UK buyers can now get BMW's 530e and 550e xDrive plug-in hybrids

BMW’s pair of plug-in 5 Series models add more options to growing range

The all-new BMW 5 Series range is continuing to expand in the UK, with a pair of plug-in options now joining the existing mild-hybrid and all-electric models. The new 530e and high-spec 550e xDrive both feature new powertrains that offer the best of both worlds when it comes to all-electric efficiency plus the added range and versatility of a petrol-powered model. Both will be available exclusively in M Sport trim in the UK, each coming in standard or Pro forms. 

The 530e starts at £59,455, and comes with a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine paired with BMW’s latest plug-in hybrid system. This consists of an integrated e-motor and 19.4kWh lithium ion battery pack that helps the 530e achieve an impressive electric range of up to 62 miles. As with all plug-in hybrids, the advertised 403-470mpg figure is relative to having fully charged batteries, but still represents impressive overall efficiency from BMW’s third generation 5 Series with a plug. 

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Peak power and torque is rated at 293bhp and 450Nm, helping the saloon reach 62mph in 6.3 seconds and go on to a 143mph top speed. Power is delivered exclusively to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic box, for now there’s no all-wheel drive option. 

Above this sits the new and more powerful £76,605 550e xDrive which combines the same PHEV system to a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre in-line six petrol engine, upping power and torque to 482bhp and 700Nm. Driving exclusively through BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system, the 550e’s 0-62mph time drops substantially to 4.3 seconds, reaching a limited 155mph. The flipside of this extra performance is seen in its lower efficiency rating, with an mpg figure between 282-353mpg and a slightly compromised 56-mile EV range. 

In addition to two extra cylinders, the 550e xDrive also features BMW’s Adaptive Chassis Professional system that combines lowered suspension with adaptive dampers and rear-wheel steering. As well as helping the saloon feel more agile, this system also benefits low-speed manoeuvrability and high-speed stability. 

These models help bolster the new BMW 5 Series range which now includes mild-hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric options. But none of these cars are due to be the most powerful in BMW’s pipeline, because a next generation M5 due next year is set to pick up a V8 PHEV powertrain derived from the one used in the XM SUV.

Now read our BMW 330e Touring review…

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