New BMW 5-series Review - European Meaning of Business Class In a Nutshell

Legendary 5 series have been off the assembly line for more than 40 years. However, these models, produced in sedan and wagon bodies, belong to the European "business class" segment. And at the beginning of this year the premiere of a new line of BMW models was held.

German automaker has transferred the model to an innovative platform, called 35up or CLAR. This was not accidental - engineers from Germany were able to alleviate the weight of cars by 220 pounds. After all, as the main material, they used aluminum, as well as carbon fiber.

Moreover, the new BMW models have become susceptible to gestures and have adapted to self-parking. They also had good aerodynamic properties. They, however, have become more cumbersome than their predecessors, but smaller in weight.

The younger brother of 7 series

Interestingly, the CLAR platform used at the heart of the new BMW 5-Series is not as advanced as the BMW 7-Series. In addition to the absence of a air suspension, the 5-series lacks composite materials in the structure of the power frame of the body, but can please the presence of an active roll suppression system, in addition to adaptive shock absorbers, an expanded list of electronic assistants and helpers, as well as more economical engines than the older model.

Despite the power frame of the body of traditional high-strength steel without the use of expensive composite materials, the curb weight of the new 5-series sedan (G30) is as much as 220 lbs less than the previous generation model, although the body dimensions have increased. The weight of the body is also helped by aluminum hood and boot lid, roof and doors, engine support brackets and rear side rails. The basic diesel version of the sedan called BMW 520d tightens on the balance only 3306 lbs and the petrol BMW 530i with the body weight of 3560 lbs with the driver and a full tank of fuel.

Genetic similarity

The development of the design new 5-series was carried out by specialists of Design BMW Automobiles, led by Karim Habib. The new generation of the Bavarian five was an evolution of the traditional concept of company and style of previous generations of models, but with a pronounced hint of kinship with the older model - BMW 7-Series.

A distinctive feature of the 5-series is its unique appearance. Although, for all stylistic parameters, it almost does not differ from the 7-series, which was released last year.

There are, of course, nostrils of grille, front bumper with pronounced air intake and aerodynamic chips (drag coefficient of aerodynamic resistance of the body is the best among sedans and is only 0.22 Cx), neat LED headlamps (adaptive content with LED as an option ), classic proportions of a body, the conventional Hofmeister bending on the rear pillar, the dynamic profile, large wheels (20 inch embodiments alloy 17-20 wheels), defiantly bright LED marker lamps, solid rear bumper with four possible variants of the exhaust pipes are integrated into the body and spaced apart at the edges (round or trapezoidal, rectangular or double).

The new Bavarian sedan offers exterior package for every taste: Sport Line, Luxury Line and the most charismatic M Sport.

Hi-tech in a nutshell

The most anticipated update was the autopilot. Or to be exact, more advanced adaptive cruise control. Thanks to it, the car can make maneuvers between obstacles in the high-speed mode up to 100 mph. By the way, in the foreseeable future this system can equip unmanned vehicles. Automation turns on when the driver can no longer avoid a collision. In this case, the car itself will slow down and change lane to prevent an accident.

In urban conditions, a new German car itself monitors traffic signs and at critical moments informs its owner about the occurrence of dangerous situations. This is especially true if the owner of the car for some reason did not pay attention to priority signs and continued to move in violation of the rules.

If the owner of the new BMW G30 passes the intersection, which is equipped with traffic lights, the car independently monitors traffic, which is located on the sides. Of course, such a "smart" system can save many lives.

Not surprisingly, the Bavarian engineers have equipped the version of the business sedan with a parking system. It was borrowed from the flagship as well. Even with complex parking conditions, the new bulky BMW can squeeze into a limited space without hitting nearby cars. In this process, during the maneuvers, the vehicle itself performs speed switching, controls the steering wheel and presses the brake.

The new BMW recognizes 6 gestures. With their help, the driver can adjust the volume, take calls, turn on channels and control other options. Absolutely every gesture, even the most complex, you can specify a program to perform.

Inner World

The interior of new car is a role model for premium mid-size sedan, and, on the one hand, it demonstrates the sports orientation for the driver, and on the other, the premium and refined style.

Ergonomics of the highest level, the seats of the first row and rear seats apart from the competition, materials with premium finishes (natural and artificial leather, wood, aluminum, carbon), a set of modern equipment is also at altitude.

There is a compact multifunctional steering wheel with three stylish spokes, a strict instrument panel, a projection color display, advanced multimedia systems (the most heaped up ConnectedDrive with 12.25-inch screen, voice and gesture control, Apple CarPlay, smartphone integration, navigation, Remote 3D View, the LTE internet), dual-zone or available for a surcharge four-zone climate control, a standard set by the first row of seats with electric adjustment (convenient touch-sensitive keys), heating, ventilation and even massage function for a additional fee, a variety of audio systems up to 1400-watt Bowers & Wilkins with 16 speakers, LED backlight salon, a cozy back row, the tablet PCs for the rear passengers.

Front seats of the 7th generation car you can’t reproach - a good profile with a perfectly developed sides, optimal stiffness and packed with wide set of powered settings. Three adults can sit on the rear seats of the adjusted form, but only the passenger in the middle will be not so comfortable because of floor tunnel.

The new BMW has much more space than the previous models. There was more free space on the back row of seats. Special attention should be paid to soft seats and soundproofing. The last characteristic of the Germans was perfected - in the process of driving in the car absolute silence reigns.

Also in the sedan appeared a very useful option called Car-to-Car. It records all the dangerous situations that arise on the road, and reports them to a single center. And he in turn transmits information to other cars that are also equipped with this system.

