Seventh-generation BMW 5 Series looks very much like a 7 Series and comes loaded with driver assistance items, while up to 100 kg lighter by using lightweight aluminium, high-tensile steels, and magnesium.
Codenamed the G30, BMW’s new 5 Series has front full LED headlights that is anchored to the front kidney grille, to the lower body swage lines that integrate the Air Breather side vents along its side, and its prominent tail lights, this new 5 Series looks like a small 7 Series.
The new 5 Series will come with a choice of two petrol and two diesel units initially, with an iPerformance plug-in hybrid variant, frugal Efficient Dynamics Edition, and a range-topping M Performance variant to follow later next year.
Petrol choices for now only cover the 530i and 540i variants.
The diesel options, the 140 kW/400 Nm 2 liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine in the 520d uses 4 L/100 km, while delivering a zero to 100 km/h time of 7.7 seconds. The 530d on the other hand delivers the most grunt with its 3 liter straight-six diesel producing 195 kW and 620 Nm of torque. BMW is claiming that the 530d is able to deliver a rated fuel consumption figure of 4.5 L/100 km and get from zero to 100 km/h in 5.7 seconds.
All the aforementioned variants will come paired with an eight-speed automatic as standard, with the exception of the 520d, which has a six-speed manual option.
The 5 Series now comes with an optional electromechanical Dynamic Drive active roll stabilization system that uses electric swivel motors to adjust the anti-roll bars instead of hydraulics. The feature, which comes paired with the optional Adaptive Drive system, is fast-acting, more precise, lighter, and more energy frugal. In effect the system is able to improve comfort over uneven roads, whilst sharpening its handling characteristics in the corners. Couple it with the optional Integral Active Steering rear-wheel steering, and the 5 Series promises to be nimbler than its size would suggest.
Just as its exterior uses the design cues of the 7 Series, so too does the 5 Series’ cockpit bears the same dashboard design, layout, and switchgear as the 7 Series.
According to BMW the new 5 Series is a lot roomier inside than its predecessor, which was a major bugbear. The cabin is said to now offer more elbow and shoulder room for front seat occupants, whereas the rear seats now offer more knee and legroom, while its door cut-outs have been optimized to make getting in and out a much easier affair.
Delve further into its specification sheet and features, and the 5 Series seems to take more than just design inspiration, with plenty of features that were first seen on the 7 Series have filtered its way into the new model.
Up front the 5 Series’ 10.25-inch freestanding centre multimedia screen reads hand gestures, and is touch-sensitive, complementing the use of its iDrive Controller and voice recognition system. Its head-up display has been sized up, with its projection size now around 70 per cent larger than its predecessor.
Another carry-over feature from the 7 Series is its Remote Control Parking, which allows drivers to park the car remotely through the use of the Display Key.
With market expectations leaning heavily towards autonomous driver assistance systems, BMW has suitably beefed up the new 5 Series’ list of features. The operational envelope of its optional Active Cruise Control has been extended to all speeds between rest and 210km/h. This allows the car to brake to a standstill, and automatically move off again – even when being in a standstill for up to 30 seconds – without any driver intervention on the accelerator, brakes, or steering. The system can also recognize motorway exits and roundabouts, and adjust its speed accordingly.
The 5 Series’ optional Driving Assist Plus package is loaded with features that enables it to switch lanes and even steer away from trouble autonomously. At speeds between 70 and 180 km/h its Lane Change Assistant can automatically assist in pulling a lane change manoeuver simply with the long press of the indicator stalk in the desired direction.
The Driving Assist Plus’ Lane Keeping Assistant on the other hand is able to prevent drivers from steering into hazards by automatically applying corrective steering, should the system detect the vehicle is veering off the road or in danger of sideswiping another vehicle in the next lane at speeds between 70 and 210 km/h. Meantime its Side Collision Warning system on the other hand would deliver both visual and steering wheel vibration signals should it detect another vehicle coming too close to its flank at speeds of between 30 and 210 km/h. If the system detects sufficient room to pull an evasive manoeuver, the system will steer its way out of danger.
A new addition to the Driving Assist Plus package is the evasion aid, which can execute an emergency lane change should it detect an obstacle at speeds of up to 160 km/h. The system works in tandem with the car’s stability control and sensors to determine how much unobstructed space is available in its vicinity.
The Driving Assist Plus package also includes a Priority warning feature that works in conjunction with the Navigation system Professional to deliver visual and audible warnings and prime the brakes, should it detect the driver blundering into a junction where other vehicles have priority. Likewise its Wrong-way warning system also prompts the driver if they are driving the wrong way onto a motorway, roundabout, or heading the wrong way down a one-way street.
Aside from autonomous driver assistance systems, the 5 Series boast plenty of new ConnectedDrive connective features. Its new Remote 3D View technology beams three-dimensional views of the vehicle’s surroundings to the owner’s smartphone through the use of cellular networks. The latest iteration of the 5 Series’ Navigation system Professional on the other hand boasts a quicker start-up, faster route calculation, and is said to be able to learn a new route should the driver keep diverting from a suggested route.
(Not recommended for those drivers who are worried about the digital experience, or having trouble with the remote on the Smart TV.)