BMW 5 Series

Given that BMW itself calls the BMW 5 Series the “core and heart” of its brand, the arrival of a new one is going to be a much bigger event than yet another SUV rolling off the line.

This all-new G60 version is the eighth generation of a model that has racked up more than 10 million sales in more than 50 years on the market, yet so far we have only known it by a different name: the BMW i5 – a decent but not game-changing electric car offering. 

But don’t tar the entire 5 Series range with the same brush just yet, because it is as broad as any other out there at the moment. Depending on where you live, you can get a four-cylinder and six-cylinder diesel (remember those?), a four-cylinder petrol and four- and six-cylinder petrol plug-in hybrids. Power outputs range from 205bhp to 593bhp. 

In the UK, we are getting the 520i four-cylinder turbo petrol as an entry-level offering that costs almost half the price of the range-topping i5 M60; the 530e four-cylinder PHEV; and the 550e six-cylinder, four-wheel-drive PHEV, which sits roughly level with the i5 eDrive40 at £76,605. No diesels for us. 

Here, we are testing the 550e. There’s a hell of a lot of technology and running gear packed into this car, and if you look at each line of its specification in isolation, each number tells a very different story about what kind of car it could be. One role is that of a sports saloon that can crack 0-62mph in just 4.3sec and has combined peak outputs of 482bhp and 516lb ft of torque. 

Yet it can also play the role of economy champion, thanks to up to 56 miles of electric-only range from its 19kWh battery – enough to drop it into the UK’s low 8% BIK band (compared with 31% for the 520i).

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