The trunk of the BMW 5 Series, in standard form, holds 18.7 cubic feet of load, but its configuration is far from perfect. Rear seat is divided into three parts (in the ratio 40:20:40) and folded to increase the volume (but not absolutely flat), tools and auxiliary things located under the floor.

Here comes the power

Suspension with optimal settings for the sports sedan: in front on the double wishbones, rear has the five-lever, conventional or adaptive shock absorbers. Bow thruster rear axle, rear and four-wheel drive, tenacious disc brakes, power steering with variable depending on the speed and engine speed characteristics. The choice of a pair of gearboxes, although 6-speed manual is available only for the basic diesel version of the BMW 520d (which is likely to be unavailable in the US), all other modifications has the 8-speed Steptronic automatic.

The gasoline versions of the 530i and 530i xDrive are equipped with a twin turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with direct injection and variable valve timing Valvetronic, the power of which is 252 HP at 5200-6500 rpm and 258 lb ft of torque at 1450- 4800 rpm. Top speed of four-door does not exceed 155 mph, the acceleration to 60 is 6-6.2 seconds, and the "appetite" in the mixed mode totals from 36 to 42 mpg.

The following versions of the 540i and 540i xDrive are equipped with a 3.0-liter six-cylinder in-line engine with turbocharger, Valvetronic system and direct fuel injection, generating 340 horsepower at 5500-6500 rpm and 331 lb ft of maximum torque at 1380-5200 rpm . 0-60 acceleration manages for 4.8-5.1 seconds, the top speed is the same, limited to 155 mph. It has fuel efficiency of 31-36 mpg in combined conditions.

Under the hood of the 520d and 520d xDrive, a four-cylinder 2.0 liter unit with a Common Rail system is combined with direct injection, a turbocharger with variable geometry and a 16-valve timing system that produces 190 HP at 4000 rpm and 295 lb ft of torque at 1750 -2500 rpm. 0-60 sprint is for 7.5-7.7 seconds, top speed is 144-148 mph, and it’s fuel consumption is 48-57 mpg per "highway/city" cycle.

Another diesel variants 530d and 530d xDrive are equipped with a 3.0-liter inline 6 cylinder turbo equipped with a twin-stream turbocharger, 24 valves and a Common Rail in combination with a direct injection that releases 265 "horses" at 4000 rpm and 457 lb ft of torque at 2000-2500 rpm. The characteristics of such a car are impressive: 5.4-5.7 seconds acceleration to sixty, with the fuel consumption around 43-52 mpg.

In the future, the range of modifications of the car will be expanded by BMW M550i with a 4.4-liter 462-horsepower V8 engine and a standard all-wheel drive, as well as a hybrid version of the 530e with a turbocharged four and an electric motor that is produced 252 HP.

Optionally, the car can be equipped with adaptive shock absorbers, electronically controlled, active Dynamic Drive stabilizers and Integral Active Steering system with steering wheels on the rear. In the "skeleton" of the body of the sedan are high-strength grades of steel and aluminum (from which the hood, trunk lid, roof and rear sides of the spars are built), and the front panel bracket is made of magnesium alloy. At four-door, the steering gear is used with a variable tooth pitch on the rail and an electromechanical control amplifier.

Road Conditions

BMW has clearly set certain ambitious goals for its newcomer, to remain a driver-oriented auto, while progressing in prestige and improving comfort. Not solved only one question, will he have enough strength to bypass seriously prepared opponents?

Weight saving is combined with the use in the design of double wishbones front suspension and a new five-lever rear. What did BMW end up with? The car became better controlled, the response to the movement of the steering wheel improved. In comparison with the previous model and its competitors, the BMW G30 has become significantly different in the positive direction.

The impression of acceleration is enhanced by the presence of a standard eight-speed gearbox. Steptronic has stealthily and almost imperceptibly switches gears. In principle, for dynamic driving, it is not necessary to use paddle shifters, with its direct duty, the transmission simply manages perfectly without the intervention of the driver. But if you really want to click the gears yourself, then it's for you that BMW has prepared ergonomically comfortable shifters. The pleasure of driving on this thoughtful and fast sportscar in the guise of a business class sedan will haunt you constantly, proven by BMW!

The car can also be equipped with optional adaptive shock absorbers, which change the stiffness or become softer depending on the chosen setting. Add to this an updated advanced professional infotainment system, with which you can also unlock Adaptive mode. This clever installation constantly monitors the changing situation in online mode to prepare the car for the appropriate traffic conditions, in addition it uses information from satellite navigation, warning the driver of impending dangers such as sharp road bends or crossroads. The work of a complex system does not cause complaints, everything works very quickly, without creating problems.

The uniqueness of the new car lies in its ability to adapt to all driving modes. It is easy to imagine a car driving along the highway or creeping in metropolitan traffic jams, but meanwhile its character can be best felt on serpentines. This model got rid of excessive rigidity and discomfort of its predecessors, without losing its sports component.

Adaptive shock absorbers perfectly cope with most of unpleasant road (perhaps the character of the car can change if standard dampers are installed on it), which makes the ride even smoother and more pleasant.

In Comfort mode, the suspension is elastic, put on "Sport" and it immediately becomes elastic and responsive. Nevertheless, despite the fact that BMW has made a lot of efforts to reduce unsprung masses, large wheels sometimes over-hit the sides of potholes.


The BMW 5-Series is a phenomenally popular car in the world. Since the debut of the first generation of the model, 44 years ago, the Bavarian 5 has sold around the world a total circulation exceeding the mark of 7.6 million copies. The new generation of BMW 5-Series has all the makings for increasing the army of fans of the model.

2017-05-21 by Luke Widmeyer