First Look Review: 2024 BMW i5 eDrive40 redefines the business sedan

  • 2024 BMW i5 eDrive40 priced from USD 66,800
  • Delivers an EPA-estimated range of up to 295 miles
  • Competes with the Mercedes EQE and the Tesla Model S
  • Now available at U.S. dealerships

BMW’s long-awaited Tesla Model S alternative has finally arrived in the U.S. – the 2024 i5, and it’s available in eDrive40 and M60 variants. Just as expected, it’s not as advanced as its American nemesis, but there’s plenty here to suggest it could be the luxe option for many customers. Recently, I had the opportunity to explore the 2024 BMW i5 eDrive40 in person and see if this model means business. Here are my thoughts about the new electric sedan:


I’m relieved that the 2024 BMW i5 doesn’t sport the unusual exterior of the i7. While it lacks the grace and emotional appeal of the much pricier Lucid Air, or even the BMW 5 Series’ E60 model, I find its design quite elegant and subtly sporty.

With automakers chasing high aerodynamic efficiency values, sedans have started losing their traditional proportions to become four-door coupes. I like the fact that BMW designers created the 2024 i5 eDrive40 as a proper sedan, emphasizing space and comfort and giving the car a distinct personality.

The front-end could’ve looked a little better, particularly the plasticky kidney grille and the iX1-inspired swept-back headlamps. The design of the lower grille, a recurring element across BMW models, is becoming rather tiresome, and the 2024 BMW i5 eDrive40 lacks distinctiveness in this area. BMW is marketing the i5 using the M Sport, but in the base Sport, this area looks even more dull.

On the sides, in addition to the conventional roofline, I like the flush-fitting door handles. At the back, I think the sleek form factor and thin clusters of the combination lamps are quite striking, but their shape could’ve been better, with taller units.

I had high expectations for the 2024 i5 eDrive40, anticipating that it would prioritize luxury. Indeed, it proved to be a BMW first and an electric car second. When I examined it for misaligned parts, inconsistent panel gaps, and other manufacturing defects, I found nothing that I could point out in the aspect of quality. The i5 is the quintessential German car.


Thanks to the normal roofline of the 2024 BMW i5 eDrive40, I was expecting that ingress and egress wouldn’t be an issue for tall people. I’m six-foot-tall, and I was able to enter the car comfortably.

I found the visibly slim dashboard and sleek dual-cockpit displays quite attractive, but the glass-look light bars integrated into the dashboard and door panels were what stood out. Integrating touch-operated buttons for controlling the ventilation and AC settings, activating/deactivating hazard warning lights, locking/unlocking the doors, and performing many other functions, they double as functional surfaces. That said, I think certain functions, like operating the hazard lights, would’ve been better off with regular switches and buttons.

I liked the 2024 i5 eDrive40’s seam vents and the discreet placement of the control levers for adjusting the direction of the airflow, both of which add to the minimalist look of the interior. However, I felt that the latter might not be easy to access and seem distracting to some customers.

The glass controls in the center console, though nothing new for a BMW interior in 2024, evoke a feeling of opulence. I was worried that the interior would be a fingerprint magnet because of the many digital surfaces, glass controls, and glossy trim surfaces, and I observed that this indeed was the case.

The upholstery and trim materials used in the 2024 i5 eDrive40 felt very high quality. I appreciate the company offering a leather-free interior option in the car. The various analog controls like the scrollers, switches, and buttons in the cabin were a joy to operate, with a tactile feel to them. However, I don’t like the touch-operated door lock button, which offers no feedback and could be tricky to use with gloves on.

The instrument cluster and infotainment system are quite familiar, so they need no explanation, but the latter includes a new feature that allows customers to play casual games like Overcooked, Go Kart Go, Music Guess, and more using their smartphone as a controller. I’m also happy to report that there’s a native YouTube app in this infotainment system and it’s possible to watch videos when the car is stationary, that too in full screen.

Moving to comfort and space levels, the headroom in the front was a bit tight for my six-foot frame. Under-thigh support felt ample, and there was excellent legroom and lumbar support. Storage spaces in the front are only on the doors and the cupholders. The storage box in the center console is big enough to keep a phone and a wallet.

Entering the rear of the 2024 i5 eDrive40 was quite easy, thanks to the wide door and the seats and floor that are higher up relative to the front. Three six-footers like me would not be comfortable in the back. I felt that leg space was adequate and that I had just enough headroom. The angle of the backrests was a bit upright for my liking, while under-thigh support felt ample. 

In my experience, between the 2024 BMW i5 and the 2024 Tesla Model S, the former is more spacious and comfortable. The Bimmer by default gets my vote for its relatively more practical interior, thanks to a much higher number of easy-to-use, analog controls. If you were to ask me, the new i5 would be the luxury business sedan of my choice.

Driving impressions

The 2024 BMW i5 eDrive40 is a single-motor RWD EV with 335 hp and 295 lb.-ft. (317 lb.-ft. with boost/launch control) of torque. It accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds and has a top speed of 120 mph (electronically limited). An 81.2 kWh battery pack, which takes 30 minutes for a 10-80% DC fast-charging session, gives it an EPA-estimated range of up to 295 miles.

The general opinion about the 2024 i5 eDrive40 is that it’s a mixed bag. Apparently, there’s no escaping the fact that it’s a big car, almost as long as the long-wheelbase version (G38) of the seventh-gen 5 Series. That could be disconcerting for customers buying such a big car for the first time, but thankfully, it doesn’t feel as heavy as it is (4,916 lbs.).

A common opinion is that the 2024 i5 eDrive40 is more focused on comfort than driving pleasure. It has responsive steering, handles well, but it still feels like it has been engineered to be a plush, soft-riding car, although that’s not to say it’s floaty. The transition between the regenerative braking system and frictional brakes is quite seamless, which makes the car feel smoother. I think chauffeur-driven customers would be happy in the i5 eDrive40, but driving enthusiasts may “need” to choose the 2024 i5 M60 instead.


The 2024 BMW i5 eDrive40 has been priced at $66,800 (excl. $995 destination and handling fee) before options.

First Look Review: The BMW iX delivers performance, quality & practicality

TopElectricSUV says

The 2024 BMW i5 eDrive40 doesn’t have the wow factor of the Mercedes EQE (USD 74,900 onwards), the performance, efficiency, or range of the Tesla Model S (USD 74,990 onwards). The Lucid Air (USD 77,400) beats it in almost every aspect. However, it’s worth noting that it’s the least expensive car in its segment by a big margin. For customers prioritizing quality, comfort, and value for money, the 2024 i5 eDrive40 is a great choice for a luxury business sedan.

2024 BMW i5 eDrive40 FAQs

What is the 2024 BMW i5 eDrive40’s release date?

The i5 eDrive40 is now available at BMW’s U.S. dealerships.

What is the 2024 BMW i5 eDrive40’s price?

Prices start at USD 66,800 (excl. USD 995 destination and handling fee).

Which cars are the 2024 BMW i5 eDrive40’s rivals?

The 2024 BMW i5 eDrive40 competes with the Lucid Air, Mercedes EQE & Tesla Model S.