BMW i5 eDrive40 — Electrifying In A Measured Way

BMW i5 eDrive40

STRIKING a balance between performance and prestige has helped the BMW 5 Series sell more than 16,000 units in Singapore, in the past 15 years.

The 5 Series has been the executive model of choice, usually because it’s more engaging than its German peers and rivals.

Like the other family members, the 5 Series has grown over the generations.

And the arrival of electric vehicles on the scene has forced it to plug into a different way of thinking.

BMW i5 eDrive40

With the arrival of the new BMW i5, there are seven models in four body types in the Munich brand’s EV stable.

And the new BMW i5 is bigger in all ways — length, width, height and wheelbase. And not forgetting price; in Singapore, the BMW i5 eDrive40 reviewed here, is close to *$375,000.

BMW i5 eDrive40

In Good Shape

While it might take some time for EVs to be embraced wholeheartedly in high-rise Singapore, many of the 5 Series owners are possibly living in landed properties or have charging stations at work.

For those in high-rise developments with inadequate charging facilities, car companies are selling their EVs with the option of credits to fill up at public charging stations instead, replicating the current practice of pumping at petrol stations.

BMW i5 eDrive40

The BMW i5 eDrive40 is a smart-looking car; well proportioned with a long nose, low stance and tight rear to give it a sporty look.

Viewed from the front, it offers a hint of a smile, with upward curves in the kidney grille, lights and the bumper. This spirit of happiness is carried through to the back, with the slim tail lights and the lines of the boot lid.

The Vegan Wagon

BMW boasts that this EV is aligned with sustainability discussions.

It sports a fully vegan interior, in this case the red sports Veganza seats which jump out at you. They are designed to be easy on your frame and your mind, especially for those who are against animal abuse, but, more importantly, the seats are comfortable and can be electrically adjusted. 

BMW i5 eDrive40

There are fewer buttons and controls in this latest version of the 5 Series, which means you’ll have to resort to more poking at the curved 15” control display which links up seamlessly with the slightly smaller information display. That’s a lot of screen to deal with.

And there’s the centre console which has a dial a volume knob conveniently located closer to the passenger, and of course the drive selector, a little raised bit on the smooth plastic that you’ll have to feel for like you’re reading Braille.

BMW i5 eDrive40

The D-steering wheel houses some expected functions like dealing with phone calls or adjusting the volume of your music.

Within easy reach is also a Boost lever, which is great when you need that gush of juice to propel you past other cars. 

The motor dishes out up to 250kW of power in SPORT mode, with 430Nm of torque delivered in Sport Boost or when using Launch Control.

Silently running from standstill to 100kmh in just six seconds, it can then sprint on to a top speed of 230kmh.

BMW i5 eDrive40

Pushed From Behind

The power is delivered to the rear wheels, which makes for a more thrilling drive when you push it. The tendency is to wiggle and squirm a bit, but the weight of the car and all the driving aids help to bring that under control quite quickly, unless you persist in your driving behaviour, of course.

Connected Drive

Since most of our lives are tethered to our smart devices, BMW makes full use of that forced behaviour by sending information to the My BMW app on your phone — from software upgrade prompts to remote locking of the car and fuel levels. It can also sync with your infotainment system, allowing you to play your music through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

With the digital key, which can be used via both iOS and android smartphones and the Apple Watch, you can have less bulk in your pocket by leaving your car key at home.

BMW i5 eDrive40

With a range of up to 580km, this would be a nice set of wheels for a long run, if you’re not in too much of a hurry and would like to enjoy the connectivity — be it music, gaming or just conviviality — and creature comforts. 

This 5 Series will continue to play an important part in BMW’s line up.

BMW i5 eDrive40

BMW i5 eDrive 40 RATING

Styling: 8/10

Interior: 8/10

Connectivity: 9/10

Ride: 8/10

Handling: 8/10

Power: 8/10

Overall: 8.5/10

*Please reconfirm price with dealer.

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