Our Rating



The 5 Series is one of BMW’s core models, with more than 10 million examples being produced since its original introduction in 1972. It’s adapted successfully to the times, gaining the latest technology and powertrains.

The outgoing model’s plug-in hybrid setup has proven especially popular, and BMW is hoping to improve that further with this new eighth-generation 5 Series, due to hit the roads in 2024. That’s because, alongside petrol, diesel and hybrid versions, there will be the new i5 – an electric version of this saloon, and Touring estate eventually. 

Ahead of it being revealed later this year, we’ve had the chance to get behind the wheel of a camouflaged model. But is this a car that will worry the likes of Mercedes and its EQE? Let’s find out. 

BMW i5


BMW has unsurprisingly not announced full details about the i5 ahead of its reveal. Still, we do know it will be available with two different powertrains – the eDrive40 car we’re driving here, or a powerful M60 xDrive model. 

This eDrive40 car is rear-wheel-drive as standard and puts out 321bhp from its electric motor. No performance details have been confirmed, but we expect it to deliver a 0-60mph time of under six seconds. As for range, BMW claims that the i5 should manage up to an impressive 361 miles, while having a DC charging speed of more than 200kW, meaning speedy charging should be possible. 

BMW i5

Ride and handling

BMW has engineered plenty of clever technologies into the i5, including active roll stabilisation that helps the car to keep flat through the bends, along with air suspension on the rear axle. This i5 might be a prototype, but BMW says it’s very close to production spec in terms of dynamics. 

That bodes well as it steers, corners and accelerates in superb fashion, while feeling as agile as many smaller cars. But the real stand-out feature of the i5 is its ride. Many heavier EVs suffer from a harsh ride, but with the i5, it is brilliantly comfortable but never soft enough to make it roll through the corners. We expect it to be a smash hit with long-distance drivers.

BMW i5


Much like the i5’s exterior, the cabin of our prototype was largely camouflaged. That said, there’s some impressive technology on display already, including BMW’s Curved Display screens that are being rolled out across most of the German firm’s latest models. There’s a new steering wheel design present too. 

As for practicality, due to the constraints of using a platform shared with a petrol and diesel car, there’s still a transmission tunnel, but there’s still loads of room in the rear seats. There’s no boot storage figure, but it looks to remain a very similar size to the outgoing 5 Series.

BMW i5


BMW again won’t detail the equipment set to be fitted to the i5, but given the 5 Series is a large premium saloon, we expect the level of features to be fitted to be generous. 

We know it will use the latest ‘8.5’ generation of BMW’s iDrive infotainment, while also boasting the latest in driver assistance features, including an Auto Lane Change feature that can change lanes for you simply by looking into the side mirror following a prompt on the dashboard. Impressive stuff. 

BMW i5


Again, the cost of the i5 remains under wraps. But that said, we can come up with a pretty realistic estimate of what we expect it to cost. 

Positioned between the £50,000 i4 and £115,000 i7, we reckon the i5 in its entry-level guise will come in at around £70,000, and rise to nearer £100,000 for the flagship M60 model.

BMW i5


There’s still a lot we don’t know about the i5, but what we do know from our prototype drive, is that this new BMW looks to be an impressive choice behind the wheel.

Handling with the poise and agility that this German manufacturer is renowned for, the i5 seems to be a ‘true BMW’, and that certainly bodes well for the future electric models to come from this firm.