BMW i5 Touring: Electrifying the Executive Estate Market

BMW has launched the i5 Touring, the first all-electric executive estate vehicle in the market. As Audi stayed idle, BMW took the lead, introducing a groundbreaking car that offers a choice of rear- or dual-motor electric powertrains. This model features a spacious 570-litre boot and incorporates state-of-the-art technology, setting a new standard in its segment.

Photo from Top Gear

There is not much competition for the i5 Touring in the electric estate segment. The Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo is quick, has a small interior, and is expensive; in contrast, the MG 5 is slower, smaller, and more affordable. The i5 Touring, on the other hand, offers a unique combination of zero-emission driving and ample cargo space, making it a desirable option for drivers who care about the environment and value elegance and functionality.

BMW has two different engine options, particularly popular in the UK where estate cars abound. Starting at £69,945, the basic model, dubbed the ‘eDrive40,’ sends 335bhp to the rear wheels. This model may easily reach £80,000 when the M Sport package is included. According to BMW, this model is suitable for lengthy trips since it can cover more than 340 miles on a single charge.

An alternative for individuals looking for more performance is the i5 M60 xDrive. With the help of front and rear motors working together, this version’s all-wheel-drive system produces close to 600 horsepower and more than 600 pound-feet of torque. Drivers can still access over 500bhp even when Sport Boost mode is not engaged, which enables the car to accelerate from 0-62 mph in under 3.9 seconds. But without more choices, this performance costs £100,000, a premium price.

One of the standout features of the i5 Touring is its advanced driver assistance systems. The vehicle can autonomously change lanes on motorways, executing overtakes with remarkable ease. This technology requires drivers to trust the system, which might take some time, but it significantly enhances safety and convenience.

BMW’s ‘eRoute’ technology is another critical feature of the i5 Touring. This system automatically updates the navigation with information about nearby charging stations, including their operational status and suitability for the journey. Although this feature is highly sophisticated, many users might still prefer popular navigation apps like Google Maps or Waze for their everyday travel needs.

When it comes to comfort and equipment, the BMW i5 Touring excels. The car is designed to be refined, comfortable, and user-friendly. It offers a smooth and dynamic driving experience with more features than one might typically use. From customizable ambient lighting to many driving aids, the i5 Touring is built to deliver an exceptional driving experience.

Despite its many strengths, the i5 Touring does have some limitations. It excels as a practical estate car, but its real-world range of around 300 miles may not convince drivers accustomed to the 700-mile range of diesel models like the 520d. For those concerned about range, BMW also offers the plug-in hybrid 530e, which provides a balanced solution combining electric efficiency with extended range capabilities.

The BMW i5 Touring sets a new electric estate car market benchmark. It combines luxury, performance, and practicality in an eco-friendly and highly advanced package. While it may not fully replace long-range diesel estates for some, it certainly raises the bar for future electric estates. BMW has once again showcased its commitment to innovation and excellence with the i5 Touring, making it a top choice for those ready to embrace the future of automotive technology.

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