New BMW i5 vs Mercedes EQE: costs

BMW’s fully electric i5 aims to raise the bar for executive cars. But first it has to see off the Mercedes EQE...

Blue BMW i5 right driving

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety and security

Not only does the BMW i5 cost around £7800 less to buy outright than the Mercedes EQE, but once you factor in its significantly slower predicted rate of depreciation, it will cost private buyers around £9300 less to own over three years. Additionally, the i5 promises cheaper servicing, more affordable insurance and lower electricity costs (based on the current price cap of 27p/kWh).

However, most buyers will go down the route of PCP finance,  and here the EQE looks a whole  lot more tempting. At the time of writing, Mercedes was offering 0% interest on its EVs; with this incentive factored in, the EQE will cost you a reasonable £1001 a month, assuming you put down a £7000 deposit and limit yourself to 10,000 miles per year. In comparison, the i5 on the same terms costs £1118 per month.

Mercedes EQE side

It’s also worth noting that the i5 is pretty sparsely equipped compared with the EQE. Yes, the M Sport Pro version we’re testing comes with more goodies than the regular M Sport (including larger, 20in wheels) for an extra £3000, but to bring it up to the same specification as the equivalent EQE, you’ll be looking at spending the best part of £10,000 extra.

For instance, our test car had an on-the-road price of £92,570. The list of items that are standard on the EQE and optional on the i5 includes a panoramic glass roof (£1600), four-zone climate control (£5000 as part of the Comfort Plus Pack), a head-up display (£2000 as part of the Technology Pack), 21in wheels (£2000), a high-end sound system (£1250) and metallic paint (£900). The EQE also gets a heated windscreen that isn’t available on the i5. Configured to that price, the PCP payments on the i5 would be a much higher £1435 per month.

That said, as is the case with all EVs, both cars are exceptionally affordable for company car drivers paying benefit-in-kind (BiK) tax. Assuming you’re in the 40% tax bracket, you’ll need to sacrifice just £52 of your salary each month for the i5 and £58 for the EQE, at least until April 2025.

BMW i5 vs Mercedes EQE costs

As for charging, the i5 holds the  advantage with a maximum rate of 205kW, versus 170kW for the EQE. If you can find a public charging point capable of delivering that sort of power (there aren’t too many of these in the UK yet), a 10-80% charge will take 28 minutes in the i5 and 33 minutes in the EQE. It’s worth noting, however, that the significantly cheaper Kia EV6
(our 2022 overall Car of the Year) can charge at up to 239kW.

Euro NCAP has yet to test the i5 for safety, but the EQE scored a full five stars in 2022. Both cars come with plenty of safety equipment to help prevent you from getting into an accident in the first place, including automatic emergency braking (AEB), blindspot monitors, an exit warning system (so you don’t open a door in front of a cyclist) and rear cross-traffic alert (to warn you about oncoming vehicles when you’re reversing out into the road).