In recent years BMW has been producing some compelling electric tow cars. I think the BMW i4 is one of the best electric tow car options currently on the market for its capabilities/price point. The BMW iX (despite being hideous) has one of the highest towing capacities on the market at 2,500 kg. So what about this new i5? Is it also a great electric tow car? Unfortunately, I don’t think it is.
Table of Contents
Key BMW i5 Specs
- Official Towing Capacity – 1,500 kg (eDrive40), 2,000 kg (M60 xDrive)
- Max Nose Weight – 80 kg
- Availability – Late 2023
- Price – Starting £74,100 (eDrive40), £97,745 (M60 xDrive)
- Range (EV Database) – 265 miles (M60 xDrive) > 295 miles (eDrive40)
- Estimated Towing Range (50%) – 133 miles (M60 xDrive) > 148 miles (eDrive40)
- Efficiency – 275 wh/mi (eDrive40) > 306 wh/mi (M60 xDrive)
- Maximum DC Charge Rate – 205kW
- Rapid Charge 10% to 80% – 28 min
- Check Used Polestar 4 Specs
BMW i5 HP & Torque
- eDrive40: RWD, 335 HP, and 317 lb-ft of torque
- M60 xDrive: AWD, 593 HP, and 605 lb-ft of torque
BMW i5 Towing Capabilties
The 5-Series for BMW is one of their most important product ranges. Sure, over the last decade or so, the sales of SUVs such as the X3 and X5 have brought in more sales, but the 5-Series is still iconic.
Therefore, this latest version of the 5-Series, which now also comes in i5 variants, is a big deal for the BMW brand. However, for me, the specs and especially the price point of the i5 variants are disappointing.
This BMW i5 range is set to compete against the Mercedes EQE range, and I’ll say the same thing in this article as I did about the EQE. I think these i5 models are overpriced.
Its not that I don’t recognize that BMW products are ‘premium products’ and hence they will have a ‘premium price point’. My comments on price are relative to BMWs own products.
Yes, the i5 eDrive40 can tow 1,500 kg, and the M60 xDrive can tow 2,000 kg. These figures are not that common in the wider electric car market currently, but other BMW products offer better for a lower price point.
The BMW i4 & iX Are Better Electric Tow Cars
So with the table below, I’m going to show in the simplest terms why I find the specs/price point of these BMW i5 models disappointing and not competitive against existing BMW electric cars.
Below I’m focusing on the cheaper i5 eDrive40, and this comparison would be even worse for the i5 M60 xDrive60 at its price point/specifications, but let’s put the best foot forward for the i5.
So below, we have the eDrive40 (RWD) versions of the i4, i5, and iX.
|BMW i4 eDrive40||BMW i5 eDrive40||BMW iX eDrive40|
|Battery||81 kWh||81 kWh||71 kWh|
|Range||320 miles||295 miles||220 miles|
|Towing||1,600 kg||1,500 kg||2,500 kg|
|Power||335 HP||335 HP||322 HP|
Ok, now you have perused the table above, you can clearly see how poorly the specifications and price of the BMW i5 compared against the BMW i4 of equivalent specification.
So by spending an additional £16K plus on the i5 over the i4, you get the same battery but with a lower range due to the additional size/weight of the i5 over the i4.
Paying that additional £16K to ‘upgrade’ from the i4 to the i5, you also don’t get any increase in power, and to top it all off, you actually lose 100kg in towing capacity compared to the i4.
Factor in that the i4 is a hatchback, and the i5 is a saloon. When it comes to loading up a car, the i4 is the more practical vehicle despite the lower storage capacity of the i4 over the i5.
However, the difference is not actually that significant. The cargo volume of the i4 is 470 liters, and the i5 is 490 liters. Would you be willing to pay £16K for an additional 20 liters?
First Look Around The BMW i5
There are no reviews of the BMW i5 as yet. However, I’ve included a video below by AutoTrader on a walkaround of the BMW i5.
My Thoughts On The BMW i5…
So, as I’ve stated above, just like the Mercedes EQE, I think the BMW i5 is overpriced for its specifications.
However, that’s not just in relation to the wider competition, its in relation to their own vehicles.
The BMW i4 is just the better value electric car, not only as a tow car but as an electric car in general.