BMW 530e Plug-in Hybrid Review

BMW 530e Plug-in Hybrid Review

In conjunction with the launch of our new Nucar plug-in hybrid and electric vehicle campaign, we thought it best to choose a hybrid and review what it's like to live with. 
 
I've opted for the brand new BMW 530e X-Drive M-Sport Auto. 
  
The first impressions of the new BMW 5 series are pretty much what you'd expect, let's face it, it's German and prestige - what's not to like? Aside from the new 5 series being far prettier than its predecessor in my opinion (especially with the M-Sport plus pack option applied), the new technology within this vehicle is nothing short of outstanding. It's not that it's got any particular extra standard specification we’d refer to, you wouldn't potentially find on one of its German rivals from the likes of Audi or Mercedes-Benz (in what is a very competitive sector), it's merely how this new BMW I-Drive 7 operates. It seems to dominate the whole experience and I think it's fantastic!
  
We've all been there, repeatedly saying the same simple commands via voice control (of which I appreciate has been available on vehicles for many years now). But this one actually works! It even understood my dulcet Yorkshire tone, unlike any other I've ever come across. I've actually been reluctant to use voice control in the past on other makes/models for this very reason. However, I was shocked! Every command, it was able to facilitate and at the very first time of asking. Honestly, whether it be a telephone call from your contacts list, a radio station request or sat nav destination you desire - it's amazing! The I-Drive continues to function through the rotary dial and shortcut buttons surrounding it. However, BMW has incorporated touchscreens via a 12.3-inch display should that be your desired way to operate, with some models even receiving gesture controls. Much of what’s inside the system is based on a hybrid approach also. ;-)
 
The German build quality is every bit as good as we've all come to expect. I do especially love these new digital cockpits now available from popular German brands with a choice of views that enable you to configure your dashboard as you desire. Along with the 12.3-inch colour centre console display, it therefore looks very sharp, very current and results in being extremely intuitive. 
  
When it comes to performance, I found it more than capable. It’s no M5 of course, but more than adequate. It’s a great drive! It takes a little bit of getting used to (if it’s the first hybrid you’ve owned), with regard to hearing no engine noise upon start up. And most of the journeys I encountered involved a lot of stop/start miles of which we all know is not great with regard to fuel economy. And with that in mind, I was astounded at the fuel efficiency attained.
 
I found the BMW 530e a fantastic car and given it was my first experience of hybrid technology, I was pleasantly surprised. It's a great advert for hybrids in general.