In-depth reviews

BMW 530e hybrid range, MPG, CO2 & charging

With a pure-electric range of over 30 miles and CO2 emissions as low as 31g/km, the 530e will be cheap to run provided you charge it up regularly

Overall rating

4.5 out of 5

Range, MPG, CO2 & charging rating

4.0 out of 5

Fuel economyCO2 emissionsElectric rangeCharge time
134-202mpg31-48g/km29-37 miles3hrs 30mins (0-100%, 3.7kW)

The BMW 530e will go far enough on electric power to satisfy the average commuter, while its CO2 emissions make for very low company-car tax. The 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine should also deliver reasonable economy of somewhere near 40mpg once the battery has been depleted.

BMW 530e hybrid range, MPG & CO2

The BMW 530e’s official pure-electric range of 29-37 miles (the lower figure is for the xDrive four-wheel-drive model; wheel size also affects range on every version) is on a par with most rival plug-in hybrids. In real-world use, you’ll more likely see about 25 miles in colder weather or if you venture onto the motorway, while warm weather will see that creep up further.

As with most plug-in hybrids, the BMW offers the option of holding the car’s battery charge until you want to use it. It also has a clever feature that allows you to hold a specific percentage of the battery charge. It’s a good idea to do this on faster roads, when the petrol engine will return its best economy. You can then fall back on the pure-electric ‘Max eDrive’ mode for city driving, where electric motors are most efficient.

The petrol economy you get after that battery charge is used up might disappoint. We saw only 29mpg from the 530e in varied use (excluding electric running). You won't do much better than that in the Mercedes E 300 e.

Charge time

It's easy to charge the BMW 5 Series plug-in hybrid. It uses a standard Type 2 plug (cables for Type 2 and three-pin domestic sockets are included), which will fit the vast majority of public, home and workplace charging points, which will deliver a full battery in around three and a half hours. Even a three-pin domestic socket will deliver a charge in around five-and-a-half hours.

The charging port is located just ahead of the passenger door, so you won’t have to trail a cable too far in order to connect it. There's also an app for your phone that lets you remotely control and monitor the charging status, pre-set the cabin temperature and more.

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