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Car Review

BMW i5 review

£74,050 - £109,890
Published: 30 Oct 2023


What should I be paying?

The new i5 is available in three trim levels. Prices start at £74,105 for the eDrive40 in standard M Sport guise, and rise £3k for the M Sport Pro. The M60 xDrive is a mighty £97,745. Yup, almost twice as much as the cheapest petrol 5 Series. Gulp.

Let’s break down what you get with each. Standard gear includes 19-inch alloys, M Sport brakes and suspension, the vegan/Alcantara interior, Harman/Kardon sound system, heated seats with front lumbar support, ambient lighting, adaptive LEDs, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and wireless phone charging. Everything you’d expect on a £70k+ car.
M Sport Pro adds bi-colour 20s, LED and exterior design tweaks - including a glowing kidney grille and various glossy black elements. A rear lip spoiler is thrown in too.

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And the fast one?

Meanwhile the M60 is basically another car in its own right. For your £23k extra you get that stupendously powerful dual-motor set-up and an ability to keep up with pretty much anything you’re likely to meet on the road. Supercars included. It also gets fancier 20s (21s are optional), adaptive suspension, four-zone air-con, red brake calipers, 22kW AC charging and the Bowers & Wilkins upgrade.

If you can afford it, the M60 is the one you want. The handling is glorious and you’ll crack a smile every time you spot someone in a stodgy Tesla.

The i5 is a portal to options Nirvana – if that’s the word – so go big or go home. Highlights include the Technology Plus Pack (£3,300, brings gesture control, an interior camera, lane-change tech, a HUD and BMW’s parking assistant) and the Comfort Plus Pack (£3,750, adds an electric tailgate, comfort and vented front seats, heated rears and steering wheel), and the M Adaptive Suspension Pro (£4,000, lowers the suspension by 5mm and adds active roll stabilisation and active steering). Alternatively there’s an ‘Ultimate’ pack that will bung in the whole lot for £12,200. That might be worth it purely to stop the inevitable headache.

Anything else to know?

The BMW Digital Key uses Ultra Wideband (UWB) tech to turn your smartphone or Apple Watch into a key. As is the way these days, the 5 Series is effectively future-proofed via remote ‘over-the-air’ updates. BMW says it has five million vehicles on the road that can handle OTA upgrades, more than any other car maker. There’s also BMW Charging, which offers a fixed tariff at one of 466,300 charging points currently registered in Europe. BMW i5 owners will also have their monthly fees for BP Pulse and Ionity waived for the first 12 months of ownership.

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The i5 is also the first BMW to benefit from the new Plug & Charge function. Digital authentication via app or charging card is no longer needed because the car authenticates itself independently through a technical interface. Owners can digitally store up to five Plug & Charge-enabled contracts from different providers in the car. Smart charging is an option via the Connected Home Charging package. Basically, the i5 should – should – take the hassle out of the still-confusing charging process.

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