The 2024 BMW i5 M60 Wants to Connect With You on LinkedIn

The new 5 Series is, as 5 Series types like to say, rightsized.

byChris Tsui|
Chris Tsui
Chris Tsui.


To survive in corporate America is to be a master of doublespeak and balance. It's not "layoffs," we're downsizing. And while it's important to show growth and improve upon previous results, it's prudent not to go too hard too quickly so as to not give management unrealistic expectations in regards to future performance. (Any self-respecting athlete would likely call this sandbagging but I believe the true LinkedIn warriors simply call it "strategic scalability.")

The 2024 BMW i5 M60, much like most of its owners (one does not simply acquire an $85,095 executive sedan without being pretty good at emails), understands critical moderation. This is a car you get when you want a big car that isn't too big. This is a car you get when you want a fancy car that doesn't look too fancy. This is a car you get when you want a fast car that isn't too fast.

A vehicle that tries to sit on multiple fences and be everything to everyone could've so easily been a bland, unfocused mess. But remarkably, the i5 M60 sidesteps this as one of the best all-rounders available today.

The Basics

The new 5 Series is a dignified-looking, decently proportioned sedan. There are shades of cat-eyed E60 in the face while a conservative rear end, at first blush, sort of reminds me of a Camry (sorry, BMW). Still, it's far from a bad-looking car, especially by modern Bimmer standards. Yes, the grille is quite big, and yeah, the "5" stamped in the Hofmeister kink and embiggened "M" in the M60 badge are pretty gauche, but you and I both know it could've been so much worse.

With its colorful light bars, crystal controls, and curved screens, I quite like BMW's current interior aesthetic. It's indisputably luxurious and lush but clean and modern in a way current Benzes just aren't. Build quality in the new i5 is great, as it usually is with this brand, and this cabin is a pleasant and quiet place to be overall. The seats are comfy and lined in soft leather while the turn signal stalk is clicky and more satisfyingly tactile than I remember BMW stalks being.

From a usability standpoint, though, a lot of it is annoyingly touch-sensitive including everything embedded in the light bars—i.e. the seat controls, hazards, as well as all the buttons surrounding the crystal infotainment knob. Also, climate control is all done on the touchscreen. It is, as your Head of Human Resources might say, suboptimal but unfortunately par for the luxury car course in 2024. The price paid for clean design. This being the midsize BMW sedan, it's spacious too but not overly so while the big pano roof makes the space feel open and airy.

Driving the BMW i5 M60

Once you've got to grips with the luxurious-ass touch controls, the i5 M60 is hands down one of the most satisfying daily drivers I’ve ever experienced. Supremely smooth, comfortable without being floaty, and capable without being overbearing, everything is just right as a luxury sedan tasked with the simple mission of getting from A to B. In my opinion, the days of expecting the 5 Series to be a true "driver's car" are long gone and, ergo, steering is precise but thoroughly numb.

What the 5 Series and cars like it have never stopped being, however, are high-speed, highway mile-munching heroes—and the move to electric has made that encompassing, granite-confident straight-line pace even more immediate. An electric motor at each axle makes 593 horsepower and 586 lb-ft of torque—the latter in an instant—getting the 5,200-pound sedan from zero to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds. In the context of gas-powered 5ers, that's just 0.1 seconds off of the previous-gen V8 M550i.

Chris Tsui

The i5 M60 moves with an alert sharpness and unassumingly mighty acceleration that enables just the most antisocial driving, particularly on the freeway. You find yourself passing people with aggression simply because you can and the Hans Zimmer-composed noises it's all accompanied by make you feel quite cool. Honestly, there are a whole lot of gas cars out there that objectively don’t sound as cool. The Bowers & Wilkins speakers that that noise is pumped out of are ace, too, even when they're reproducing Zimmer's non-automotive work.

BMW i5 Features, Options, and Competition

In base, single-motor eDrive40 form, the BMW i5 starts at $67,795, but this dual-motor M60 will set you back at least $85,095. There are two key packages available: a $2,500 Premium Package and a $3,850 Executive Package. The former adds a head-up display, heating for the steering wheel and front seats, full LED headlights, and active driving assist while the latter encompasses all that plus the big sunroof, power rear sunshades, and glass controls. Look, just get the Exec Pack. The sunroof and glass knobs are indeed sick, and if you're spending upwards of $85,000 on a car anyway (or whatever the equivalent monthly lease payment is), a $3,850 optional extra is and should be chump change.

Among legacy automakers, this BMW is arguably the most appealing offering among its direct, competitive set. The giant jellybean that is the Mercedes EQE boasts a worse UX, doesn't look as nice, and almost assuredly isn't as good as this to drive while the Audi A6 is quite an old car at this point and does not come as an EV.

However, there is also the Tesla Model S to consider. For practically the same money as the i5 M60, you can get a Plaid which makes 1,020 hp, gets to 60 mph in under 2 seconds, and is rated for 359 miles of range. The caveats are, of course, build quality that doesn't appear to exist in the same dimension as that of BMW's as well as the unspoken social and political implications of driving a Tesla in 2024.

Range, Charging, and Efficiency

Something tells me the i5 will mainly be driven by people who live in houses with garages and can therefore plug them in every night, making things like range and charging speed less of a concern. But for condo dwellers looking to live the electric 5er life, the EPA rates the i5 M60 at 256 miles while the eDrive40 version is good for 295 miles. A Max Range driving mode limits the car to 56 mph and turns off all climate functions for those touch-and-go road trip situations.

Chris Tsui

DC fast charging happens at a max rate of 205 kW, which is said to take the 81.2-kWh battery from 10 to 80% in 30 minutes. New buyers get free 30-minute public charging sessions at Electrify America for two years.

Value and Verdict

BMW's new midsize sedan internalizes the idea of "just right," and not just in its size. Able to mob and blast across highways with great speed but also be a calm, relaxing cruiser and city runabout when you want it to be, it strikes an impressive balance between sport and comfort in its drive while showcasing an admirable mix of staid and panache in its design.

Chris Tsui

As a result, the 2024 BMW i5 M60 is one of the best, well-rounded luxury cars on the market right now. I like it way more as a package than I did the 7 Series, inheriting the flagship's gorgeous interior without that exterior. Meanwhile, it feels more substantial than the last 3 Series I drove—more stately, dignified, and luxurious. It also does that BMW EV thing of not making a huge fuss over the fact that it is electric. The i5 is just a 5er that happens to burn no fuel, and it's better for it.

The new 5 Series is a car that is, as 5 Series types like to say, rightsized. A key member of the BMW team and a solid step forward for the 5 Series family of products. Not exactly a paradigm shift in the context of luxury sedans but cars like this aren't really about rocking the boat or being game-changers anyway. It is, however, a strong value add for anyone looking for a fast, luxurious, and sufficiently spacious daily driver even as it pivots to electrification.

Keep up the good work, BMW. See you at next year's performance review.

2024 BMW i5 M60 xDrive Specs
Base Price (Canadian spec as tested)$85,095 ($113,600 CAD)
Powertraindual-motor all-wheel drive | 81.2-kWh battery
Horsepower593 @ 8,000 rpm
Torque586 lb-ft @ 0-5000 rpm
Seating Capacity5
Cargo Volume17.3 cubic feet
Curb Weight5,247 pounds
0-60 mph3.7 seconds
Top Speed130 mph (143 mph with performance tires)
EPA Range256 miles
Quick TakeA valued asset to BMW AG. A valued asset in your garage.

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