BMW 5 Series Review The BMW 5 Series executive saloon has been a mainstay of the German brand's line up for more than 40 years.
The seventh generation is underpinned by the same platform as the larger 7 Series luxury limousine, so it's larger than its predecessor and now matches the biggest rivals for interior space. Yet extensive use of lightweight aluminium for the car's structure and body panels means it actually tips the scales at around 100kg less the old model.As you'd expect from a BMW, the 5 Series features engaging handling, while the drop in weight makes it feel more nimble than its bulky external dimensions would suggest. BMW has also made strides when it comes to refinement. There's very little wind or engine noise, while tyre roar is only a problem on coarse surfaces. On its standard suspension the 5 Series does a fine job of soaking up bumps, although racy M Sport models are a little firm at low speeds.The car's top notch refinement is backed up by one of the classiest cabins in the business. The quality of the materials and finish are first rate, while there's plenty of standard kit, including sat nav, online services and leather seat trim. There's bags of space too, with occupants in the back getting nearly as much legroom as the larger 7 Series.Business users are likely to be impressed by the car's low running costs, with the 520d Efficient Dynamics emitting as little as 102g/km and promising over 70mpg at the pumps.Few cars are as accomplished as the BMW 5 Series. BMW's mid sized saloon is considered to be one of the best all round cars you can buy, and the latest seventh generation model delivers the talents of its predecessors with a healthy dose of hi tech kit and construction in the mix.The 5 Series has been a mainstay of the BMW line up since 1972, when the original E12 model first arrived. Since then, there have been six more generations, and the current G30 incarnation is bigger yet lighter and more efficient than past oakley store models. It uses technology borrowed form the 7 Series limousine, so has lightweight aluminium and carbon fibre in its construction, while some of that car's suite of hi tech convenience features are also carried over.Best executive cars on sale right nowThe styling of the 5 Series is conservative, and is an evolution of the last model, combined with cues taken from the larger 7 Series. But there's no doubt about who builds it, thanks to the kidney grilles, quad headlights and distinctive BMW window line.The 5 Series line up is simple, with SE and M Sport trims on offer, although there are a variety of engine options on offer. The diesel models are expected to make up the bulk of sales, with the excellent 520d with a 187bhp 2.0 litre diesel expected to be the best seller. As well as the standard trims, the 520d is also offered in company car tax busting EfficientDynamics trim to cut costs even further. The 530d features a traditional BMW straight six diesel with 261bhp, and is designed more for performance than efficiency.Petrol power comes in the form of the 530i and 540i models. Surprisingly, the former features a 2.0 litre turbo petrol engine with 249bhp, but the latter has a 335bhp 3.0 litre six. The only other model at the moment is the 530e plug in hybrid. This uses a 2.0 litre petrol engine and electric motor to make 252bhp, which delivers performance similar to the 530i, but with far lower running costs and a potential 31 mile electric driving range. Buyers after something racier will have to wait a little longer for the new M5 to arrive, although from our first taste it'll be well worth the wait.All cars feature an eight speed automatic gearbox, while xDrive four wheel drive is available on 520d and 530d models it's standard on the 540i.The 5 Series is one of the mainstays of the executive saloon class, and is a direct rival for the Audi A6 and Mercedes E Class. It can also rival the Jaguar XF, while alternative choices come in the form of the Volvo S90 and Lexus GS. The only other option in the latest 5 Series range is the 5 Series Touring estate, while the 5 Series GT is due to be rebranded as the 6 Series GT when it arrives later in the year.While the structure, bodyshell and interior are all new, the BMW's engine line up features tried and tested petrol and diesel units.Whichever version you opt for, you'll benefit from the same fine ride and oakley ordering handling balance. The 5 Series's weight reduction has delivered improvements in ride and handling. And despite exterior dimensions that are larger than the old car's, the new version actually feels more agile on the move.The steering isn't as quick as the Jaguar XF's, but it's naturally weighted and delivers just the right amount of feedback. There's also bags of grip, while even on the standard springs and dampers fitted to SE models the BMW delivers strong body control, coping very well over the bigger bumps.Four wheel drive is standard oakley outlet online store on the 540i and an option on all models apart from the 530i. The benefits in traction are obvious on the more powerful versions, but the 520d is best suited to the traditional rear wheel drive layout, which feels a little lighter and more agile than the xDrive set up.Agility can be further enhanced with the optional 995 Integral Active Steering set up, which is available with the xDrive four wheel drive for the first time. This electronically controlled system that turns the rear wheels in opposite direction to the fronts significantly boost manoeuvrability. At higher speeds the oakley shades men rears point the same way, sharpening turn in and boosting stability.However, if you select one option, then we'd recommend forking out 985 for the adaptive dampers. In its sportiest setting, this set up gives sharper responses and even greater composure, while selecting Comfort serves up a soft ride that rivals luxurious limousines.The impression of luxury is enhanced by the low levels of noise in the cabin. Even the 520d's four cylinder diesel is hushed, while wind and road roar are barely perceptible.For the first time ever in the UK, the 5 Series isn't available with a manual gearbox so if you want to shift ratios yourself you'll need to look at an Audi A6 or Jaguar XF. Producing 187bhp and 400Nm of torque, you might think it'd struggle in a car as big as the BMW. However, the combination of 100kg saving in weight and standard eight speed automatic transmission means the 520d delivers as much performance as you'll need.BMW claims 0 62mph in just 7.5 seconds, which rivals warm hatchbacks for outright pace. Yet with a healthy 400Nm of torque you don't need to work the 520d's engine hard to make decent progress. The automatic gearbox delivers smooth changes when left to its own devices and crisp shifts when using the manual mode. The 2.0 litre unit is also smooth and refined, although this is partly down to excellent soundproofing.In fact, for most of the time this engine is as unobtrusive as the bigger six cylinder in the 530d. And while the 261bhp unit knocks nearly two seconds off the 520d's 0 62mph claim with a time of 5.7 seconds, in the real world the differences aren't as obvious as you'd think.There's more low down muscle with the larger engine, while the deep growl under hard acceleration adds to the sporty appeal. Yet unless you want to have bragging rights when it comes to the Top Trumps performance statistics, the 520d's more balanced mix of performance and efficiency makes it the more rounded choice.The excellence of the diesels leaves the petrol models firmly in the shade; particularly the 530i, which offers no real performance or refinement advantage over the 520d and 530d.That's not to say there's no merit in these models, as the 540i delivers near super saloon pace.
With four wheel drive traction and a healthy 335bhp, the big saloon will crack the benchmark 0 62mph in a claimed 4.8 seconds, which is not far off the time set by the previous generation M5.Ever since launching its Efficient Dynamics efficiency technology a decade or so ago, BMW has been leading the way for low running costs and the new 5 Series is no exception.
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