All-new 5-Series has been unveiled ahead of February launch when it’ll battle the Mercedes E-Class and Jaguar XF for class honours
If you’ve driven the latest BMW 5-Series, you’ll know there’s little wrong with it, and alongside the second-generation Jaguar XF, it has reigned supreme as king of the executive car class since it was launched in 2010.
Not to rest on its laurels though, BMW has now unveiled an all-new seventh-generation 5-Series which goes on sale immediately, available in SE and Sport trim in the UK, with the first customer deliveries expected by the end of February 2017.
The latest version has grown in length by 36mm, is 6mm wider, 2mm taller and its wheelbase has been stretched by 7mm. So it must have put on weight - not on your nelly. Constructed from a mix of lightweight materials including high-tensile steels and aluminium, weight is down by up to 100kg, while body strength and torsional stiffness has increased.
Add to that a redesigned chassis, evenly distributed weight between the front and the rear of the car and a newly designed suspension setup, the seventh-generation 5-Series looks like a world beater, again, retaining its sporty handling and comfortable ride.
At the front, there’s a new double-wishbone front axle while at the rear there’s a new five-link suspension plus new aerodynamic aids such as active louvres in the grille.
The new car, despite a minor height increase, looks lower, longer and sleeker than before, more in the form of the 6-Series Gran Coupe than a 5-Series. The taillights shout 4-Series Coupe and there’s an element of Jaguar XF to the side profile. LED headlights are now standard fit on all versions.
Inside, the top of the dash has been lowered and the facia redesigned, while elbow and shoulder room have improved. The infotainment screen now projects from the top of the dash, rather than being integrated as before, while the rest of the facia has been softened in appearance.
BMW says that it has improved the quality of materials and fit and finish, which is needed to compete with the latest Mercedes E-Class which has an exquisite interior. BMW also says it has reduced interior noise levels to improve refinement.
In the rear, there’s more knee, leg and head room while the door apertures have been redesigned to improve access.
The boot sill has been lowered and the opening increased to aid loading, while the capacity has increased by 10 litres to 530 litres.
Powering the new car, from launch at least, will be four engines; 530i, 540i, 520d and 530d. The 530i replaces the 528i and gets a new 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, developing 249bhp, an increase of 7bhp. It’ll hit 62mph from standstill in 6.2 seconds, returning 48.7mpg on a combined cycle and emit 132g/km of CO2.
Topping the petrol range is the 540i which gets xDrive all-wheel drive. It has a 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine which kicks out 335bhp and goes from 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds. It’ll return 39.2mpg on a combined cycle and emit 164g/km of CO2.
The 2.0-litre diesel in the 520d produces 187bhp and manages the 0-62mph dash in 7.5 seconds. It’ll return 68.8mpg on a combined cycle and emit 108g/km of CO2.
Under the bonnet of the 530d, you’ll find a 3.0-litre diesel developing 261bhp, achieving 60.1mpg on a combined cycle and it’ll emit 124g/km of CO2. Both diesel cars are available with xDrive all-wheel drive.
All variants come fitted with an eight-speed Steptronic automatic gearbox as standard.
After the initial launch, a 520d SE EfficientDynamics will be added to the range, returning 72.4mpg with CO2 emissions 102g/km.
Furthermore, a plug-in hybrid will arrive in March called the 530e iPerformance. It has a four-cylinder petrol engine twinned with an electric motor, giving it an all-electric range of 28 miles. It’ll return 134.5mpg on a combined cycle and emit 49g/km of CO2.
Keeping the interior temperature as you desire is a two-zone climate control system with independent temperature controls for the driver and front passenger, while a four-zone system is available as an option.
Displaying the navigation, phone controls and entertainment is a 10.25in high-resolution screen with a controller located between the front seats. It can also be controlled by voice activation and optional gesture control. It features Apple Carplay and wireless phone charging.
A new heads-up display features in the 5-Series with an improved resolution and a 70% larger projection area.
There’s plenty of new safety kit, including; dynamic cruise control, pre-crash accident detection, steering and lane control assistant, priority and wrong-way warning– which informs you if you need to give property of another stream of traffic or if you are travelling the wrong way on a road.