Times are changing, and the BMW 5 Series has to change with them. When the new G60 generation was announced last year, it followed in the footsteps of the larger G70 7 Series. The model line was split between electric and gas powertrains on the same chassis. This strategy helps reduce costs while offering consumers and different markets both forms of propulsion as the entire auto industry transitions towards electrification. So, what is it like living with an electric 5 Series, like the 2025 BMW i5 eDrive40? Is it better for being electric? How does it charge, and how much range can I get in the real world on a full charge? That’s what I’m here to talk about.

Range Test

The rear-wheel-drive 2025 BMW i5 eDrive40 is the longest-range electric 5 Series currently available. The estimated range according to BMW and the EPA is between 270 and 295 miles. The difference is due to the wheels: the smaller 19” M 936M wheels offer an estimated 295 miles, while the 21” 954i wheels on my press car offered a 270-mile estimated range. The car comes equipped with one battery size: an 81.2 kWh usable battery (over 84 kWh gross). Based on this, we can estimate that BMW’s range comes from a 3.3 mi/kWh efficiency, or 3.6 mi/kWh on 19” wheels.

After letting the car charge to 100% overnight, I set out to drive as far as possible, aiming to get close to 0% state of charge to see how far I could drive during my normal commutes and around Los Angeles. This was not a road trip where the entire duration was done in one stint but focused on mixed driving that was nearly 70% highway and 30% city driving. The car was set to its factory tire pressures.

Luckily, the results were quite good. The externally excited synchronous motor used in current BMW EVs does an excellent job of maintaining efficiency on the highway and in city driving. Over the course of driving for three days, I averaged 3.9 mi/kWh. Given the battery size, this should be good for an estimated 317 miles of range. As I approached 280 miles, I began doing laps on CA 210 near Arcadia, California.

299 Miles range with 4% left

There were three DC fast-charging stations within several miles, so this gave me the chance to bring the 2025 BMW i5 eDrive40 as close to zero as possible, and in the event one charging station was inoperable, I could still potentially make it to the next one nearby. At 295 miles, I decided to turn off the highway and head to an EVgo charging site with 6 chargers. By the time I arrived, I had covered 297 miles, with 4% state of charge remaining and 17 miles of estimated range left. I had to wait for a charger, so I drove around the parking lot a few times until I reached 299 miles on a single charge, still showing 4% state of charge remaining.

This range test showed that within normal driving, you can easily surpass the EPA and BMW provided numbers. The 2025 BMW i5 eDrive40 comes with a relatively small battery pack compared to some other EVs it competes against. The Lucid Air Pure is class-leading and able to achieve 420 miles of range from its 88 kWh battery, while a Tesla Model S is able to achieve just over 400 miles of range (on 19” wheels) from its 95.5 kWh battery. Although temperature, weather conditions, and road surface can significantly impact range, the i5 is certainly not class-leading in range or efficiency. However, it does beat out the electrified Genesis G80, which gets an estimated 280 miles from its 87.2 kWh battery pack.

Overall, this was a fairly impressive range test given the battery size of the car. The efficiency of the electric motors allowed it to break the coveted 300-mile mark with miles to spare. If I were to spec the car or recommend it to a friend, I would suggest the 19” wheels as not only do they look better (in my opinion), but they could help break 350 miles of range on a full charge, making the car more competitive in the executive-sized electric car class. The drag coefficient of the i5 is an impressive 0.23. Given the exterior design of the car and how the Mercedes EQE has a 0.22 drag coefficient from looking like an egg, the sharp lines and overall handsome design of the i5 are a welcome trade-off given just how close they are in aerodynamic efficiency.

Charging Test

Arriving at the EVgo charging station with 4% state of charge, I was eager to plug in and get enough range to head home. At such a low state of charge, the driver’s display had a warning notification stating “Charge status low. Charge vehicle” since 10% state of charge. The state of charge and range estimate had been displayed in yellow since then, and the car put itself in “turtle mode” where the power is reduced to help ensure the car does not become completely depleted, allowing the driver to reach a charger. The problem with this was that it did not allow me to precondition the battery before arriving at the charger.

Despite not being able to precondition the battery and having to wait approximately 30 minutes for a charger due to only four of the eight charging stations working (two of which were 50 kW units), I was finally able to get onto a charger rated up to 350 kW. The 2025 BMW i5 eDrive40 has a claimed peak charging speed of 205 kW. However, it’s important to understand that charging speeds are not as simple as going with the claimed peak charging speed. What is really important is the charging curve. Most batteries tend to charge more quickly below 30-50%, and then taper off to slower speeds as the battery’s state of charge becomes full. Around 70-80%, most EVs see the largest drop in charging speeds.

BMW was able to maximize their charging performance for a 400v architecture car. Once plugged in, the car quickly reached 205 kW charging speeds in under 30 seconds. In under a minute, the charging speeds hit 213 kW, higher than BMW’s claimed charging speeds, which was even more impressive given the lack of preconditioning. The charge rate stayed over 200 kW until after 25%. Then, it began to dip.

