When the seventh-generation of BMW 5 Series arrives next year, it will be lighter, more refined, safer and more efficient according to the German car maker. Every rear-wheel drive diesel will return over 60mpg, while BMW’s xDrive four-wheel drive system will also be available. To go up against the latest tech from Mercedes and Tesla, the BMW will also feature driver assistance technology which takes the 5 Series one step closer to being fully autonomous.
The exterior dimensions are slightly larger than those of its predecessor. The new car is 36mm longer than the outgoing model (at 4,935mm), six millimetres wider (1,868mm) and two mm taller (1,466mm). Its wheelbase measures 2,975mm, an increase of 7mm.
At the front, twin circular headlights that now have glass headlight covers connect seamlessly with the familiar BMW kidney grille. LED Headlights are standard, while the Adaptive LED Headlights alter the light graphic and can be specified as an option with BMW Selective Beam anti-dazzle high beam with a range of up to 500 metres.
The rear lights reach deep into the sides of the car, creating a visual connection between its flanks and rear end. The exhaust tailpipes, which are now arranged symmetrically on both sides on all model variants, are circular or trapezoidal depending on the engine and trim level specified.
The interior of the new BMW 5 Series features top-class materials, supreme build quality and attention to detail, a great feeling of spaciousness and new technologies in abundance combine to offer both driver and passengers superb comfort and driving enjoyment.
The new BMW 5 Series has more rear headroom as well as an increased boot capacity of 530 litres. The boot sill has been lowered compared to its predecessor, which combines with the larger boot opening and the substantial increase in width to ensure that even bulky items can be loaded more easily than ever before. Particular attention has been paid to reducing interior noise levels.
Even the standard front seats offer excellent safety and comfort together with a wide choice of materials, plus special decorative stitching for M Sport Dakota leather upholsteries and optional Nappa leather upholsteries. The optional sports seats, standard on M Sport models, feature adjustable side bolsters for optimum lateral support. In addition, the optional Comfort seats can be specified with a Massage function, offering eight different massage programmes, each with a choice of three intensity modes. There is room for up to three adults on the rear seats, which are also designed to allow room for up to three child seats (the two outer places have ISOFIX attachments).
BMW Gesture Control for key functions was premiered last year in the BMW 7 Series, and the new BMW 5 Series Saloon now features the latest version of this system (Gesture Control is optional). Professional Navigation, RTTI, telephone, entertainment features and vehicle functions can be visualised on the standard high-resolution 10.25-inch screen and controlled not just in the usual manner using the iDrive Controller, but also by means of gestures, voice commands or simply touching the buttons on the touch-sensitive display. One of the new button functions is a message centre, where all incoming SMS messages, emails and information about the car’s operating state can be found. Meanwhile, the latest generation of the BMW Head-Up Display has a resolution of 800 x 400 pixels, and the projection area is around 70 per cent larger than in the outgoing model.
All members of the newly developed, modular BMW EfficientDynamics engine family feature an extremely lightweight, thermodynamically optimised all-aluminium construction. Thanks to their unrivalled BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, they meld maximum power with exemplary efficiency, and all comply with the EU6 emission standard.
The four-cylinder diesel engine powering the BMW 520d has an output of 190hp at 4,000rpm and unleashes its maximum torque of 400Nm. Gearshifts are made with the eight-speed Steptronic. Fuel consumption with the eight-speed Steptronic comes in at 68.8mpg, resulting in CO2 emissions of 108g/km. The most potent diesel is the 155mph BMW 530d, producing 265hp and 620Nm. Along with these impressive performance figures, the BMW 530d achieves 60.1mpg, equating to CO2 emissions of 124g/km.
Both diesel engines can be specified with BMW’s xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive system. Besides the familiar handling benefits of all-wheel drive in adverse weather conditions, xDrive also enhances the agility of the driving experience. The transfer case in the new BMW 5 Series Saloon also works more efficiently, helping to keep fuel consumption to a minimum. For the first time, BMW xDrive can be combined with Integral Active Steering as well as lowered sports suspension.
Automatic transmission with gearshift paddles features as standard on 520d and 520d xDrive models with the automatic gearbox boasting exceptional shift comfort, sporty, dynamic gear changes and supreme efficiency. The Sports automatic transmission features as standard on all other models with even more dynamic shift characteristics.
Shortly after the new 5 Series Saloon is launched, BMW will add a further two engines to the line-up. Under the bonnet of the BMW 520d SE EfficientDynamics model lies the most efficient incarnation of the 190hp four-cylinder diesel unit, which helps the saloon to achieve a fuel consumption of 72.4mpg, meaning CO2 emissions of 102g/km.
Moreover, a plug-in hybrid version of the BMW 5 Series Saloon will also be launched in March in the form of the BMW 530e iPerformance model. The BMW eDrive system and a four-cylinder petrol engine work in perfect unison to achieve ultra-low CO2 emissions of just 49g/km*, while generating overall output of 252hp. Fuel consumption is a remarkable 134.5mpg. The BMW 530e iPerformance can reach a top speed of 87mph in all-electric mode and has an electric range of up to 28 miles.
Dynamic Cruise Control (DCC), which is standard, maintains any selected speed between 19 155mph. It also supports energy-saving coasting by decoupling the engine from the powertrain when the driver lifts off the accelerator at higher speeds. Meanwhile, the functionality of the optional Active Cruise Control (ACC), which uses radar to adjust the pre-selected speed to the traffic situation, has been extended yet further. Working alongside this, the optional Speed Limit Info system shows speed restrictions on the current route segment in the display.
The optional Driving Assistant Plus safety package includes the Lane Keeping Assistant, the Lane Departure Warning system and the Lane Change Warning. Moreover, Side Collision Warning warns drivers by means of a visual signal or steering wheel vibration if another vehicle is encroaching from the side. The Lane Change Assistant offers comfort-enhancing steering assistance when changing lanes on motorways or dual carriageways.
Another new function contained in the Driving Assist Plus package is the evasion aid. If a swift lane change is required because an obstacle has suddenly appeared in the driver’s path, the evasion aid – which operates at speeds up to 99mph – supports the necessary evasive steering action. A further system that provides an early foretaste of automated driving is the Steering and lane control assistant. This system already features a high level of automation. It operates in the speed range from zero to 130mph and uses smooth, comfort-enhancing steering interventions to keep the vehicle in its current lane, reducing driving stress particularly in congested traffic.
The Priority warning system provides visual and audible warnings if the driver has failed to notice that vehicles in another road have priority. The brake system is also primed so that the braking distance can be reduced to a minimum. Both Priority warning and Wrong-way warning operate in conjunction with the standard Professional Navigation system. The Wrong-way warning detects if the driver is driving the wrong way onto a motorway or onto a roundabout, or is heading the wrong way down a one-way street. Similarly, Crossing traffic warning uses radar sensors to check for approaching traffic at junctions with poor or impeded visibility or when backing out of a perpendicular parking space.