BMW 530e hybrid - Interior & comfort
With the same interior as the standard car, the BMW 5 Series hybrid is well appointed
With an identical interior to the rest of the BMW 5 Series range, the marque has steered clear of marking out the 530e as being anything too out of the ordinary. In fact, the only differences are the buttons for the EV modes and a different instrument cluster, so the usual impressive 5 Series build quality and well sorted ergonomics are unaltered.
The ride may not be exactly as supple as that of a standard 5 Series because of suspension tweaks designed to counter the extra weight of the battery, but the 530e is still a hugely comfortable car.
BMW 530e dashboard
The main difference between the 530e’s dashboard and those in the rest of the range is that its ‘black panel’ instrument cluster displays additional information pertinent to plug-in hybrid driving, with range, energy efficiency and current battery level all indicated. Otherwise, everything follows the same ordered, familiar layout that BMW has refined over the years.
The horizontal arrangement of the 5 Series dashboard isn’t as decorative as that of the Mercedes E-Class, but the materials used are mostly high quality. A minor quibble is the infotainment screen, which is permanently mounted in a tablet-style housing on top of the dashboard and isn’t exactly elegant, but the display itself is sharp and attractive to look at.
The 530e is available in SE and M Sport trim levels. The M Sport model features a bodykit, lighter alloy wheels, exterior gloss trim, leather upholstery and an M Sport steering wheel.
Years ago, BMW’s iDrive system revolutionised how car infotainment systems were controlled and the latest version adds touchscreen functionality to simplify certain operations. Every 530e comes with sat nav as standard, Apple CarPlay, voice control and Bluetooth smartphone connectivity. BMW ConnectedDrive is a suite of services that includes real-time traffic information and automatic emergency service notification in the event of a crash. Using BMW's 'remote services', owners can check on their car's location and even flash its headlights, lock or unlock its doors or set its ventilation, all using a smartphone app.
Dual-zone climate control is standard, as are heated front seats with partially electric adjustment. Front and rear parking sensors are fitted too, and the door sill finishers bear the eDrive emblem. Externally, the chief recognition point for the 530e is the flap ahead of the front passenger door, behind which the illuminated plug-in charging socket can be found.
The 530e comes well equipped as standard, but we’d be tempted to increase its versatility by adding the optional split-folding rear seat. There are five optional packages that bundles some of the more popular choices together. The Visibility Pack includes adaptive LED headlights with a wash function and high-beam assist, the Technology Pack includes a Head-Up Display, WiFi hotspot preparation, a display key, wireless charging and gesture control, while the Premium Pack adds an electric sunroof and bootlid, and comfort seats with a massage function. The M Sport Plus Pack includes an upgraded stereo system, 20-inch alloy wheels, tinted windows and a bootlid spoiler. The Comfort Pack has several features to make the car more comfortable and easier to park.