Graham Courtney test drives the new BMW 5 Series and reports on the highlights of this new version.
Very few cars can be seen as a standard bearer for a particular sector of the automotive market, but when it comes to executive saloon and estate cars, the BMW 5 Series is a world leader.
Consequently, when the time comes to replace it, BMW needs to be extremely careful. It’s a case of evolution rather than revolution.
Which means, as you can see from the photos, the new BMW 5 Series…the 8th generation… is instantly recognisable. The styling changes aren’t as radical as some of the other BMW models. The saloon goes on sale very shortly while the estate (Touring) arrives next year.
However, things are very different under the skin. The biggest change is that the 5 Series will be available as an all-electric i5. Petrol and plug-in hybrid versions continue. There’s no diesel now because BMW wants to concentrate on high efficiency petrol and hybrid models.
The new 5 Series is a shade longer and wider, but the addition of an extra 20mm to the wheelbase should mean for extra legroom in the cabin.
The initial range of 5 Series saloons will be limited to a single petrol, engine…the 2.0 litre, four cylinder 520i. It comes with an 8-speed automatic gearbox as standard. Top speed is 142mph; 0-60 comes up in 7.5 seconds. BMW reckon you’ll get a shade over 48mpg which is pretty good going bearing in mind the size and weight of the car. Prices start at £51,000.
The electric and PHEV versions arrive next year.
As for what you get, the trims start off with M Sport. That means the standard kit includes LED front and rear lights, air con, sat nav, sports front seats, heated driver’s seat, powered mirrors, rear camera and parking sensors. The interior also features BMW’s excellent 12.3-inch screen behind the steering wheel and a 14.9-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It looks great and works well. To be honest, most folk will be perfectly happy with the entry level trim. You can also add the usual BMW Comfort and Tech packs.
If you want something to make your new 5 Series seem even more special, go for the M Sport Pro trim which gives you bigger alloys, rear spoiler and a natty illuminated front grille.
More powerful models are in the pipeline, but for the moment the new BMW 5 Series is in safe hands. It’s moving with the times but also nods to its heritage.
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