BMW i5 Touring Review

£69,945 - £111,795 score


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It’s ‘just’ a BMW i5 with a big boot, but it’s also a fun yet practical alternative to the electric SUVs out there, and we absolutely love it.

  • Battery size: 81.2 kWh
  • Range: 310 - 342 miles
  • Max charge rate: 205kW
  • E-Rating™: B

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  • Battery size: 81.2 kWh
  • Range: 310 - 342 miles
  • Max charge rate: 205kW
  • E-Rating™: B

Nicki Says

“I don’t think the i5 looks that great from the front – it’s all a bit overstyled for my tastes. But I do think the estate really improves things at the back. Can’t wait to see what this is like up against the new Audi A6 e-tron.”

Vicky Says

“I rate the i5 eDrive40 as one of the best electric cars to drive if you’re after a nice balance of luxury with a bit of a fun, responsive edge to the handling. I also absolutely love big estates, so this could well be my new favourite car.  ”

Reviewed by 

Ginny Buckley

24 May 2024

The BMW i5 Touring is, as you may have guessed, an estate version of the electric BMW 5 Series. It’s significant, though, because most of us are a little bored of endless electric SUVs and this is a refreshing break from that norm. So, if you want a posh-yet-practical electric car, and you need loads of boot space and family-appropriate usefulness, read on…

Introduction and model history

The BMW 5 Series has been around for decades, and has long been rated as one of the best executive cars to drive. It’s the one you go for if you love driving on a good road, but also want a big, plush saloon or estate. 

The electric BMW i5 saloon managed to live up to the 5 Series’ long-lived reputation, too, and is one of our favourite posh, big electric executive cars. Predictably, the i5 Touring uses the same hardware; That means the same 81kWh battery, but thanks to that bigger bum it achieves a WLTP range of 342 miles, which is 14 miles less than the saloon. Even so, the i5 estate is a whole load more practicality for - in relative terms - a measly £2,250 more than the saloon.

You can also get the i5 Touring with an over-indulgence of power and four-wheel drive, if you go for the i5 M60 xDrive Touring, which gets 593bhp and will do 0-62mph in 3.9sec, but costs nearly £112,000. Ouch… Which is why I made sure to grab the keys to the i5 Touring eDrive 40. It may make do with ‘just’ 335bhp, rear-wheel drive and a 0-62mph sprint of 6.1 seconds, but it’s definitely the one that I’d go for – and that most buyers in the UK will choose, too.

Range, battery and charging 

As we’ve mentioned, the BMW i5 Touring gets an 81kWh usable (88.4kWh total capacity) lithium-ion NMC battery, which is good for a WLTP combined range of up to 342 miles; usefully more than you get in the BMW iX or iX3, and even a touch more than you get in the Audi Q8 e-tron. There are no direct electric estate rivals to the i5 Touring just yet, but the Audi A6 e-tron is set to arrive before the end of 2024, and is rumoured to have a range of over 400 miles. 

Enough of the official numbers, though, what range does the BMW i5 Touring get in the real world? Well, I spent the day driving the i5 wagon around Munich and the surrounding countryside in fairly warm weather, and saw real-world range of around 270 miles to a charge. That’s not bad for a big estate car like this. You also get a heat pump as standard, which should help to keep efficiency up in colder conditions, so we'd expect the i5 to be able to cover around 230 miles in winter - although, until we've had a chance to spend more time with the i5, this is just an educated guess.

Charging is fast, too. There’s 206kW of DC charging on offer - which is very good, and means that you can rapid charge in under 30 minutes on a powerful enough DC rapid charger. BMW also says that you’ll get an average charging speed of 137kW from 10-80 percent – and don’t forget that charging is all about averages! A massive peak charging speed is only good for the marketing campaign, if it only lasts a few moments. As for home charging, a flat to full charge on the average 7kW home charger (very few homes in the UK can support a more powerful charger than that) will take 13 hours. 

As a neat touch, the i5 doesn’t only pre-heat its batteries automatically when you put a charging stop in the nav, you can also manually tell it to prepare for a charge via the touchscreen. Which is really useful – especially if you normally use the nav apps on your phone via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, as the car’s brain doesn’t know if you’ve put a charging stop in on these apps, so being able to just press a button a few minutes before you stop to charge helps to get the best charging speeds, and also helps to protect the battery’s longevity. 

Practicality and boot space 

As for that all-important boot in the i5 Touring? Well, it’s a typical large estate hatch, with 570-litres of space. That’s 70 litres more than in the BMW iX, and 80 more than the i5 saloon. Think of the fun you have with that extra space - pack your picnic box, or your fish tank. Lovely stuff. And it’s easy to get all the gubbins in, too, as you get a nice, low loading lip with a flush boot floor. You can also drop the rear seats by pulling a lever in the boot, and that frees up about 1,700-litres of leather-lined van. I still find it annoying when the folded seats don’t quite fold totally flat, though.

And if you don’t want the dog chewing your charging cables, there’s a 30-litre underfloor storage section that’s great for keeping your cables out of the way. No frunk, though (boo) because the 5-series actually has PHEV and ICE versions on offer, too.  

