bad BMW, not bad at all…
Drop by your local AutoNation-affiliated BMW dealer to check one out today!
*Fuel economy values (mpg) are EPA estimates. Actual mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition.
**Vehicle MSRP of $66,480.00 excludes taxes, title, transportation, options, and dealer fees.