I don’t know if I’ve ever used the word “bargain” and “BMW” in the same sentence, but the new 530e iPerformance is only $200 more than the conventional model, and that is a bargain. 

On an overnight charge with regular household current, the EPA says this BMW gets 72 miles per gallon combined, between the electric motor and gasoline engine. 

The engine is a 2-liter, turbo 4. When combined with the electric motor, horsepower is 248. 

Running in electric-only mode, I drove about 18 miles before the gasoline engine kicked in.

Other than a power meter, this interior is conventional 5-series, What was re-done this year were ergonomics and fit-and-finish are improved over the old car.

The large video display is great, but it’s surprising BMW charges an extra $300 for Apple Car Play, when it’s standard on many cars in all price ranges. 

The rotary control iDrive is now in its sixth generation, and it is improved. 

A silly option is gesture control, that let’s you adjust radio sound by waving a finger. 

The automatic is an 8-speed. 

Row two is comfortable and roomy, but the trunk however, loses some room because of the hybrid battery pack under the floor. 

Performance of the plug-in hybrid version is on par with the gasoline only 530, despite being considerably more heavy. 

So for the 2018 BMW 530e iPerformance, I say thumbs up to outstanding gas mileage, an improved interior, and good performance. 

It’s thumbs down to the extra cost for Apple Car Play, and silly radio gesture control. 

The as-reviewed sticker price was $66,460.