2021 BMW 5 Series Hybrid

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2021 BMW 5 Series Hybrid Review: Style And Efficiency

by Aiden Eksteen

Premium automakers have been introducing electric and hybrid versions of their nameplates to cater to the growing demand for "eco-friendly" cars and meet total-inventory emissions requirements. This explains the existence of the 2021 BMW 5 Series Hybrid, which forms part of the seventh-generation 5 Series moniker that debuted in 2016. BMW appointed the 5 Series Hybrid Sedan with a detuned version of the 5 Series' turbo inline-4 engine and hybridized it with an electric motor and battery pack for combined outputs of 288 horsepower. While this may seem advantageous for performance in more than one way, the 5 Series Hybrid isn't the driver's car a BMW fan would expect, and neither is it a competitive plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. The only real benefit it offers is a 21-mile all-electric range, which makes daily commutes a little more frugal. The 2021 5 Series hybrid Sedan is a gorgeous-looking cruiser, nonetheless, and it's brimming with luxuries while remaining serenely comfortable on the road. In the US, it faces off against the upcoming Mercedes-Benz E-Class Hybrid, Volvo S90 Hybrid, and the Lexus ES hybrid.

Read in this review:

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2021 BMW 5 Series Hybrid Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2020 BMW 5 Series Hybrid?

The 2021 BMW 5 Series Hybrid isn't completely redesigned for the new model year, but it receives some minor cosmetic and feature alterations and a significant powertrain enhancement. Aesthetically, the 530e now sports a more authoritative front kidney grille and redesigned LED headlights with L-shaped DRLs. BMW has also standardized its Live Cockpit Professional with iDrive7, which includes a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen that replaces the prior 10.3-inch unit. Finally, the 5 Series Hybrid's powertrain has been enhanced with a 25% larger battery pack - a 9.1 kWh unit. A new XtraBoost function has also been installed, which activates when the throttle is completely engaged, boosting horsepower by 40 points for ten seconds.

Pros and Cons

  • Intrinsic BMW aesthetic
  • Easy and comfortable drive quality
  • Ultra-luxurious and spacious cabin
  • Extensive standard features list
  • Good reliability and safety rating
  • Unimpressive electric-only range
  • Irrationally expensive
  • Not driver focused at all
  • Impractical trunk capacity

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2021 BMW 5 Series Hybrid Trims and Prices

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
530e Plug-In Hybrid
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Plug-in Hybrid
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
530e xDrive Plug-In Hybrid
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Plug-in Hybrid
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive

5 Series Hybrid Exterior

2021 BMW 5 Series Hybrid Front Angle View BMW
2021 BMW 5 Series Hybrid Rear Angle View BMW
2021 BMW 5 Series Hybrid Front View BMW
See All 2021 BMW 5 Series Hybrid Exterior Photos


  • Length 195.8 in
  • Wheelbase 117.1 in
  • Height 58.4 in
  • Max Width 73.5 in
  • Front Width 63.1 in
  • Rear Width 64.2 in
  • Curb Weight 4,222.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Glacier Silver Metallic +$550
  • Mineral White Metallic +$550
  • Carbon Black Metallic +$550
  • Black Sapphire Metallic +$550
  • Dark Graphite Metallic +$550
  • Phytonic Blue Metallic +$550
  • Bluestone Metallic +$550
  • Bernina Grey Amber Effect Metallic +$550
  • Alpine White
  • Jet Black

5 Series Hybrid Performance

2021 BMW 5 Series Hybrid Forward Vision BMW
2021 BMW 5 Series Hybrid Driving Back View BMW
2021 BMW 5 Series Hybrid Wheel BMW

Engine and Transmission

The 530e Plug-In Hybrid is powered exclusively by a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that's been hybridized by an electric motor with a 9.1 kWh battery unit. Total outputs come in at 288 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque, which are governed by an 8-speed automatic transmission and ceded to either a rear- or an all-wheel drivetrain. Power can be bumped up 40 points through activating the XtraBoost function via the throttle. While power proves to be ample enough for suitable everyday driving, the 5 Series PHEV is to no extent competitive or engaging. BMW claims that charging the 2021 5 Series Hybrid will take around seven hours on a standard 120-volt household outlet.

  • Engine
    2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Plug-in Hybrid
  • Transmission
    8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, RWD

5 Series Hybrid Gas Mileage

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    12.1 Gallons
* 2021 BMW 5 Series 530e Plug-In Hybrid

5 Series Hybrid Interior

2021 BMW 5 Series Hybrid Steering Wheel BMW
2021 BMW 5 Series Hybrid Infotainment System BMW
2021 BMW 5 Series Hybrid Gear Shifter BMW
See All 2021 BMW 5 Series Hybrid Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
  • Front Leg Room 41.4 in
  • Front Head Room 38.8 in
  • Rear Leg Room 36.5 in
  • Rear Head Room 37.5 in

5 Series Hybrid Trunk and Cargo Space

2021 BMW 5 Series Hybrid Central Console BMW
2021 BMW 5 Series Hybrid Dashboard BMW
2021 BMW 5 Series Hybrid Front Seats BMW
  • Trunk Volume
    10 ft³

5 Series Hybrid Safety and Reliability


  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    12 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Hybrid/Electric Components:
    8 Years \ 80,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    4 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Maintenance:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.

Verdict: Is the 2021 BMW 5 Series Hybrid A Good car?

Considering that BMW offers the 2021 5 Series Hybrid at almost the same price as the regular 5 Series Sedan, and that the PHEV is barely more fuel-efficient than the gas-only variant, it's difficult to really recommend as it seems somewhat redundant. In fact, purchasing the gas-only version would make a lot more sense as it is a far more enjoyable and more practical 4-door saloon that is also presented with an optional V8 motor. Several versions of the 530i return better fuel-efficiency figures than the PHEV's mere 25 mpg in combined driving cycles, though its 65 MPGe rating EV-only mode is an inherent benefit along with its 21-mile EV range. That figure drops to 19-miles with 530e xDrive, however. On top of that, trunk space in the 5 Series PHEV is compromised because of the battery pack situated beneath the rear seats. Yes, the 5 Series Hybrid is a serene and comfortable cruiser, but so is its gasoline counterpart, which also doesn't compromise on the performance and practicality side of things. In review, the 2021 BMW 5 Series Hybrid Sedan can't be recommended. The regular 5 Series Sedan, on the other hand, is highly endorsed.

What BMW 5 Series Hybrid Model Should I Buy?

The 2021 BMW 5 Series Hybrid sedan carries a price of $57,200, which is only $3k more than the gasoline-only powered version. This makes the PHEV variant a difficult one to consider in general, as the regular version proves to be so much more of a driver's car. Nevertheless, if you're willing to compromise on performance for slightly improved efficiency and a couple miles of all-electric, emissions-free driving, then we'd suggest going for the entry-spec 530e. It offers plenty of value at its price but we'd still review the options list and add in the Premium Package for the heated front seats, head-up display, power tailgate, SiriusXM satellite radio, and wireless device charging. The Driver Assistance Plus Package is also recommended for the advanced driver-assists it comprises.

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