BMW and Mercedes-Benz are taking two wildly different approaches to the early stages of electrification. Mercedes chose to develop a parallel line of distinct EV models, resulting in the carton of battery-electric eggs known as EQ. BMW is taking the opposite tack, slotting its EVs into the same bodies as its bread-and-butter gas offerings. Munich rocked our world with the i4, the electric version of the 4-series and one of the few EVs ever to make our 10Best Cars list. The company then scaled it up to the also-impressive barge-bodied i7. Now it has taken everything it learned from that luxohammer and scaled it down for middle management. The result, the 2024 i5 electric sedan, is just as captivating.
Keeping It in the Family
If you thought the i7’s split-headlight front end and call-an-orthodontist underbite rear were perhaps a bit too weird, you’ll likely find comfort in the i5’s vastly more traditional three-box shape. Single-piece headlights flank right-size kidney grilles. A couple of distinct character lines draw your eyes rearward and terminate at a bumper that doesn’t look like a pint of Cold Stone left in the sun. In person, the EV actually looks a bit tighter than the outgoing 5-series generation, despite being 3.8 inches longer, 1.3 inches wider, and over an inch1.4 inches taller.