BMW

Review: BMW i5 Touring – Features and Performance Detailed

The BMW i5 Touring offers a luxurious yet less ubiquitous alternative in the all-electric estate car segment. Competing loosely with the Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo, it features a larger boot and a more relaxed driving experience. Two versions are available: the powerful M60 and the rear-wheel-drive eDrive40, the latter offering a range of up to 344 miles. While not as sporty as the Taycan, it provides sharp steering, good ride quality, and minimizes road noise. Inside, it boasts a digital cockpit, user-friendly infotainment, and ample space, although the fifth passenger won’t be as comfortable. Prices start at over £70,000, making it an expensive but cost-effective company car compared to rivals.

Introduction

What Car? says…

Part of the appeal of luxury products has traditionally been their exclusivity. Yet, prestige SUVs seem to be everywhere these days. So, what do you buy if you want something big and sophisticated that isn’t ubiquitous? Well, the BMW i5 Touring might fit the bill.

As an estate version of the all-electric BMW i5 executive car, this model’s closest rival is the Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo. However, they are far from direct competitors, with the i5 Touring having a less sporty focus and a much larger boot.

If the latter quality is important to you, you might also have the conventionally powered Mercedes E-Class Estate on your shortlist. Additionally, it’s worth noting that the i5 will soon join the BMW 5 Series Touring lineup with new 530e plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and 520i petrol variants.

Here, though, we’re focusing on the i5 Touring as we compare it to its main rivals and look at everything from its driving experience to its practicality.


Performance and Drive

What It’s Like to Drive, and How Quiet It Is

Two versions of the BMW i5 Touring are available: the performance-focused M60 with its twin electric motors (providing four-wheel drive) and 593 bhp output, and the single-motor eDrive40 model we tested, which is rear-wheel drive and still produces a healthy 335 bhp.

Although slower than any Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo, the eDrive40 offers all the performance you need. Press the accelerator pedal and the car pushes forward hard, even when heavily loaded.

Moreover, the eDrive40 has an official range of up to 344 miles, which beats the M60’s 310 miles and is only slightly less than the entry-level Sport Turismo‘s 351 miles. Just remember, a winter range of around 250 miles will probably be more realistic.

As mentioned, the i5 isn’t as overtly sporty to drive as the Taycan, but it still responds sharply to steering inputs and remains fairly upright through corners—especially in the M Sport trim of our test car, which comes with a slightly firmer setup than the cheaper Sport Edition model.

Our test car also had 20-inch spoke wheels instead of the standard 19-inch, and on these, the ride is good rather than great, as the car gets a little wobbly over patchy road surfaces.

The i5 Touring doesn’t have the significant comfort advantage over the Sport Turismo you might expect, and the Mercedes E-Class Estate is more expensive than both. However, the handling of that car is much heavier.

What’s more, the i5 is still a very relaxed cruiser. It is much better than the Taycan at stopping tire noise and keeps wind noise to a minimum. Unlike many electrified cars, the i5 has a brake pedal that responds consistently, allowing you to stop smoothly with ease. Alternatively, if you set the energy-recovery regenerative braking system to its highest setting, the car will decelerate so quickly when you let off the accelerator that you barely need to touch the brake pedal.

Driving Overview

Strengths

  • Punchy performance
  • Quiet roads
  • Skillful handling

Weaknesses

  • Suspension could be more flexible
  • Non-performance range

BMW i5 Touring rear drive


Interior

The Interior Arrangement, Fit, and Finish

From behind the wheel, the i5 Touring looks identical to the BMW i5 sedan (at least until you look over your shoulder or in the rearview mirror). But that’s not a bad thing, as it feels plush and well put together.

Every i5 Touring features supportive front seats that offer standard power height and backrest angle adjustment, though adjustable lumbar support costs extra on entry-level Sport Edition models.

You sit higher than you do in the Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo, which can be seen as good or bad depending on your personal taste. However, the extra height improves forward visibility, as do adaptive LED lights that can be left on high beam at night. They automatically shape their light field to avoid dazzling other road users.

The view behind is more limited, but it’s better than in the i5 sedan or the Taycan Sport Turismo. Additionally, the standard rear camera and all-round parking sensors help with maneuvering.

A 12.3-inch digital instrument panel sits behind the steering wheel, appearing to flow directly into a 14.9-inch central touchscreen. Meanwhile, a head-up display that projects useful information onto the windshield right in front of your eyes is available as an option.

The infotainment system runs BMW’s latest iDrive software, with a 5G sim card for connectivity. It’s one of the best setups around, with sharp graphics, snappy responses, and a generally user-friendly operating system.

You can control it by pressing the touchscreen, but there’s also a rotary dial and shortcut buttons between the front seats that are less distracting to use while driving. The only complaint is that you have to use the touchscreen or voice control to adjust interior temperature as there are no physical controls for this.

