The BMW 5 Series has been around since 1972. “The quintessential sporting business sedan”, as BMW puts it, has significantly evolved over the years. In 2016, a new generation of the 5-Series was born with ever more modern design and a luxurious cabin complete with the latest in-car tech, all the while maintaining its sporty character. Now in its seventh generation, is the G30 BMW 5-Series still the best business sedan in its class? Let’s find out starting with a brief overview of its design.
Let’s find out starting with a brief overview of its design.
Ever since the very first 5-Series went on sale back in the 70s, the sedan has steadily grown in proportions. It’s a similar case with the 7th generation. The G30 BMW 5-Series is slightly larger than its predecessor. At just under 5 meters in length, the new model is 36 mm longer, 6 mm wider, 2 mm taller than the F10. The wheelbase has also grown by 7 mm.
Like all modern BMWs, the new 5’er finally gets the updated front fascia with the twin kidneys that are wider and now part of a continuous graphic courtesy of the blended headlight clusters that gives the car an overall wider appearance compared to its predecessor. It’s a similar story at the rear where the tail lamp clusters with L-shaped LEDs have grown resulting in a bold yet familiar appearance. Key design elements from the previous generations have been incorporated including the iconic Hofmeister kink, a functional air-breather which improves aerodynamics and a high shoulder line.
Design revisions have made the new 5-Series about 10 percent more aerodynamic than the outgoing model. With a drag coefficient of 0.22, the G30 5-Series sets a new benchmark for sedans in its class. One of the key innovations has been the active louvres in the kidney grille which close shut for optimised aerodynamic efficiency.
Customers can choose from a 21 colour palette paired with 17-inch or 21-inch wheels. Design packages include Sports Line, Luxury Line and the M-Sport package which gives the vehicle a more dynamic appearance.
The BMW 5-Series has traditionally been known as a driver’s car and this BMW philosophy always reflected in the interior of their vehicles. The new 5-Series is no exception. It’s an elegant, luxurious sedan with sporting pedigree. The cabin of the G30 has been designed around the driver with all controls easily within reach. A new three-spoke steering wheel has been introduced on the G30. A sporty M-Sport steering wheel comes with the optional package.
Highest quality materials and the finest leather make the new 5-Series a great place to be in. The larger proportions of the new model have had a positive effect on cabin space. There’s more elbow and shoulder room thanks to revised door cut-outs while the longer wheelbase has improved legroom.
Having said, the new 5’er comes loaded with the latest in-car technologies and active safety systems. So, let’s check out some of the defining features on the G30.
Equipment and Tech
The new BMW 5-Series offers 7-Series levels of features and comfort. Taking the fight to its competition, the designers have created an opulent cabin filled with every high-tech feature imaginable.
- Next-gen iDrive infotainment system with Gesture Control
The 7-Series was the first to get gesture control as standard. Now, the premium feature is also available on the new 5-Series. BMW’s iDrive is among the finest infotainment systems out there. With the integration of gesture control, users will now find the system even more intuitive. Simple functions like volume control and the phone can be operated by waving your hand or fingers in a particular pattern. A 3D sensor detects the hand movements and translates them into commands.
The iDrive can also be operated via voice commands. The Intelligent Voice Assistant understands spoken commands in multiple languages including Chinese, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese and of course German and English. Also new to the 5-Series is the touch-sensitive rotary controller which comes handy while typing in your destination for the sat-nav.
- Proactive Driving Assistant
This revolutionary system is interlinked with the navigation system and detects braking situations in advance. The car automatically reduces its speed when entering a built-up area or speed limit zones. The system also anticipates upcoming bends and reduces speed accordingly.
- Integral Active Steering
This feature is only available with xDrive models of the 5-Series. The electromechanical steering on the new model features a variable ratio steering rack with speed-sensitive power assistance for precise steering and accurate feedback. Rear axle steering improves agility and further shortens the steering radius. Thus, negotiating narrow, twisty city streets is less demanding.
- Dynamic Cruise Control
Dynamic Cruise Control is now standard on the 5-Series. While Active Cruise Control uses radar to adjust the pre-selected speed in traffic. The system is capable of braking and accelerating automatically depending on traffic conditions. DCC also supports energy-saving coasting function which disengages the engine when the driver lifts off the throttle pedal which results in better fuel efficiency.