Below were the observed charging speeds during the session and how long it took to achieve that state of charge from 4%:

– 10%: 213 kW (2:00)
– 20%: 213 kW (4:30)
– 30%: 180 kW (6:30)
– 40%: 150 kW (8:00)
– 50%: 117 kW (11:30)
– 60%: 95 kW (17:00)
– 70%: 80 kW (22:30)
– 80%: 63 kW (29:30)
– 95%: 56 kW (44:00)

From this charging session, we can see that the peak charging speeds begin to dip gradually and steadily after 25%. This is fairly ideal given how quickly the car can charge to 50% from 4%, taking just over 12 minutes. On a road trip or to get home, most people may not charge all the way to 80 or 90%, and may only charge as much as they need to get to their destination with a Level II charger.

From what we can see, after 70% state of charge, the time it takes to add additional charge begins to slow down considerably. If you can add 70% in just over 22 minutes, that will give you nearly 200 miles of range. That may be the point during a long road trip to disconnect and head to the next charger or your destination. The additional 7 minutes may only get you an extra 30-40 miles.

The charging performance overall is still fairly impressive given we matched BMW’s 10-80% charging claim from 4%. Please note, there were several faults that occurred during the early portion of the charging session. Between 10% and 20%, and again at 34%, the charger had issues, and I had to switch to the charger next to this one for the remainder of the session. Times from the screenshots may not match the times above due to this disconnect and reconnect. I have included the six minutes combined time of the first charging sessions to the 38 minutes total of the last session. Overall downtime between the three sessions was under four minutes.

Driving Impressions – What It’s Like to Live With

While some protest the electrification of the automotive landscape, many of those haven’t driven an EV. Progress is progress, and quite simply put, the 2025 BMW i5 eDrive40 is better as a 5 Series with the electric powertrain than with the current lineup of gas engines. As an executive-class luxury sedan, the smooth, effortless, and quiet power delivery of the electric motor is a wonderful powertrain for this application. 335 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque are impressive, and the ease with which this car puts that power down makes it feel more rapid than its 4900 lbs curb weight suggests.

Power delivery is one thing, but a BMW should handle well. For an entry-level electric 5 Series, the eDrive40 does not disappoint. With double wishbones in the front and a multilink rear suspension setup, with air suspension as the rear dampers, the car does a great job of feeling competent.

While not a sports car, my time with the i5 on some of the best canyon roads in Southern California proved it can hold its own in what I would call “aggressive commuting behind a 911 Carrera S.” The suspension balances rebound and compression well, handling nearly all big and small bumps so that no overly harsh jolts are felt in the cabin. This is done so well as to not feel floaty or overly stiff, a sign of great chassis tuning.

The car was equipped with ACC with stop and go, but not the full Driver’s Assistance Professional Package with Highway Assist. While this wasn’t the highest level of ADAS available, it made driving in LA traffic remarkably easy. In fact, I would go so far as to say this was the best automotive experience I have had in LA traffic. A two-hour commute through stop-and-go traffic is normally soul-crushing and physically draining, but this left me feeling rested when I got home. It does a great impression of a smaller 7 Series. In conjunction with the amazing Bowers & Wilkins sound system, the interior does an equally great impression of making you feel like you stepped into a nightclub when the sun goes down. For a $950 option, that sound system is an absolute bargain in the world of hi-fi car stereos.

Interior Could Be Better

Is the interior perfect? No. For starters, they put piano black plastic in several spots that are constantly touched, which means they get dirty quickly. Automakers: no one really likes piano black plastic. It quickly scratches, smudges, and looks awful most of the time unless you pay someone to install paint protection film over it or you religiously clean it. Also, why does a $70,000 car not have a sunglass holder? It’s a small gripe, but it’s baffling how they didn’t think about that. We’ve won the war against the Germans when it comes to cupholders; hopefully, we can turn the tide on sunglass holders.

Should I Buy One?

The G60 generation 5 Series has such a wide range of options and trim levels that it has become the Swiss army knife of the BMW lineup. There’s something for everyone: Gas, PHEV, M5, and two levels of electric. Is the entry-level electric i5 worth looking at? Is it good? Yes.

The 2025 BMW i5 eDrive40 is honestly great. As a fun, quick, sporty handling luxury sedan loaded with tech, this car is one of the best experiences you can have behind the wheel daily. Unless you are looking for a 2500 lb sports car, for its intended purpose, it’s a joy to live with. The flaws are minor annoyances, and it’s got such a wonderful balance of luxury, performance, tech, design, and utility that it is hard to find fault.

The price is steep (MSRP $66,800), but remember that leasing the car qualifies you for a $7,500 tax credit, and if you eventually choose to buy the car, you found a loophole for a nice discount. As controversial as some of BMW’s new designs have been, this is a good one. They’ve retained everything we love about the 5 Series and progressed it well into the 21st century. Don’t knock it until you drive it. Once you do, you’ll understand that BMW has a winner on their hands.

2025 BMW i5 eDrive40

Exterior Appeal - 7.5
Interior Quality - 8
Steering Feedback - 7.5
Performance - 8
Handling - 8
BMWness/Ultimate Driving Machine - 7.5
Price Point - 7.5


The 2025 BMW i5 eDrive40 is honestly great. As a fun, quick, sporty handling luxury sedan loaded with tech, this car is one of the best experiences you can have behind the wheel daily. Unless you are looking for a 2500 lb sports car, for its intended purpose, it’s a joy to live with. The flaws are minor annoyances, and it’s got such a wonderful balance of luxury, performance, tech, design, and utility that it is hard to find fault.