The first-ever electric wagon from Munich is finally here, and there’s no better place to test it than Bavaria. Touring models are not only BMW’s most popular variants in Germany but also in Europe. Since its introduction in 1991, the BMW 5 Series Touring has sold to 1.2 million customers globally. In fact, more BMW tourings are sold in Germany today than sedans, accounting for 95 percent of the 5 Series volume in Europe.

While it’s disappointing that BMW has once again skipped the U.S. market for this generation (excluding the upcoming G99 M5 Touring), I still flew to Germany to test the large yet powerful wagon. Of course, this was in its all-electric form. The new BMW i5 M60 xDrive Touring is the top-of-the-line 5 Series today. Gone are the days of V8s or tri-turbo gasoline engines; in their place are single and dual-electric motors.

Built On A Flexible Architecture

At its core, the BMW i5 M60 Touring is essentially an elongated and restyled i5 sedan. The CLAR platform, drivetrain, and battery packs are identical, and the interior design is almost indistinguishable from the sedan’s. Unless viewed from a three-quarter or rear angle, the two variants look identical from the front. However, the similarities stop there because the i5 Touring offers more interior space and a larger boot.

Big and Powerful

The 2024 BMW i5 M60 Touring measures 5060 mm long, 1900 mm wide, and 1505 mm tall. It has a substantial wheelbase of 2995 mm and can be equipped with 21-inch wheels, with optional 22-inch wheels available from the BMW Accessories catalog. Naturally, this is a heavy car, tipping the scales at 2,350 kilograms, but it aims to offset that with massive power delivery.

BMW i5 M60 Touring

  • Lots of cargo and interior space
  • Powerful and fun to drive
  • Luxurious interior
  • Expensive
  • Heavy at times
  • Range could be better

The all-wheel-drive electric wagon can deliver up to 601 PS (593 hp) and 605 lb-ft (820 Nm) with Boost Mode engaged. It uses the same 81.2-kWh battery as the cheaper i5 eDrive40 Touring and can be charged at up to 205 kW. A 10-minute charge will juice up the battery for 88 miles (142 kilometers), and a 10-80 percent state of charge can be achieved in about 32 minutes.

M-Specific Design

To differentiate it from its rear-wheel-drive, single-motor counterpart, BMW has given the electric M Performance touring a sporty grille. Inherited from the i5 M60 sedan, the pair of kidneys feature dual horizontal bars and an M logo, a design expected on the M5 models as well. The side mirror caps have a glossy black finish, and the standard 19-inch M wheels further distinguish it from the lesser model. Customers can also add the optional M Sport Package Pro and the M Carbon Exterior Package, bringing the wagon closer to the visual drama of the M5 Touring.

However, it lacks the split tailgate, a staple in BMW tourings’ history. The reason? Officially, the sloping, sleeker roof presented engineering challenges. Unofficially, it was costly to solve. Space-wise, all BMW 5 Series Touring variants have a boot capacity of 570 liters, expandable to 1700 liters. Towing capacity is rated at 1500-2000 kilograms, but that will impact the range.

Range, ADAS, Features And More

Speaking of range: it’s not great, not terrible, as a famous movie quote would say. It can reach up to 506 kilometers on the WLTP cycle, but real-life conditions will likely reduce this, especially if you push the 230 km/h top speed on the autobahn. I can’t really speak too much about the efficiency because I drove this car like I stole it: from top speeds on the autobahn to fast cornering, so clearly, the efficiency drops a lot then.

This car is loaded with features, including a limited-slip differential, air suspension, rear steering, anti-roll bars, and the latest driving assistance features. The Motorway Assistant, known as the Highway Assistant in America, is a Level 2+ ADAS offering hands-free driving on the highway up to 135 km/h. It also includes the automatic lane change feature, which works brilliantly on the German autobahn.

The BMW Operating System 8.5 comes standard, offering meaningful visual upgrades and improvements to the eRoute function. I won’t go into full details (you can watch the video here), but essentially, the algorithm got smarter: it calculates the fastest route with the fewest stops and considers amenities available during those stops, the number of stations, and more.

