How We'd Spec It: 2024 BMW 5-Series and Electric i5 Sedans

bmw 5 series and i5 how we'd spec it
How We'd Spec It: 2024 BMW 5-Series and i5 EVCar and Driver

We've been living in BMW land at Car and Driver for the past few weeks with an instrumented test of the X1 M35 last week, and more recently a test of the i5 Drive40. All those tests got us thinking, "What does our ideal BMW 5-series look like in 2024?" With gasoline and electric models running the gamut of price and power, BMW's i5 and 5-series sedan offers plenty of room to play around. For a little fun, we gathered four of our editors and set them loose on BMW's online configurator.

Caleb Miller's $79,175 i5 xDrive40

For my ideal 5-series, I went electric with the i5 xDrive40. Its 389-hp all-wheel-drive powertrain is more than rapid enough for daily driving while still returning roughly 260 miles of range. It also costs just under $4K more than the single-motor i5 but saves $14K compared with the M60 performance variant.


While I didn’t spring for the 593-hp M60 model, I still wanted an assertive look, so I specced the M Sport trim, a $3000 choice that adds a bolder front bumper, black exterior trim, and M Sport brakes with blue calipers. I then plunked down $650 for the Vegas Red metallic paint and $800 for the 20-inch M Aero two-tone wheels to accentuate the sporty appearance. I matched the cabin to the exterior by selecting the Burgundy Red faux-leather upholstery, a no-cost option. I did splurge for the $600 BMW Individual Fineline wood trim, which also turn the remaining metallic accents a light gold color. The Premium package contains essentials like a head-up display, adaptive LED headlights, and a heated steering wheel, adding $2350 to my total. I threw in front ventilated seats for $500 to finish my build. All told, my i5 xDrive40 rang in at $79,175—not bad considering the $71,275 starting price. –Caleb Miller

Carter Fry's $77,645 i5 eDrive40

The goal of this build is not to design the perfect all-in-one commuter/weekend warrior. If I was aiming for that, I wouldn’t go electric, at least not in 2024. Instead, I want to live the luxurious lifestyle of having my electric car charging to 80 percent in my garage as I sleep.

Cue the rear-drive BMW i5 eDrive40, a normal-looking EV! No flowy aerodynamics or drag coefficient obsessions here. I started by selecting the Sport design to keep things low-key. This shall be no M car. Scrolling through the color options, I almost went with black or gray but the Tanzanite Blue II metallic looks like it would catch the sun so well. And honestly, I saved money by skipping the xDrive40's all-wheel-drive system, so that keeps $1950 in my pocket. Next, I’m sticking with the standard wheels because I think that's always a purchase best left to the aftermarket.

Inside, I decided to deviate from my instincts with this one. Instead of keeping things dark and cozy, I wanted to lighten up the experience and pair the $2450 Silverstone II Atlas Grey Extended Merino Leather with the blue paint. The $600 Open Pore Light Wood interior trim is the cherry on top. Selecting the option package was easy: Executive. I want every single luxury, even if it costs $4250, specifically adaptive cruise control and the panoramic sunroof, but I’m not complaining about the rest that comes with it either. I checked every accessory available as well, including the BMW Wallbox ($600) to keep that at-home charging dream alive. The total for this luxurious commuter comes out to $77,645. Do you think I could find a set of Alpina wheels on Facebook Marketplace? –Carter Fry

Eric Stafford's $90,395 i5 M60 xDrive

BMW doesn't currently make a fully electric version of a full-blown M car. For now, choices are limited to M Sport variants of the iX SUV as well as the i4 and i5 sedans. The latter's M60 model is particularly appealing to me, as its body style and 593 horsepower mimic the previous BMW M5. While the 2024 i5 M60 we tested was about 1000 pounds heavier and five-tenths slower to 60 mph than a 2021 M5 Competition, the new EV's $85,095 base price is $28K less. That's one helluva deal if you ask me, so let me share my ideal spec.

I'd choose the $650 Black Sapphire metallic paint and pair it with the optional 20-inch M Aero wheels that cost $800. They drop its EPA-estimated range from 256 to 248 miles, but I think they look better than the standard 19s, and the $1800 21-inches only hurt the ride and steal another eight miles of range. Inside, I'd pick the Burgundy Red upholstery and $300 carbon-fiber trim to give off proper M-car vibes. To get the M Sport Profession package ($1050), with red-painted brake calipers, an illuminated grille outline, and sporty black trim, I also need to pay $2500 for the Premium package. That nets my electric 5er adaptive cruise control, a heated steering wheel and front seats, a head-up display, full LED headlights that mimic steering inputs, and a self-parking feature that will likely never get used. My love of ventilated front seats means I'll happily fork over the necessary $500. All told, my M5 EV—er—i5 M60 totals $90,395. –Eric Stafford

Jack Fitzgerald's $75,845 540i xDrive

For my 5-series, I'm going with the gasoline-powered 540i xDrive, as I don't have a home charging solution. I also prefer a traditional engine versus an e-motor for now. I'm skipping the optional $3000 M Sport package because this isn't a true M car, and I prefer how the car looks without it. I'm springing for the $1950 Tanzanite Blue II metallic paint but sticking with the standard 19-inch wheel setup. I'm over the trend of putting black wheels on every car, and—as a bonus—the extra sidewall should provide some additional comfort on my pothole-riddled commute.

For the interior, I'd spend a further $2450 to get it wrapped in Copper Brown/Atlas Gray leather, with an additional $600 going towards the open pore light wood trim and bronze accents. Lastly, I'd drop another $4950 combined on the Executive package and ventilated front seats. Luxury options like adaptive cruise control or backside-cooling seats may be a bit excessive, but they're also worth their weight in gold when the situation calls for them. My out-the-door price rounds out to just under $76,000, which feels like a job well done. –Jack Fitzgerald

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