- Driving Assist Plus
The Driving Assist Plus package includes an evasion aid function. In a scenario where an obstacle is in the path of the vehicle, in which case a swift lane change is required, the system responds with faster steering and will counter steer if necessary. With the aid of Dynamic Stability Control and an array of sensors, the vehicle is safely manoeuvred around the obstacle.
- Multi-colour Head-up Display
The revised head-up display on the new 5-Series can now relay additional information like current traffic conditions, navigation, warnings from the on-board driver assistance system, phone lists and even music being played by the infotainment system. With the coloured, higher resolution displays the driver can concentrate on the road without having to avert their gaze from the road.
- Climate Control
The new BMW 5-Series comes with two-zone climate control as standard. However, four-zone climate control is available as an option. The Ambient Air package uses ionisation so that the air inside the cabin is always of the highest quality. Like the 7-Series, this new model is available with a choice of eight distinct fragrances for the cabin, and the optional Ambient light function that helps in creating a relaxed atmosphere.
- Remote Control Parking
The new 5-Series can park itself! This is yet another feature borrowed from the flagship 7-Series. The car can be controlled using the touch-sensitive Display Key alone to park into tight spots and narrow garage spaces. The optional Park Assistant can detect parallel parking spaces and then guide the car in without driver input.
Engine and Performance
The seventh generation 5-Series is available in two petrol and two diesel variants with optional xDrive all-wheel drive system.
The 540i comes with a range-topping 3.0-liter 6-cylinder engine which puts out a meaty 340 hp from 5500-6500 rpm and 332 lb-ft of torque from 1380-5200 rpm. Excellent fuel economy compliments the superior performance. This engine delivers an impressive 43.5 mpg. Equipped with this engine, the 540i can hit 60 mph in 5.1 sec, but the 540i xDrive is even quicker clocking 4.8 sec to 60 mph.
The 530i is equipped with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. This turbocharged motor generates a healthy 252 hp from 5200-6500 rpm and a peak torque of 258 lb-ft at 1450-4800 rpm. 0-60 mph is dealt with in 6.2 sec. Average fuel consumption of this engine is rated at 52.3 mpg.
On the diesel side of things, BMW continues to offer the 520d with a 4-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine that makes 190 hp at 4000 rpm and 295 lb-ft at 1750-2500 rpm. 0-60 mph in the base diesel is achieved in 7.7 sec with a top speed pegged at 147 mph. With average fuel consumption rated at 70.6 mpg, this is the most economical engine in the range.
The 530d is the top-of-the-line diesel with a 3.0-liter 6-cylinder engine equipped with BMW’s TwinPower Turbo technology. It delivers 265 hp at 4000 rpm and a peak torque of 457 lb-ft at 2000-2500 rpm. The 530d can sprint from 0-60 mph in just 5.7 sec. That’s impressive, indeed.
New to the line-up is the 530e iPerformance hybrid version. It uses a 4-cylinder petrol engine coupled with BMW’s eDrive system. The combination of IC engine and electric motors delivers an overall output of 252 hp and an average fuel consumption of 141.2 mpg. The 530e iPerformance can also be driven in full-electric mode for up to 28 miles. Moreover, the hybrid powertrain helps reduce CO2 emissions considerably.
The most powerful version of the new 5-Series is the 550i xDrive which boasts a 462 hp V8 generating a peak torque of 479 lb-ft. It accelerates to 60 mph in just 4.0 sec. However, this won’t be the fastest G30 5-Series as next-gen M5 could have a peak performance of about 600 hp.
Customers can choose between a 6-speed manual and an 8-speed Steptronic transmission. That said, the slick 8-speed gearbox is perhaps the best suited for a business sedan like the 5-Series. It also delivers better fuel economy. Furthermore, SYNTAK or ‘Synergy Thermoacoustic Capsule’ technology helps reduce engine noise.
Prices for the seventh generation BMW 5-Series start around €52,000 in Ireland you can book a test drive at Murphy & Gunn BMW here.
The new BMW 5-Series is a definite step up from its predecessor. Thanks to the strategic use of high-strength steel and lightweight aluminium, the new model is lighter than the outgoing model, couple that with a range of fuel-efficient engines with performance to match its rivals, the new 5-Series does make a case for itself.
BMW has maintained, if not improved on the brilliant driving dynamics of the new 5’er. So, is it still the ultimate driving machine? You bet.
The 5-Series is also available in a Touring version. This new estate offers incredible storage space and is ideal for a small family.
Packed with the latest in safety tech and driver assistance programs, the new 5-Series is a worthy successor to a sales success that was the F10. The best business sedan just got even better!