BMW i5 long-term test: report 4

Does the electric version of BMW’s latest 5 Series executive saloon impress as much as the larger and pricier i7? We're living with an i5 to find out...

BMW i5 LT front action

The Car BMW i5 eDrive40 M Sport Pro Run by Steve Huntingford, editor

Why it’s here To see if BMW’s latest electric car feels special enough to justify its hefty pricing when you live with it day-to-day

Needs to Combine outstanding comfort and refinement with strong performance, an enjoyable drive and a good real-world range

Mileage 3426 List price £77,105 Target Price £72,533 Price as tested £92,570 Test range 264 miles Official range 338 miles

16 March 2024 – Pull to pass

It’s safe to say there’s been more excitement off the track than on it so far this year in Formula 1. But one feature of my BMW i5 that appears to be F1-inspired is making my daily driving more exciting.

BMW i5 LT in Boost mode

You see, Hamilton, Verstappen and co. can collect electrical energy via the Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems in their cars, and then use this to deliver short bursts of extra performance, and my i5 has a Boost function that does much the same thing.

Simply pull a paddle behind the steering wheel, and for 10 seconds the i5 feels even livelier than it usually does, thanks to an extra 22lb ft of torque.

Initially, I thought this was just a gimmick, but it actually comes in quite handy when overtaking. Plus, the way the digital instruments change to a countdown clock to keep you informed of how much ‘boost’ you have left adds a sense of drama.

BMW i5 LT Boost paddle

The only disappointment is the activation paddle itself, because it feels like it’s made from the type of plastic used for the disposable spoons in small tubs of ice cream. Meanwhile, the label on it is clearly just a sticker.

In a car as beautifully finished as the i5, it looks as out of place as something other than a Red Bull leading a Grand Prix.

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