The new BMW 5-Series Saloon has been styled to reflect its almost perfect 50:50 weight distribution with beautifully balanced proportions, short overhangs, a coupé-like flowing roofline and a long, contoured bonnet. The familiar BMW kidney grille stands upright alluding to the car's sporting pedigree.
The latest BMW has a wheelbase of 2,968 mm, creating a greater feeling of interior space. This translates into an extra 13 mm of knee room for rear passengers, compared to the previous 5-Series, while customers specifying the optional glass sunroof benefit from a larger roof panel that allows light to flood in highlighting the generous rear cabin. The BMW 5 Series Saloon has a 520-litre boot with the option to specify 40:20:40 split folding rear seats.
Inside, the cabin features many of the comfort features found in the BMW 7 Series. Inclined seven degrees towards the driver, the asymmetrically designed centre console ensures that all controls are comfortably within the reach. The multifunctional steering wheel has been simplified, putting all of the function keys in one hand and infotainment in the other.
Buyers of the BMW 5-Series Saloon will be able to choose between three diesel powerplants and four petrol engines from launch. The biggest seller in the UK is predicted to be the 520d. This 1,995 cc four cylinder diesel features the latest generation common-rail direct injection and a turbocharger with variable turbine geometry which increases power and efficiency. Producing 184hp at 4,000rpm, the 520d accelerates from zero to 62mph in 8.1 seconds before going onto a top speed of 141mph (140 for automatic transmission). The peak torque of 380Nm from just 1,900rpm ensures that progress is smooth and swift in any gear. Fuel economy is exceptional with a combined fuel consumption figure of 56.5mpg (54.3mpg) and a CO2 rating of 132g/km (137g/km), making the BMW 520d the most efficient car in its segment.
Two straight-six turbocharged engines will complete the diesel line-up; the 530d and the 525d. Both powerplants feature 2,993cc units with an all aluminium crankcase. The 530d is available with increased power and performance to record 245hp at 4,000rpm and peak torque of 540Nm from as low as 1,750rpm. With the introduction of upgraded piezo-injectors, the BMW 530d emits just 166g/km, while averaging a combined consumption figure of 44.8mpg. A car equipped with an automatic transmission improves on these figures further recording 162g/km and 45.6mpg. Regardless of chosen transmission the BMW 530d is capable of accelerating from zero to 62mph in just 6.3 seconds and attaining an electronically-limited top speed of 155mph.
The new 525d focusses on efficiency with a six-cylinder diesel with CO2 emissions of 162g/km (automatic transmission is 161g/km) and an average fuel consumption of 45.6mpg (46.3mpg). But performance is not compromised with a maximum power output of 204hp at 4,000rpm and 450Nm of maximum torque consistently from 1,750 to 2,500 rpm. This allows acceleration from zero to 62mph in just 7.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 147mph.
Joining the diesel-powered cars from launch are three straight-six petrol engines the 523i, 528i and the 535i. The 535i is the first engine to combine a single turbocharged engine with High Precision Direct Injection and Valvetronic; BMW's own system that controls how much the engine's valves open for optimum efficiency. These measures allow the engine to meet strict emissions regulations whilst delivering optimum performance with a zero to 62mph time of 6.0 seconds and an electronically-limited top speed of 155mph. Consumption and emissions figures reflect its technological prowess with 33.2mpg (33.6mpg) on the combined cycle and CO2 emissions of 199g/km (195g/km).
The naturally aspirated 523i and 528i both have an upgraded High Precision Direct Injection system resulting in the fast revving driving characteristic, typical of BMW. In the BMW 523i the unit delivers maximum output of 204hp at 6,100 rpm and a peak torque of 270Nm from 1,500 all the way through to 4,250 rpm ensuring smooth progression at any speed. This power translates into a zero to 62mph speed of 7.9 seconds (8.2 seconds) with a top speed of 148mph (145mph). Ultimately this ends up with emissions of 177g/km (178g/km) and a combined consumption of 37.2mpg.
The BMW 528i extends the performance envelope by producing 258hp at 6,600rpm and 310Nm of torque from 2,600-5,000rpm. This equates to a zero to 62mph time of 6.6 seconds (6.7 seconds) and an electronically-limited top speed of 155mph. The sporting performance is not to the detriment of economy and emissions and the 528i records a combined consumption figure of 36.2mpg (37.2mpg) and CO2 emissions of 182g/km (178g/km).
Topping the range is the BMW 550i which is powered by an acclaimed 407hp 4,395cc V8 engine. With its twin-turbocharger technology, the 550i promises outstanding performance with a zero to 62mph time of just 5.0 seconds and an electronically-limited top speed of 155mph. Peak torque of 600Nm is available consistently between 1,750rpm and 4,500rpm. The BMW 550i logs a combined consumption figure of 27.2mpg and CO2 emissions of 243g/km.
The new BMW 5-Series Saloon comes with an array of EfficientDynamics technologies. The BMW 520d is the first 5-Series to come with Auto Start-Stop, reducing the engine idle period when coming to a short stop. All manual gearboxes will also come with an Optimum gearshift indicator to help drivers know when to change gear to optimise the car's efficiency. Brake Energy Regeneration, which recharges the vehicle's battery during engine over-run, is part of the 5-Series Saloon's standard specification.
For those BMW 5-Series Saloon models specified with Variable Damper Control or Adaptive Drive packages, the Drive Dynamic Control (DDC) chassis configurator is fitted to enhance ride and handling still further. DDC allows for fine tuning of the chassis with the choice of Normal, Comfort, Sport and Sport+. Each mode changes the levels of steering assistance, throttle response, gear change characteristics, degree of Dynamic Stability Control interaction and, courtesy of adjustable dampers, the ride and handling characteristics.
The BMW 5-Series Saloon features the highest ever level of standard specification for the model. All models now come with Dakota leather upholstery, BMW Professional Radio and Bluetooth telephone preparation compared to the previous (E60) BMW 5-Series Saloon. Six-cylinder engine derivatives additionally gain USB audio interface and Ambient lighting, while the BMW 550i has the eight-speed automatic transmission as standard. The BMW 520d additionally benefits from full automatic air-conditioning system as standard.
In the UK the BMW 5-Series Saloon will be offered with four optional equipment packages. BMW Business Advanced Media and BMW Professional Multimedia packages include BMW Navigation, BMW ConnectedDrive, Assist and Online and Voice control. Dynamic package includes 19-inch alloy wheels, Sport seats, Anthracite headlining, Sport leather steering wheel and High-gloss exterior trim. The Visibility package includes Adaptive headlights, Xenon headlights, High-beam Assist and headlight wash.