Updated: Jul 10
The new BMW 5 series has arrived and its clear from the start that unlike BMWs of recent, they’ve opted for the ‘keep it safe’ styling route. However, BMW isn’t safe from criticism. The new design has been accused of being too much like a Toyota ‘Camry’ and also symbolic the ‘Skoda Rapid’. Other popular comments on their own Instagram page include ‘never felt more disappointed in my life’ and ‘BMW used to mean aggressive looking cars, where’s the aggressiveness in this?’.
Styling as we know is subjective, so all I’ll say is that the rear end design is right up my street, bringing back fond memories of the old e28 5 series. The interior more than certainly doesn’t resemble 5 series of old though. There’s one huge, curved display, 12.3 inches is used as a digital driver’s display, while 14.9 inches is used for the infotainment system. Although the system relies more on touch than physical controls, the rotary dial we’re all familiar with remains. The whole infotainment experience is slick, and I personally like the customisability of the widgets. BMW was fairly proud about iDrive 8.5 and its ability to give you an in-car gaming experience. It’s nothing revolutionary, but it should give you something to fill your time with while charging up your car.
Charging up your car does swiftly bring me onto the powertrain variations for the new 5 series, because for the first time, a new all electric i5 is also on offer. The entry level i5 setup is named the edrive40 and has a single electric motor sending power to the rear wheels. It produces 340 HP and 430 Nm of torque. The range for this model is claimed at between 296 and 361 miles. Meanwhile the range-topping M60 model, produces 601 HP and 820 Nm of torque. A 0-60 time of 3.8 seconds is claimed, but I would be surprised if it completes that time much faster than that. Considering the boost in power, range is only dropped to between 282 and 360 miles.
All the ICE variants feature 48v mild hybrid assistance and 8 speed steptronic gearbox. If you’re intrigued, the steptronic part means that the gearbox revs higher than it would typically be in a regular automatic gearbox. Don’t worry, you’re not the only one who didn’t know that! For now, there’s the 520i and that’s all. It produces 205 Hp but a 520d will be coming with 197 Hp. The models I’m looking forward to more than the M5 are the straight six petrol which may come later as for now the 540i is only available in the USA. There are online renders of the M5 which are quite accurate, but we’ll have to wait until it is released. 2 PHEV’s called the 530e and 550e will also be joining the pack with ranges between 54 and 62 miles plus 49 and 56 miles respectively.
A genius feature is that you will now also be able to unlock the car via an apple watch, plus there’s 5G connectivity as standard! Where did charging for heated seats come from!? Crystal effects first seen in the IX SUV, are now carried over here, plus the seats are vegan friendly. BMW wouldn’t be BMW without emphasis on driving dynamics. The new 5 series has more chassis rigidity and an almost 50:50 weight distribution. Those willing to spend more than the £49,850 starting price can opt for the adaptive M suspension Professional which adds active role stabilisation and active roll comfort.
The new 5 series will be available in 2024 with more models coming along later, including the M5. We’ll have to wait until the reviewers get their hands on the car though, so we can see whether all the work on this new car has paid off…