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring, and a Harman Kardon audio system come as standard, with a Bowers & Wilkins upgrade on the options list. Wireless phone charging is also included, with the tray accommodating up to two devices.

Interior Overview

Strengths

  • Comfortable driving position
  • User-friendly infotainment system

Weaknesses

  • Climate controls are on the touchscreen

BMW i5 Touring over-the-shoulder drive


Passenger and Boot Space

How It Deals with People and Disorder

As mentioned, the BMW i5 Touring has a much larger boot than its closest electric car rival, the Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo.

Yes, the Sport Turismo’s squared-off rear gives it a respectable 446-litre boot capacity (with the rear seats and boot lid in place) and makes it practical enough for you to take a pet spaniel on family outings. However, the i5 Touring offers 570 liters and allows a Great Dane to come.

Even among conventionally powered car rivals, only the Mercedes E-Class Estate offers more space (615 litres), and that car’s boot shrinks to just 440 liters if you go for the E300e plug-in hybrid version; there is no fully electric E-Class.

Rear seats that split and fold in a 40/20/40 configuration and lie at the same level as the boot floor add to the i5 Touring’s usability. While it’s a little disappointing that it misses out on the separately opening rear window that’s long been a staple of BMW estates, you can still put shopping bags in the boot when you’ve parked with the back of the car close to a wall, as the electric tailgate opens in a relatively small space.

Similarly, it’s a bit of a shame that there isn’t a second charging area under the hood where you can store charging cables like in Teslas. There is room for them under the boot floor, but it means that when the boot is full, you have to partially unload it to get to your cables.

Two passengers will be very happy in the back of the i5 Touring, thanks to the generous leg and headroom on offer. However, life is less comfortable for anyone trying to sit between them because of a hump running along the spine of the car.

Up front, there’s plenty of legroom and headroom even if you’ve opted for a version with a panoramic glass roof. Storage space includes a pair of cup holders, a cubby under the center armrest, and large door bins.

Practicality Overview

Strengths

  • Spacious for four
  • Bigger boot than a Mercedes E300 Estate or a Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo

Weaknesses

  • Not great for a fifth passenger
  • No underhood storage

BMW i5 Touring boot


Buying and Owning

Daily Costs, in Addition to How Reliable and Safe It Is

A BMW i5 Touring will set you back around £3000 more than an equivalent i5 saloon, so even the cheapest version costs over £70,000. However, that still compares favorably with the Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo and even matches the price of the Mercedes E300e Estate.

As for the i5 M60, this is obviously more expensive but it undercuts the Taycan GTS. Plus, all i5s are available at great discounts if you shop through our free New Car Deals service.

The i5 is expected to lose its value quite slowly and, like all electric cars, will make more sense as a company car than a petrol-powered equivalent due to the benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax savings on offer.

When you need to charge, the i5’s 81.2 kWh (usable capacity) battery can accept a maximum charging rate of up to 205 kW, so a 10-80% top-up takes just half an hour if you use a suitably powerful public charging point.

Entry-level Sport Edition trim gets you 19-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, climate control, adaptive LED lights, heated front seats, and a heat pump.

Upgrading to M Sport brings styling changes, but unless these really appeal, we’d recommend sticking with the Sport Edition and adding the Comfort Plus Pack, which brings desirable features like keyless entry, a power boot lid, a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and four-zone climate control.

The i5 was too new to feature in the 2023 What Car? Reliability Survey, but BMW finished a respectable 12th out of 32 brands included. In contrast, Porsche was 20th, and Mercedes 24th.

BMW gives you a three-year, unlimited mileage warranty, while the i5’s battery is covered by a separate warranty for eight years or 100,000 miles.

All versions of the i5 come with a host of electronic driver aids, including blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking (AEB), and rear cross-traffic alert as part of the standard-fit Driving Assistant Pack. These aids helped the i5 earn five stars (out of five) for safety when the saloon version was assessed by Euro NCAP; there was no separate test of the i5 Touring.

Overview of Costs

Strengths

  • Cheap to run as a company car
  • Lots of standard safety equipment

Weaknesses

  • An expensive private purchase, and you’ll still want to add options

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BMW i5 Touring infotainment touchscreen


Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a BMW i5 Touring cost?

Even the cheapest version of the i5 Touring costs more than £70,000 to buy, although the fact that it’s fully electric means it attracts a lowly 2% company tax.

What is the range of the BMW i5 Touring?

In eDrive40 form, the i5 Touring can officially cover up to 344 miles on a charge, while the more performance-oriented M60 manages 310 miles.

Does the i5 Touring have a bigger boot than the sedan?

The i5 Touring has a 570-litre boot capacity—with the rear seats and luggage cover in place—while the i5 saloon makes do with 490 liters. As a result, we found that the Touring could swallow eight suitcases, compared to the sedan’s seven. Plus, of course, with its luggage cover retracted, the Touring gives you the option to carry even more.

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