Published on December 31st, 2021 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
BMW 530e Plug In Hybrid Test Drive Review
Can we live with a plug in hybrid car daily?
Yes, of course. You are not forced to charge the battery system in your latest model plug-in hybrid (PHEV) BMW often like with older PHEV models as BMW battery engineers have revised the software and ‘more’ to allow BMW PHEV owners who do not have access to battery charging facilities to just drive and fuel up when necessary their BMW PHEV sports sedan whenever needed.
Well, you probably will not bother with the above fact as BMW Malaysia marketing team have done extensive research and they say that DSF.my readers are not BMW owners and also our readers do not buy BMW’s.
True or false? Anyway, just keep reading as you might learn a thing or two about this BMW PHEV sedan.
So, the quest for fuel efficient driving is no longer a priority as many BMW buyers, especially in our part of the world, just want to drive a ‘badge’ for snob appeal. Yes, BMW carries the title ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’, however with a light electrically assisted steering and smaller capacity turbocharged engines, all in the name of saving fuel and lowering emissions has put the BMW’s tagline as the ‘ultimate driving machine’ into retirement.
Still, it does not matter as in a few years, all this will be gone for good and pure battery powered premium cars will rule our roads and BMW and its rivals Mercedes-AMG, Audi and Porsche will all be delivering vehicles that claim better range, lighter chassis, better aerodynamics and faster standstill to 100km/h acceleration time.
Yes, the arrival of electric car will remove any form of ‘driving pleasure’ and the motoring enthusiast will have to re-focus their energy towards battery range, smart car features and autonomous driving where possible.
So, before we get more depressed about the above, lets review this face-lift 530e (G30 model) which carries slimmer headlights and a revised bumper treatment.
This latest version of the 530e was launched in May 2021, just 6 months ago for RM334,353. Now, some of you might be worried about the battery system in any BMW hybrid. Well, in June 2020 BMW Malaysia extended its current PHEV battery warranty programme for its BMW and MINI vehicles by an additional 2 Years and 60,000km, bringing the programme to a total of 8 Years or 160,000km (whichever comes first).
How exactly is the drive on the highway and back roads with this car? Well, the BMW handling heritage remains. Let us explain.
Away from the traffic filled city roads this 530e will show off its best attributes. Forget any pre-conceived ideas of lackluster heavy handling due to its sheer size and weight. There are a lot of performance sedans out there that will protest at the thought of a quick sweeping corner. Not this 530e. Its given DNA means turn in is sharper than you would expect, body roll kept to the barest minimum, with more steering feel than some less focused peers.
When it comes to the ride quality, this 5 PHEV impressed us. The ride remained very supple under badly maintained tarmac despite its run-flat tires. The chassis and suspension handled most bumps without throwing the car out of control. You can hit a rough patch on the road, and of course you will feel it, but you won’t be uncomfortable to the point that your body takes any force.
The steering wheel allows for a solid feel on the road, but not too much. The 8-speed automatic, left either to its own devices or driven via steering column-mounted paddles, is smooth and quick and it blips the throttle on downshifts.
In other words, it is very agile and enjoyable leaving the driver to quickly forget its size and weight. Despite its sporting DNA, the taut firm yet comfortable suspension manages to isolate all but the worst of the tarmac on the outer limits of Klang Valley roads, without compromising cabin comfort, especially in the rear.
Also, in case you happen to be a few who want to save fuel and reduce emissions, this BMW 5 PHEV is rated to consume only 2.3l/100km of fuel with a CO2 emission of 53g/km. The electric motor is capable of an all-electric range of up to 67 kilometers (NEDC correlated) – making all-electric city driving and short journeys possible if you know how to work it.
Meanwhile, if you happen to prefer a pure petrol powered 5 Series, you can buy the 530i M Sport for RM396,000. Yes, it is RM65,000 more expensive as it does not enjoy the import duty rebate that PHEV’s enjoy in Malaysia.
So, what is lacking? Well, the cabin looks great from the showroom floor, but when you compare it to its immediate rivals it starts looking a little dated. For us, we like dated as we are not fans of big screens in a car. Big screens are for gaming and watching reruns of the Matrix!
Specifications BMW 530e Sport PHEV
Engine 4-cylinder Petrol
Transmission 8-Speed Automatic Transmission
Max Output 292bhp + 40bhp with Xtra Boost
Max Torque 420Nm
0-100km/h 5.9 seconds
Top Speed 235km/h