Great Daily Driver, Fun Backroads Warrior

Naturally, I spent less time with the tech features and more with the driving dynamics, especially since BMW set up a fun and demanding driving route. Instantly, the M60’s power feels extravagant, a true reflection of its M badge heritage. This model’s suspension features M-specific tuning, making it a bit stiffer than the eDrive40, yet comfortable enough for everyday driving.

All i5 models feature 2.5-degree rear-axle steering, enhancing agility in tight turns, but only the BMW i5 M60 includes the 5 Series’ new 48-volt active anti-roll technology, keeping the car composed on winding Bavarian backroads. Compared to the sedan, nearly every software setup was adapted to the touring: dampers, limited-slip differential, and suspension.

Regardless of the powertrain, the i5 drives like a classic 5 Series: smooth and serene on the highway, yet eager to dive into corners on narrow Bavarian backroads. Of course, the Adaptive M Suspension, rear-axle steering, and active roll stabilizers significantly influence the driving experience. At low speeds, the large touring is easy to maneuver, especially through narrow roads in German villages. Despite being tuned for sportiness, the dampers rebound quickly, thanks to a very closed force reaction aiming to keep the car flat on the road despite varying surface quality.

At higher speeds and during spirited driving, the new software algorithm keeps the body flat, avoiding the boat-like feel common in larger cars. Overall, the driving experience is quite similar to the sedan’s, with occasional heaviness in the back due to the hardware setup.

Steering Feedback

The steering rack is also similar to the sedan’s. There is a decent amount of feedback from the front tires, but it can feel artificial at times, a common trait in electric vehicles. Naturally, things improve significantly in Sport or Sport+ Mode. What I enjoyed most about the driving experience was the linear power delivery. I dislike brutal, neck-snapping accelerations: they are not fun and only serve for bragging rights. I prefer a smooth power build-up that doesn’t annoy my passengers during overtaking.

Brake Regeneration

I’m also fond of the brake regeneration tune in the i5 M60 Touring. It’s not overly aggressive in the B one-pedal mode, and you adjust to it quickly. After about 50 kilometers of driving, I had a good sense of how long it would take the car to stop when lifting off the pedal. It’s also fun while cornering because you can use it to adjust your entry and exit points. Of course, you can always use the Adaptive brake regen mode, which works brilliantly on its own.

So Much Grip

Now let’s talk about the grip. In one word: fantastic! There is so much grip in this car that it’s nearly impossible to break traction unless you reach extremely high speeds. Cornering hard is fun because the touring bites into the asphalt, keeping the tires glued to the tarmac, even when wet. It provides a lot of confidence in corners, knowing exactly what the tires will do.

Comparing the i5 M60 Touring to the eDrive40 variant, you can feel the extra weight of the M60 – around 170 kilograms more, but you get more grip. The i5 Touring eDrive40 can be more playful, thanks to the rear-wheel-drive setup. But more on that in a separate review.

The Swiss Army Knife

I knew I would love the BMW i5 M60 Touring going in. Despite the low range and the high price (101,500 euros), the touring is still a compelling product for those looking for a Swiss Army knife type of vehicle. It excels at many tasks without needing to impress too much. It’s a great daily driver, a fantastic road tripper, and now, it’s green as well.

Granted, some Europeans might still gravitate towards the diesel or gasoline 5 Series variants, but at least there’s now an option for those seeking an all-electric wagon. I believe BMW will sell more i5 Tourings than sedans, especially in Germany. The charging infrastructure in Germany is improving daily, providing enough charging points even during long trips. This is great news, considering Europeans love to drive long distances compared to flying.

Americans are left in the dark for now, but the dealer council in the U.S. is reportedly advocating for the 5 Series Touring to be available stateside. Allegedly, wagons can be appealing here if they are high-priced, uniquely spec’d, and offered in limited quantities to enhance their desirability. Will it happen? That remains to be seen. For now, if you live in Europe, consider yourself lucky.