BMW i5 long-term test: report 7

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 pulling out of junction

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 4008 List price £77,105 Target Price £71,771 Price as tested £92,570 Test range 268 miles Official range 338 miles

14 May 2024 – Rapid response vehicle

I’ve talked previously about my car’s overtaking prowess, but like a good many of you, I’ll wager, I actually spend far more time on congested urban streets than fast and flowing back roads. Still, don’t go thinking that the lively performance of the BMW i5 is irrelevant in town.

On my commute to the What Car? office, for example, I have to cross a busy roundabout, where you can sit waiting for ages if you’re not in something that can take advantage of small gaps in the flow of traffic.

BMW i5 LT racing sprinter

Fortunately, the i5 absolutely can, because the instant hit of torque that its powerful electric motor delivers when you put your foot down lets you get away from the mark like an Olympic sprinter.

By comparison, in automatic petrol and diesel cars (even quite fast ones) there’s often a noticeable gap between you depressing the accelerator pedal and any actual forward movement – something that can leave me with my heart in my mouth at the roundabout in question.

True, switching off the engine stop-start system or selecting Sport mode in those cars can help, but then there’s the fuss of having to reverse the process once you’ve pulled out unless you’re prepared to accept higher fuel consumption.

BMW i5 LT waiting to puu out of junction

In the i5, on the other hand, the responses are lively, even when you leave it in standard mode. And because – like most electric cars – it has a single-speed gearbox, it continues to build speed in a very predictable and linear fashion.

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