2018 BMW 530e: The Environmental Driving Machine

    Posted by Shane Kalicharan about 4 months ago

    BMW’s 5-series is a tried and true blend of performance, handling and luxury aimed for the executive market. It’s practically set the benchmark for what a full sized luxury sedan should be – and for good reason. But what happens when you throw an environmentally friendly wrench into the established formula? You get the 2018 BMW 530e. Does this combination of BMW heritage and modern technology still have that signature BMW feel? Let’s take it for a spin and find out.

    As far as looks go, you’d be hard pressed to tell the 530e apart from a standard 5-series. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The 5-series is a very attractive car after all, seemingly going for a stealthier, executive approach, even as high up as the M5. It’s a handsome design with a powerful presence on the road. Unique to the 530e are some blue slats on the front grilles, eDrive badging on the C-pillars and trunk, and of course, the hybrid charging port on the front quarter of the car.

    That continuity continues indoor too. The cabin is very much 5-series – which again – is not a bad thing at all. The 5-series cabin is exceptionally premium with soft and high quality materials abound, making the 5 feel almost like a baby 7. Certain interior features, like the headliner material, may feel cheap compared to competing cars like the Volvo S90 (reviewed here), but overall, the cabin is a very nice place to be. You’ll even find optional tech trickled down, like BMW’s Gesture Control, allowing you to control media with a wave of your hands. For instance, you can twirl your finger in a circular motion to adjust the volume. For those who prefer to keep things simple, standard button controls are also present.

    Powering the 530e is a combination of a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine making 180 horsepower paired with an electric motor. When running on electricity, the 530e is whisper quiet and impossibly smooth. When you need more power, the car’s gasoline engine kicks in. Usually in a hybrid you’d feel a little jerk or kick when this happens, but in the 530e, it’s remarkably seamless. Together, the engine and electric motor give a combined 248-horsepower. In such a large vehicle, this may not seem like much, but the instant torque of the electric motor makes the 530e feel much faster than you might expect. While it’s definitely geared more towards luxury than performance, the hybrid 5 has no issue keeping up with traffic.

    The gas/electric combo works well enough to give a very good fuel economy rating, but it does come at a small cost. The hybrid’s battery pack lives under the car’s rear seat, which means you lose some trunk space. That battery pack gives a claimed 50km of range before depletion, but in the real world, that figure is going to be near impossible to realistically achieve on a daily basis. Factors like your driving style, use of air conditioning or heat and even the weather will make an impact on your range. We were able to get between 20 and 30km on pure electricity for the most part. But even still, this kind of range is ideal for short commutes – and cost no gas. The battery pack takes about 7 hours to fully recharge on a standard 120v outlet, or three hours in a 240v outlet. We found it best to just leave the car in automatic mode and let its array of computers and sensors figure out how to efficiently juggle electricity and gas. With such a seamless transition between the two systems, we found the ride comfortable, peppy and economic.


    Latest Articles

    See All
    • 15 Motoring Mistakes That No New Driver Can Afford To Make
      15 Motoring Mistakes That No New Driver Can Afford...

      December 10, 2018 - You’ve probably discovered this already during the learning to drive phase. Whether you’re a newly qualified road user or you’re still in the process of learning, the following 15 issues are all ones that should be avoided

    • Kids And Cars - Keep Them Happy In The Back Seats
      Kids And Cars - Keep Them Happy In The Back Seats

      December 7, 2018 - There are a few things that you can do to keep them even more comfortable in the back. In fact, you could even keep them a bit more entertained so they don’t end up so bored easily. Read on to find out more!

    • The Best Trucks For Going Off Road
      The Best Trucks For Going Off Road

      December 7, 2018 - They’re some of the most durable and exciting options out there for you, and there’s such a broad range of 4x4 and SUVs that you could choose from. If you know you do a lot of off roading, then this article is going to suit you even more, because we

    • Feeling Secure On The Road Is The Basis Of Good Driving
      Feeling Secure On The Road Is The Basis Of Good Dr...

      December 4, 2018 - Drive a considerable distance from point A to point B in your daily life, and you’ll likely agree that many examples of bad driving will likely show themselves to you. You might be cut off, or you might see someone subtly swerving from side to side,

    • Customising Your Vehicle to Stand Out from the Crowd
      Customising Your Vehicle to Stand Out from the Cro...

      December 4, 2018 - There are so many different practical factors that we take into account when we choose a vehicle of our own. We consider cost, finding something that falls within our budget. We consider safety, opting for vehicles that are up to standard. We . Final

    • How To Have A Safe Vacation
      How To Have A Safe Vacation

      December 4, 2018 - When it comes to heading off on vacation, you know that you’re always going to have a ton of things to think about. But most of the time, if you’re honest, you’ll know that things, like packing and getting your plans organized, are what monopolizes m

    • 2018 Abarth 124 Spider: Italian Passion meets Japanese Precision
      2018 Abarth 124 Spider: Italian Passion meets Japa...

      December 3, 2018 - Many of us view classic cars with rose-coloured glasses. We might tell ourselves how cars back then were built better, drove better, easier to work on and more enjoyable back then. There is, arguably, a grain of truth to it, but the reality is, livin

    • The Perfect Road Trip
      The Perfect Road Trip

      December 2, 2018 - So, perhaps it’s time to cut that weekend grocery drive out, and head out on a road trip - after all life is short, and there is a lot to see and do. While it might be nice to drive off into the sunset for a while, the chances are that isn’t going to

    • How To Tell If You’re A Dangerous Driver
      How To Tell If You’re A Dangerous Driver

      December 2, 2018 - Along with these, though, you will also often find some bad habits, and it can be hard to know what needs to be done to find and destroy these elements of your driving career. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of the best wa

    • Car Out Of Commission? Here’s How To Cope!
      Car Out Of Commission? Here’s How To Cope!

      December 2, 2018 - Luckily, even if you do find yourself in a situation where your vehicle is out of commission, there are some steps you can take to cope. Read on to find out what they are.

    Share This!