BMW 520e 2021: 5 Series gets new entry-level plug-in hybrid drivetrain

New BMW 520e announced, set to sit below 530e and 545e in the range, but only in Europe

BMW 520e

BMW has announced a new plug-in hybrid option for the 5 Series executive saloon and Touring estate. Revealed alongside a similarly powered 3 Series, the new 520e will be the entry point to plug-in hybrid 5 Series ownership in European markets.. Order books open in March 2021, but the new car will not be coming to the UK.

Power comes from a 2.0-litre petrol engine plus an electric motor and battery. Its total output of 201bhp is down significantly from the 292bhp of the 530e and 387bhp of the 545e. It's also identical to that of the new, smaller 320e. 

Performance is adequate, with 0-62mph taking 7.9 seconds, or 8.2 seconds for the Touring estate. Both are rear-wheel drive; those looking for a four-wheel-drive version will have to step up to the 530e.

BMW 520e

The car's 12kWh battery offers an electric range of 33-38 miles in the saloon and 32-35 miles in the Touring. CO2 emissions are reassuringly low – an important factor for company-car users – with the saloon emitting 39-43g/km and the Touring estate outputting 42-46g/km.

Just like the new 320e, the 520e can be charged at a maximum of 3.7kW, with BMW claiming a full charge in around three-and-a-half hours from a home wallbox, with an 80% charge completed in just over two-and-a-half hours. 

A new feature added to both the 520e and 320e is BMW Live Cockpit Plus with Connected Package Professional – a system that includes a 'BMW Points' system, whereby every kilometre covered under electric power equals one point, or two points if you drive within predetermined inner-city 'BMW eDrive Zones'. These points can then be used against the cost of public charging. 

The new 530e joins the wider BMW plug-in hybrid range in Europe. Other models include the 225xe family car, X1 and X2 compact SUVs, larger X3 and X5 SUVs, as well as the 530e and 545e. The 745e luxury saloon sits at the top of the range.

Recommended

New BMW i5 and i5 Touring: Electric 5 Series to launch in 2023
BMW i5 Touring
News

New BMW i5 and i5 Touring: Electric 5 Series to launch in 2023

11 Jan 2023
Top 10 best hybrid company cars 2023
best hybrid company cars 2023
Best cars

Top 10 best hybrid company cars 2023

12 Dec 2022
Top 15 best used plug-in hybrid cars 2022
Outlander PHEV
Best cars

Top 15 best used plug-in hybrid cars 2022

30 Nov 2022
​Top 10 fastest-depreciating electric and hybrid cars 2022
Smart EQ family
Best cars

​Top 10 fastest-depreciating electric and hybrid cars 2022

18 Aug 2022

Most Popular

Polestar 2 now with 395-mile range and faster charging
Polestar 2 updated
News

Polestar 2 now with 395-mile range and faster charging

The Tesla Model 3 rival gets major updates for the 2024 model year; order books open now, with prices starting from £44,950
24 Jan 2023
Polestar 2 updated pictures
Polestar 2 updated
News

Polestar 2 updated pictures

Polestar 2 updated pictures
24 Jan 2023
MG4 EV review
MG4 EV
In-depth reviews

MG4 EV review

The MG4 EV combines range, practicality and loads of kit into a sharp-looking, fun-to-drive package all at an unbeatable price
19 Jan 2023