2018 BMW 530e Plug-in Electric Hybrid Vehicle Review

The seventh generation BMW 5 series is more sporty, elegant and stylish. The 2018 BMW 530e is the first plug-in electric hybrid of the popular 5 series luxury sedan.

Our test vehicle in beautiful Mediterranean Blue Metallic is equipped with premium package enhanced, interior comfort, driver assistance and smartphone connectivity package.

While it looks similar to it’s gas powered counterpart, it has iPerformance details like blue kidney grille slats, blue wheel hub covers and “eDrive” badge on the C-pillars and door sills.

It shared the same platform as the gas powered BMW 530i. Expect under the hood, the powertrain is a combination of a 2.0 litre TwinPower Turbo four cylinder with an eDrive electric motor paired with a eight speed Steptronic transmission. It has a total output of 248 horsepower and 310 lb. ft. of torque. It can propel the 530e from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.1 seconds.

On my daily commute to Downtown Vancouver, I was driving the 530e in all electric mode. It was very quite and delivered plenty of power and instant torque from the 111 horsepower electric motor. The 530e has a range of 20 km in pure electric. It’s a good short range to drive to the office or run errands around the city.

In addition, the 530e has a Brake Energy Regeneration system which will charge the battery when the vehicle is coasting, braking or decelerating.

There are many free ChargePoint and FLO charging stations across the Lower Mainland. With Level 2 fast charger, it will charged the 530e in less than three hours. While using a residential wall outlet, it will take seven hours to fully charged the 5 series.

It has a 9.2 kWh lithium-ion battery park located underneath the rear seat to increase the cargo space in the trunk.

The luxurious cabin is wrapped in ivory and dark coffee nappa leather. As expected in a BMW, the materials and build quality are top notch. The spacious interior has good head and legroom for front and rear passengers.

The plush seats are heated and ventilated with massage function. It has 8 different massage settings for shoulder, lumbar, back, upper body, and full body massages for both driver and passenger seats. It’s very relaxing to get a full back massage while driving. Plus, it helps reduce fatigue and increase blood circulation during long road trip.

You can control the iDrive 6.0 infotainment system by gesture, voice, 10.25 inch touch screen or iDrive controller.

With gesture control, you can wave your hand to control the infotainment system. You can circle your finger clockwise to turn up the volume or counter-clockwise to turn down the volume. You can point toward the touch screen to accept a phone call or swipe your hand to the right to reject a call.

One of the coolest feature is 360 Surround View with 3D View. The system shows a bird’s eye view of the vehicle as well as 3D image of the surrounding area to help you spot obstacles and blindspots.

The wireless charging tray can charge any Apple iPhone and Android smartphone with Qi charging capability. Plus, you can check emails or stream your Spotify playlists using the 530e built in Wi-Fi hotspot.

The plug-in hybrid has three driving modes: Auto eDrive, Max eDrive and Battery Control.

In Auto eDrive, the vehicle automatically switch between the gas engine and electric motor for optimum efficiency.

In Max eDrive, the vehicle is in pure electric mode.

In Battery Control, you can set the battery charge level manually. The vehicle will keep the battery charge at the selected level so you can conserve power for a later time.

You can also customized the vehicle’s Driving Dynamics Control by switching to Sport, Comfort and Eco Pro.

In Sport mode, it tweak the transmission and suspension settings for more spirited driving. It’s perfect for the back country roads.

In Comfort mode, it’s the default engine and transmission settings. It’s ideal for everyday city driving.

In Eco Pro mode, it adjust the transmission setting to reduce fuel consumption by up to 20 per cent.

On the road, the 5 series is loaded with the latest active safety and driver assisted technology such as Active Cruise with Stop and Go, Steering and Lane Control, Lane Keep Assistant, Cross-Traffic Alert, Evasion Assistance, Parking Assistant Plus, Collision Warning with City Braking, Lane Departure Warning Blind Spot Warning and Rear Collision Prevention.

You can drive it in semi autonomous mode with the combination of Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go and Active Lane Keeping Assistant. The 530e use radar to automatically adjust the vehicle’s speed and apply the brake when necessary. It will automatically steer the vehicle back in the centre of the lane.

The Head Up Display projects in the windshield directly into your line of sight and allowing you to keep your eye on the road. It can project information on speed, route direction, active cruise control and lane guidance.

Overall, the 2018 BMW 530e is a well-rounded luxury cruiser with plush comfort and state of the art active safety and driver assisted technology like semi autonomous driving. The hybrid system works seamlessly between gas engine and electric motor. It performs the same as the 530i but with an EV benefit.

James Chung

Vancouver Lifestyle, Cool Tech & Travel Adventure. Email: james@hellovancity.com

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