Also boo to the fact that you can’t flip open the rear windscreen, separately from the full boot hatch. That’s always been a BMW Touring ‘thing’ and I’ve always found it really useful. BMW says it’s been dropped for the i5 because of the sloping back and the rear spoiler… Still, it is a great-looking car (better than the saloon, I’d say) and there’s no doubt that it’s also very useful on the inside. 

Otherwise, passenger space in the back seats and up front is just as impressive as it is in the BMW i5 saloon, so you won’t feel shortchanged in that regard, either. It’s supremely comfy and roomy.

Interior, design/styling and technology 

The BMW Curved Glass display is always a bit of a showstopper, I think, and that goes for the BMW i5 Touring which (as you’d expect) is pretty much identical to the i5 saloon when it comes to the dash design, and technology and equipment levels.  That means the huge, 12.3-inch main instrument display behind the steering wheel, which merges seamlessly into the nearly 15-inch main touchscreen. I think one of the problems is that there’s so much screen that it’s a bit overwhelming at first; I definitely needed a bit of time to familiarise myself when I first used this system. But once you’ve had one for a bit, there’s the QuickSelect function that deals with all of your favourite actions, so you just shortcut to the bits you use most, and the rotary controller is really useful for navigating the system easily when you're driving, too.  

One little bit of theatre that I really like is the ‘Interaction Bar’ on the dash. This is the backlit strip, and it hides the capacitive controls for the hidden air-vents, and it also does things like light up when you get a phone call and warn you if it’s not safe to open the door because of oncoming hazards. Sounds a bit jazzy, but it’s actually really useful and it looks cool, too.  

It all feels really good quality as well - and there are all the usual driver assistance systems and connectivity. It’s not a particularly radical electric car, probably because the 5-series also comes with engines so it’s not a bespoke platform, but that’s also a good thing for those trying one for the first time. It’s just a BMW 5-series that happens to be electric. 

Motors, performance and handling

So, if there’s a big bottom to deal with, is the Touring less fun to drive? I’ll immediately say no. The i5 is probably one of the best electric cars to drive, no matter which model, and I found that the Touring rides and handles pretty much exactly the same as the saloon. Which is to say, a little bit firm and sporty, but positive and confident. It’s a really good car to do long trips in, yet is also quiet and nimble when you need it to be in town – and that’s exactly what the i5 should be. 

Interestingly, it’s actually the same length as the saloon, so no harder to park, and a big surprise is that it only weighs 50kg more for that extra space. That’s not much! I reckon I carry around more than 50kg of kid’s stuff whenever we go out.

It’s also pretty much as fast as the normal i5. The eDrive40 gets a single motor that drives the rear wheels, and has 335bhp on offer  - which is the same as a 540i petrol V6 - and it gets from rest to 62mph in 6.1 seconds. Just 0.1 seconds slower than the saloon, and I certainly can’t feel the difference, although you may be calibrated to the nearest hundredth of a second, unlike me. 

And if you do want full acceleration for an overtake in the eDrive40, you just pull a paddle labelled ‘Boost’ and you get a bit more power, and it’s nicely rapid. Obviously, the dual-motor M60 xDrive is going to be much more savage - but you’re unlikely to regularly make full use of all 592bhp that it’s got, anyway, and it costs so much more! 

Basically, the eDrive40 is more than fast enough, however you want to drive it, and I also enjoyed sticking it into B mode and driving it in one-pedal style around town. The brake re-gen is really nicely blended for ultimate smoothness in town, too, and I even like the noises that the i5 makes. They’re called BMW ‘iconic sounds’, and you can pick a favourite from the selection. It’s all been thought about, and executed in that typically precise, thorough BMW fashion. 

All in all, the i5 Touring is pretty much exactly as good as the saloon to drive. The extra bit at the back really doesn’t make any difference at all.

Running costs and pricing 

You can get the BMW i5 Touring in three different trims, including the entry-level Sport Edition, and the sportier-looking M Sport, which gets a contrast panel around the lower half of the front grille, bigger wheels and a bit more chrome bling to it. I actually prefer the more understated look of the Sport Edition, plus you still get most of the kit you want. I’d add the Comfort Pack for keyless entry, heated steering wheels and neat little tablet mounts and charging sockets for kids (or bored adults) in the back seats. 

Prices start at £69,945 for the i5 Touring Sport Edition, or it’s more than £6,000 to jump up to M Sport, which is just another reason to stick with the more basic car, I’d say. Monthly finance isn’t cheap, sadly. The i5 Touring is very new, and PCP finance deals normally drop after the first year or so, but you’ll be paying well over £900 per month for the i5 Touring, unless you’ve got a very generous deposit or high value part-exchange car. 

A full charge in the i5 will cost around £20 from a home charger, or you can cut that to under £10 if you use a discounted off-peak tariff.  


So what do we think? Well, BMW thinks that the electric i5 Touring will make up fully half of all i5 sales, so it’s an important car, and the good news is that it’s brilliant. No real compromise compared to the saloon in terms of driving, but extra space when you need it. And I think it looks better. It’s a win all round!

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