THE NEW 5 Series is already proving to be a winner. It’s roomy, performs well, and has been endowed with many of the 7 Series’s charming aspects that make the occuants’ journey quite special.
The introduction of the 530e iPerformance injects that sense of responsibility into the fun. In most cases, that means something has to give, but here, it just adds to the experience
First you have to get used to the electric side of this hybrid beast.
Hit the start button and your dashboard lights up, alive and coursing with energy. The car remains quiet, the cabin almost sepulchural in its reverential desire to hail new technology.
As you pull away, the desire to prove itself can take some time to tame. Immediate dispensation of energy means you could woosh off from standstill. 0-100kmh in 6.2 seconds is no mean feat, but in city driving that means you’ll have to tame and train your right foot to measure out the pressure.
The rear-wheel driven 530e needs to be brought into check on occasion. When running on battery power, be mindful that when you take your foot off the accelerator, deceleration kicks in a lot quicker. No coasting to a stop. Like a golf cart, it will slow down quite fast.
The presence of petrol means you can dispense with the range anxiety that comes with most electric cars. The benefit of this hybrid combination is the smooth performance that lets you enjoy the kind of drive you would like.
Shift through the drive modes for what works for you, and in the terrain you find yourself in.
But if the intention is to be environmentally responsible, you’ll be spending three-hour spells charging the car. And if you’re on the move a fair bit, you may require to hunt down a charger. And if you do, I hope you don’t come across the lady who decided to park her BMW i3 in the lot instead of charging it. (Read story: Behaviour Failure In A Smart Nation )
True to BMW class and comfort, the cabin of the 530e offers spaciousness and a deafening quiet to appreciate the sound system better. And all the connectedness to the real world you desire. From music to mobile phone, you can switch modes easily.
And any other information you require about the battery level or engine’s performance will pop up on the dash. The fixed screen in the centre delivers information that help to make the ride more pleasant.
At a price point that is not too far off from the petrol model, you have to ask yourself if you can live with the constant need to charge the battery, and how many times you’ll be caught out and wind up running on fuel.
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Engine: In Line 4 cylinders
Capacity: 1,998 cc
Max Power: 135kW@5,000rpm
Max Torque: 290Nm@1,350 – 4,250rpm
Efficiency: 6.3L/100km (petrol); 145Wh/km (Electric)
CO2: 144g/km (petrol); 58g/km (electric)
0-100kmh: 6.2 seconds
Top Speed: 235kmh
Retail price: *$278,800
Please reconfirm price with dealer.
Read more STORM car reviews HERE.