New 2020 BMW 5 Series hybrid: prices, specifications and on-sale date

530e plug-in to be offered as both saloon and Touring estate; new 545e xDrive saloon added

BMW 5 Series hybrid

BMW has given its 5 Series saloon and estate models a major overhaul for 2020, with freshened exterior and interior design elements, along with engine updates that see the majority of the petrols and diesels in the range gain mild-hybrid technology.

The BMW 530e plug-in hybrid, which itself received technical updates in late 2019, continues to form part of the range, but will now be offered in both four-door saloon and five-door Touring estate forms, in order to counter the Mercedes E-Class Estate and Audi A6 Avant plug-in hybrid offerings.

This move sees the 5 Series hybrid mirror its smaller BMW 330e counterpart, which as of summer 2020 is also available as a saloon or Touring estate. 5 Series trim levels in the UK will be SE, M Sport and M Sport Edition, the latter being a limited-edition run of 1,000 examples.

Both the 530e saloon and Touring keep the existing choice of rear-wheel drive or xDrive four-wheel drive. In addition, a new, more powerful, four-wheel-drive-only plug-in-hybrid 5 Series known as the BMW 545e xDrive will join the range, in saloon form only.

2020 BMW 5 Series prices and on-sale date

BMW says the 530e and 530e xDrive Tourings and the 545e xDrive saloon will be available from November 2020, several months after the new 530e and 530e xDrive saloons go on sale in July.

Prices for the 530e saloon start at £47,130 in SE specification, rising to £50,630 for M Sport and £53,820 for M Sport Edition. The four-wheel-drive xDrive version adds £2,000 in all cases. When it goes on sale in November, the 545e xDrive will cost £54,945 in SE trim and £58,445 as an M Sport.

For the Touring, prices begin at £49,380 for the 530e SE and go up to £52,880 for the M Sport, with the xDrive four-wheel-drive option again adding £2,000 to the total in both cases.

Engines and performance

The 530e rear-wheel-drive and 530e xDrive four-wheel-drive saloons both make 292hp and 420Nm of torque. They have an identical 0-62mph time of 5.9 seconds, while the rear-wheel-drive version has a slightly higher top speed of 146mph, versus the xDrive's 143mph.

Performance figures for both versions of the 530e Touring, and the 545e xDrive four-wheel-drive saloon, have yet to be confirmed, while fuel-economy and CO2 emissions numbers for the entire 2020 BMW 5 Series hybrid range have also yet to be announced.

Design and exterior

On the outside, the signature BMW 'kidney' grille has been enlarged and the headlights are now slimmer. They're full LEDs, with two U-shaped daytime running lights (DRLs) built in. Adaptive or Matrix LED headlights, or laser lights, are optional.

The rear lights have also been tweaked, giving rise to a new C-shaped effect and darkened lenses, while a redesigned rear bumper and new exhaust outlets also feature. On the entry-level SE, there's a choice of 17, 18 or 19-inch wheels, while M Sport cars get a new design of 19 or 20-inch alloy wheels.

The limited-run M Sport Edition specification boasts its own design of 'Air Performance' 20-inch wheels on run-flat tyres, a rear spoiler and multifunction seats; it's offered in special Tanzanite Blue and Donington Grey paint schemes.

Interior and technology

Inside both the saloon and Touring, there's a bigger-than-before 12.3-inch infotainment screen, with BMW's Intelligent Personal Assistant voice-control system and full smartphone connectivity. A wide array of radar and camera-based driver-assistance technology also features.

SE models have leather upholstery and leather steering wheel and heated front seats, plus air-conditioning and digital radio. Folding mirrors, powered front-seat lumbar support and parking assistance are also standard. In the Touring estate, SE gets you split-folding rear seats and silver roof rails, as well as a powered tailgate.

Upgrading to M Sport brings an M leather steering wheel, sport seats up front, anthracite headliner. Sports suspension is also standard on the petrol and diesel M Sports, but not on the 530e hybrid.

Driver-assistance systems featuring on the upgraded 5 Series include updated steering and lane-keeping assistance functions, as well as something called 'Active Navigation'. According to BMW, this uses sat-nav data to work out when a lane-change will be required on your current route and can then perform the manoeuvre using the lane-changing assistance function.

There's also a 'Drive Recorder', which is effectively a multi-angle dashboard camera that records up to 40 seconds of video footage from different points around the car during a journey. This can be watched back on the car's screen, or downloaded via the USB port. In the event of the car detecting an impact, the 20 seconds before and 20 seconds after an impact will be automatically saved.