BMWs have always been hard to place into one category of car, but the 2021 530e might take the cake as the brand’s most unique modern offering. Taking the appeal of a hybrid, the features of a luxury vehicle, and the thrill of a sports car, the 2021 BMW 530e – a model of the BMW 5 Series – offers drivers something they will not get from any other vehicle. Whether that’s what people want, however, remains to be seen.
The BMW 530e at a glance
Taking over from the much-beloved 2020 mode, the 2021 BMW 530e keeps what made its predecessor special while adding attractive features from those who did not pull the trigger earlier. From a better infotainment system to several tweaks to the outside, the 530e feels right in line with other BMWs while also feeling like something that stands alone.
The BMW 530e might be a plug-in hybrid, but that doesn’t mean it lacks power. Its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine combined with the electric motor makes it one of the most powerful members of its family, with 288 hp made possible by its XtraBoost engine. According to Car and Driver, this is a 40-hp improvement over previous models and is as good as the car advertises it to be.
Not only is the BMW 530e also more powerful, but it’s also much quicker than previously and goes much further on its electric battery, which boasts 17.1 kWh, nearly double that of previous models. It might not be the fastest of its brand, but it could be in the coming years if it keeps trending in the right direction. Some of the features, like the sub-par steering and less-than-stellar battery life, compared to some competitors, make it fall somewhere in the middle in some areas while coming out on top in others.
What makes it unique?
The BMW 530E has many essential features that do not always go together. Some people want luxury but don’t want to pay luxurious prices. Others want a car that packs the power without caring as much about fuel efficiency. Others want to know that their hybrid will make a drastic difference in their gas consumption as they go back and forth with ever-growing prices to worry about.
However, what makes it most unique is its audacity. Sometimes, people do not necessarily want one thing or the other. Some might wish for that luxurious vehicle that turns heads at every corner. In contrast, others might want to worry about performance. Others might care most about how far they can get without filling the tank, while others wish to all the features that someone can throw their hands at.
BMW has more powerful, luxurious, and sporty vehicles on the market. Still, it doesn’t have many that combine those three worlds quite like the BMW 530e. Those who are willing to set aside the $58,000 (and much more with additions) on the base model.
What comes next?
The BMW 530e has lots going for it, but it’s not a perfect car. While it is a testament to the engineering that allowed three worlds to collide in such an exciting way, it also took some significant steps back. The steering of previous models was lauded by industry reviewers and consumers alike, but this one takes a step back.
Furthermore, the car comes at a steep price for one that stays in the middle of the pack in terms of performance, price, and ease-of-use. However, the 530e is well worth it for those who want to broaden their horizons, feel luxurious while doing so, and drive a car that’s unlike anything else. With a little bit more power, some cleanup on the new features, and an expanded slate of features beyond the current incarnation, the 2022 BMW 530e could be even more unique.
Until then, the current model gives drivers something they can enjoy while having plenty of room for improvement too.