Such a sentiment is heresy to most car enthusiasts. “Buy a hybrid over a normal combustion engine? Madness.” However, at least in the case of the BMW 530e iPerformance, the hybrid variant might actually be the better car than its gasoline equivalent.
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In this new review from Engadget, they make the argument that the BMW 530e is the car to get over the standard 530i. The reasoning starts with the price. Both cars have the very same starting price of $52,400. This is unusual, as most hybrid carry a price premium over their gasoline counterparts, which makes customers weigh the fuel cost savings over the extra cost of the car over however many years they plan on owning it. But customers no longer have to with the 530e.
Both cars are quite similar, too. Both the BMW 530e and 530i use a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with an eight-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive to start (all-wheel drive is an option for both). Both also make the exact same total horsepower, 248 hp. The only difference in powertrain is that the 530e gets an electric motor to help aid its turbo-four. That not only increases efficiency but provides a torque boost, to the tune of 310 lb-ft, over the 530i’s 258 lb-ft. That electric motor also adds low-down thrust, adding power at zero rpm. So the 530e is actually the quicker car.
Though, that’s not really the point, is it? The reason for spending the same money on the 530e over the 530i is that you get a more efficient car, save some money on fuel and help aid in the ongoing fight to save our planet. All without having to spend extra on the actual car.
It also seems like a much better value, getting the BMW 530e over the 530i. The former is just more car for the same price. It comes with an advanced hybrid powertrain, while the latter comes with just a normal four-pot. The 530e also has the ability to drive completely on electric power alone, while the 530i can’t, obviously.
As an enthusiast, if you can get over the idea that hybrids are somehow less enjoyable than standard gasoline or diesel-powered cars, the BMW 530e seems like a no-brainer.