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. 

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...

Senior staff writer

Senior staff writer at Auto Express, Jordan joined the team after six years at evo magazine where he specialised in news and reviews of cars at the high performance end of the car market. 

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