For the first time in 51 years, you can get the 5 Series with a fully electric powertrain.
Despite crossovers utterly dominating automakers’ sales charts these days, luxury marques hold onto sedans as a crucial part of their identity. That’s especially true with the BMW 5 Series, which has been a staple since 1972. Now, 51 years later, there’s a brand-new eighth-generation 5 Series with gas-powered models as well as a full EV: the nearly identical i5.
That last part is an interesting move, since the i5 (shown above) is more or less exactly the same as its ICE counterpart, aside from the grilles, badging and drivetrains. Unlike the iX against BMW’s conventional SUVs, the electric model isn’t in another universe. In fact, the Bavarian automaker seems particularly careful not to alter its iconic midsize sedan beyond recognition, like it’s done with the 7 Series over the past few years.
The 2024 BMW 5 Series follows the same playbook as its counterparts (excluding the iX), using the same platform to underpin both its gas-fired models as well as its EVs. This new G60 model is physically larger than the G30 it replaces, growing by 3.9 inches in overall length. It’s also 1.4 inches taller, 1.3 inches wider and rides on a 0.8-inch longer wheelbase. The grille, predictably, has gotten larger in this generation, though it’s not nearly as gigantic as the new 7 Series. Again, BMW seems have played it relatively safe and conservative with the styling. That said, the last 5er was a handsome and well-proportioned car (even in fire-breathing M5 form), so evolution isn’t necessarily a bad idea.
Three gas models are available at launch
This 2024 BMW 5 Series lineup isn’t ditching internal combustion, with the 530i being the least expensive option. That model brings in the company’s familiar 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, putting out 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque through an 8-speed automatic transmission. The rear-wheel drive model starts off at $58,895, while the 530i xDrive is $2,300 more. Both ICE cars will go on sale in October.
There’s another option if you want a bit more grunt in the 540i xDrive. Like before, the ’40’ model adds two extra cylinders, and bumps the output to 375 horsepower (up from 335 hp before) and 384 lb-ft of torque. The 48-volt mild hybrid system kicks in a bit of extra oomph to bring the total possible torque up to 398 lb-ft. The 0-60 time clocks in at a respectable 4.8 seconds, against the 530i xDrive’s 5.8 seconds. It’s still less expensive than the cheapest i5, at $65,895, but it won’t go into production until November.
BMW isn’t stopping there, either. We’ll certainly get another M5 in due time, but the automaker also mentioned a PHEV due out next year. However, we don’t have technical specs on the PHEV option just yet.
Then there are the two electric options
If you’re looking to move beyond internal combustion, then the 2024 BMW 5 Series will cater with two distinct i5 models. Again, they follow their EV siblings, with an entry-level i5 eDrive40 and a more potent M60 xDrive.
The rear-wheel drive eDrive40 setup, starting at $67,795, gives you a single, rear-mounted electric motor putting out 335 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. There is a Sport Boost and Launch Control function that will temporarily boost that figure up to 317 lb-ft. Most of the time, though, you can expect the 0-60 sprint to happen in 5.7 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 120 mph. The 84.3-kWh battery pack should net a 300-mile driving range, though that’s just an estimated EPA figure at the moment.
Like the gas cars, drivers can spec an M Sport package that retunes the suspension and gives the two-ton eDrive40 a sportier look.
The dual motor i5 M60 xDrive is far more powerful
If you’re a huge 5 Series fan, you probably noticed the lack of a new M550i model. You’ll effectively get a similar level of power in the i5 M60 xDrive, which manages 590 horsepower and 586 lb-ft of torque thanks to packing in that second electric motor. It’s the quickest of this new 5 Series lineup (at least until the new M5 comes along) with the highest price tag: $85,095.
For the extra cash, you should see a 0-60 time around 3.7 seconds, as well as a 143 mph top speed when the car’s running on summer tires. You’ll get the same 84.3-kWh battery as before, with an expectedly lower range of around 256 miles. The i5’s 400-volt electrical architecture enables 205-kW DC fast charging, though, which BMW says allows you to charge from 10 to 80% in about 30 minutes. Like BMW’s other EVs, the i5 also gets a Max Range mode that disables the climate control and limits the top speed to 56 mph to maximize driving range.
The new BMW 5 Series is a tech-fest, as you’d expect
Inside, the new 5 and its all-electric variant gets a dual 12.3-inch display setup, with the BMW iDrive 8.5 infotainment system packing the “AirConsole” gaming platform — perfect for waiting while you charge up. The driver and passengers can pair their smartphone up to the AirConsole system using a QR code while the car is stationary, with around 20 available games available at launch. It’s not the sort of system that will let you play Tears of the Kingdom or a big-name AAA title like you’d do on your home console, but it’s better than nothing if you’re into mobile gaming.
More tech abounds in the new 5 Series beyond the gaming functionality. BMW upgraded its Driving Assistance Professional package to include “Highway Assistant”, which allows for hands-off driving at speeds up to 85 mph. An interior camera monitors the driver to ensure they are paying attention, though they can also activate a the “Active Lane Change” system while the hands-free driving is toggled by simply looking at the corresponding rearview mirror.